B Vitamins and Coenzymes
b vitamins, vitamin b complex, vitamin b deficiency, benefit of b vitamin For more info see www.raysahelian.com
Benfotiamine is a form of B vitamin.
Riboflavin Flavin Mono Nucleotide
Niacin Nicotinamide NADH
Biotin b vitamin
Pantothenic acid Pantothene
Pyridoxine Pyridoxal Phosphate
Cyanocobalamin Dibencozide (Vitamin-B12)
Coenzymated B Vitamin Complex
B Vitamin coenzyme is an activated and more powerful form of Vitamin B complex.
B Vitamin Supplement Facts:
Amount Per Serving
Vitamin C - 9 mg
Thiamin - 6 mg - [Coenzymated B vitamin 1]
Riboflavin - 6 mg - [Coenzymated B vitamin 2]
Niacin - 20 mg (from inositol 34 mg, niacinamide ascorbate 30 mg, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide 10 mg [Coenzymated])
Vitamin B 6 - 5 mg (from 15 mg pyridoxal -5-phosphate [Coenzymated])
Folate (as folic acid) - 200 mcg
Vitamin B12 - 340 mcg (from 1 mg dibencozide [Coenzymated])
Biotin - 75 mcg
Pantothenic Acid - 13 mg (as calcium D-Pantothenate)
Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) - 6 mg
Inositol (inositol hexanicotinate) - 4 mg
Click Vitamin B Coenzyme to purchase, or to see a complete list of other products at Physician Formulas, including Mind Power RxB Vitamins and coenzymes
In addition to discussing the B vitamins, this page will review coenzymesthe new, more activated forms of the B vitaminsand make recommendations on how to reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid derivative that can be harmful to the cardiovascular and neurological system when present in excess.
Benefits of B Vitamins
Since B vitamins and their coenzymes play important metabolic roles in numerous biochemical reactions throughout the body, they can influence just about every aspect of brain and physical health. As a rule, individuals who take B vitamins notice improvements in:
Mood and energy
Learning and memory
Speed of thinking
Concentration and focus
Which Clinical Conditions Do the Bs Benefit?
Because of their wide range of effects, B vitamins and their coenzymes can potentially be helpful in:
Age related cognitive decline
The Bs in the Brain Get an A
B vitamins help in energy production and deficiencies lead to fatigue and poor mental functioning. The increased consumption of refined foods has decreased the amounts of B vitamins present in our diet. However, on the positive note, small amounts of B vitamins are regularly added to some food products, such as cereals. The question of whether B vitamin supplementation is necessary in healthy individuals who have a normal diet has been debated ever since vitamins were discovered. The results of several studies over the past few years have influenced my decision in favor of low dose supplementation. There can be cognitive improvements from taking B vitamins. Back in 1995, Dr. D. Benton and colleagues, from the University College Swansea, in Great Britain, gave ten times the recommended daily allowance of nine vitamins (mostly the B vitamins) to healthy college students (Benton 1995). The study lasted for one year. The students reported improvement in mood and feeling more agreeable. There was also an improvement in cognitive functioning, especially in regards to concentration. Many of my patients consistently report that B vitamin supplementation improves their energy, concentration and mood while helping them handle everyday stress better.
For otherwise healthy individuals, supplementation with one to three times the recommended daily allowance of the B vitamins is suggested. Higher dosages may be required for individuals with medical, psychiatric, or neurological disorders.
In the past few years, many of the B vitamins have become available in their more activated forms known as coenzymes. For instance, the B vitamin niacin is now available in a coenzyme form known as NADH. An enzyme is basically a protein that promotes chemical changes in other substances, itself remaining unchanged in the process. A coenzyme is a substance that facilitates or is necessary for the action of an enzyme.
The brain, just like a car, needs fuel. Our primary source of fuel is through fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in the diet. After digestion in the stomach, foodstuffs are absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate to various tissues and cells where they are broken down into even smaller particles. One of these particles is a two-carbon molecule known as acetyl. Enzymes help break down these fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into acetyl and they then help extract the final energy from acetyl through a process called the Krebs cycle, named after the German biochemist who defined it. This energy is in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Enzymes also need helpers, and these helpers are called coenzymes. Most of the coenzymes in the body are partly made from vitamins, such as vitamins E, C, lipoic acid, and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
The coenzyme form of a B vitamin often has a significantly more powerful effect than a regular B vitamin. The coenzyme forms of the B vitamins are an exiting addition to the field of nutrition. It is quite possible that the elderly or certain individuals with a particular biochemical deficiency may not be able to make adequate amounts of the coenzyme forms of the B vitamins despite adequate intakes of the individual B vitamins. Hence, the coenzyme forms should be seriously considered in those who do not respond to the regular B vitamins. Some companies include most of the Bs in their coenzyme form together in one pill. I think these products deserve serious consideration, especially for their use in the middle aged and the elderly.
The Individual B Vitamins and Their Coenzymes:
Thiamin (B1) is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary source of energy in the human body. Thiamin is found in good amounts in milk, lean pork, legumes, rice bran, and the germ of cereal grains, but is lost during food processing and cooking. The current recommended daily allowance (RDA) by government advisory panels is about 1.5 mg.
Studies indicate that supplementation with thiamin provides cognitive benefits. Dr. Benton and colleagues gave 50 mg of thiamin daily to young adult females for a period of two months (Benton 1997). The women reported being more clearheaded, composed, and energetic. The taking of thiamin had no influence on memory but reaction times were faster following supplementation. Prior to taking the thiamin, the women had normal blood levels of this vitamin.
Researchers at Princess Margaret Hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, measured thiamin levels in elderly individuals before giving them 10 mg of the vitamin a day (Wilkinson 1997). Only the subjects with low thiamin concentrations showed benefits. They had an improvement in quality of life with more energy and deeper sleep, along with decreased blood pressure and weight.
Thiamin is now sold in its coenzyme form called cocarboxylase or thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP). Human studies giving TPP to evaluate cognitive functioning have not yet been published.
Riboflavin (B2) is a yellow-colored nutrient involved in dozens of metabolic pathways leading to energy production and the making of fatty acids and sterols. Good sources are lean meats, eggs, milk, some vegetables and enriched cereals. The recommended daily intake is about 1.5 mg. You may notice your urine turning a deeper yellow color after taking riboflavin.
Riboflavin is part of two larger activated coenzymes known as flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN). FMN is now available as a supplement. One product contains 25 mg of FMN per pill. Human studies giving FAD or FMN in order to evaluate cognitive functioning have not yet been published.
Niacin (B3), also known as nicotinamide and nicotinic acid, plays essential roles in a large number of energy pathways. Perhaps as many as 200 enzymes are dependent on this nutrient. Nicotinamide is part of the coenzyme known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), which is sold as a supplement. I will discuss NADH later in this chapter since several studies have been published regarding this coenzyme. Good sources of niacin are meats, legumes, fish, and some nuts and cereals. The recommended daily intake is about 15 to 20 mg.
Folic acid B vitamin
Folic acid, also known as folate, generally functions in cooperation with vitamin B12 in many metabolic reactions, including the synthesis of DNA. Folic acid helps reduce levels of homocysteine, a substance that can increase the risk for atherosclerosis (discussed later in this chapter). This vitamin functions as a methyl donor. Folic acid is found in almost all foods and the recommended daily intake is about 400 micrograms. The coenzyme form of folate is called tetrahydrofolate. Folate and other B vitamins seem even more of a wonder drug than anyone suspected: Already known to prevent severe birth defects and heart attacks, they may also ward off broken bones from osteoporosis, two major studies suggest.
For nearly a decade, folic acid, a chemical form of a common B vitamin (folate), has been added to wheat flour and other grain products in the U.S. and Canada. This public health measure was enacted after evidence was discovered linking folic acid with a reduced rate of a specific birth defect that affected the development of the spinal cord and central nervous system.
Cobalamin (vitamin B12), or cyanocobalamin, has a number of important roles in metabolism, including the synthesis of DNA. This function is particularly crucial when it comes to making new red blood cells. Hence, a deficiency of B12 leads to anemia. The formation of myelinthe white sheath surrounding nervesis partly dependent of B12. Deficiencies in B12 intake lead to nerve damage, memory loss, poor coordination, low mood, and mental slowness. This nutrient, along with folic acid and B6, helps lower levels of homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are suspected in being one of the factors causing hardening of the arteries.
The recommended daily intake of B12 is about 3 micrograms, but much higher dosages are well tolerated. B12 is found mostly in meats and fish. Vegetarians can become deficient in this vitamin if they dont take supplements. B12 deficiency can occur in the elderly due to malabsorption from the intestinal tract. If you have gastritis, absorption problems, autoimmune disorders, insulin dependent diabetes, certain thyroid disorders, or take antacids and other medicines that reduce stomach acid, you could have problems in maintaining adequate B12 levels. Hence, monthly B12 shots, in a dose of 1mg (1,000 micrograms), could well provide you with positive cognitive benefits. Sublingual forms of B12 are also available.
There are two coenzyme forms of B12, adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin.
Adenosylcobalamin is sold over the counter as dibencozide, in a dose of 10,000 micrograms,
which is a large dose. Human studies evaluating its role in cognitive disorders have not
been published. Its quite possible that with age, nutritional deficiencies, or
enzyme deficiencies, some individuals may not be able to convert B12 into its coenzyme
Vitamin B12 deficiency can often be treated with oral supplements instead of giving an injection. B12 deficiency is common in patients with reduced acid secretion because acid is required to release cobalamin from food. But these patients can absorb oral supplements because the cobalamin is in the crystalline form and not bound to food. Treatment of pernicious anemia can be done with oral B!2 at 1000 mcg per day.
Biotin is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It is widely
available in foods, particularly egg yolk, soybeans, cereal, legumes, and nuts. Bacteria
in the gut also make it. The RDA ranges from 30 to 100 micrograms.
A study from Switzerland demonstrated a 25 percent increase in nail plate thickness in patients with brittle nails who received biotin supplementation. Analysis of all visits to a nail consultation practice over a six-month period revealed forty-four patients with this condition who had been prescribed the B-complex vitamin biotin. Of these, thirty-five who took daily supplementation were subjectively evaluated. Twenty-two of thirty-five (63 percent) showed clinical improvement and thirteen (37 percent) reported no change in their condition. The results of this small, retrospective study suggest a positive response to biotin in the treatment of brittle nails in some patients.
All of the B vitamins are important and supplementation would probably benefit most everyone. For healthy individuals, taking one to three times the RDA of the Bs would be sufficient. You will find B complex supplements that say B50 or B100 on the label. This means that many of the B vitamins, such as thiamin and riboflavin, are found in dosages of 50 or 100 mg per pill. The RDA for thiamin and riboflavin is about 1.5 mg. The average, healthy person does not need to take these high dosages. However, biochemical individuality certainly does exist. Dr. David Benton, Ph.D., who researches the influence of B vitamins on cognition says, "There can be enormous differences in the needs of vitamins. It wouldnt be unusual for some individuals requiring 20 times the amount of a particular vitamin compared to others in a similar age group."
A Daily Dose of B Vitamins Keeps the Cardiologist Away
Scientists at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor say that people might live longer if they take daily multivitamins containing recommended doses of folic acid and B12. Both nutrients help lower blood levels of homocysteine - a common substance found in the body that can harm blood vessel walls and encourage blood clotting and hardening of the arteries. Up to 10% of all heart deaths are thought to be associated with high levels of homocysteine. Clinical trials have not yet demonstrated precisely how much benefit can be derived from lowering levels of the substance, but even a small amount of benefit would make it worth taking vitamins. A computer analysis looked at the hypothetical balance between cost and benefit under several different scenarios, based on what is known about homocysteine and the effects of folic acid and vitamin B12. One scenario assumed that reducing homocysteine levels could reduce heart disease risk linked to the substance by 40%. The team found that in this situation about eight life-years could be saved per 1,000 men, and almost four life-years per 1,000 women. It did not matter if vitamins were given to all at-risk people, or just those with elevated homocysteine blood levels. Dr. Sahelian says: Homocysteine is gradually becoming accepted as another risk factor similar to high cholesterol levels in causing hardening of the arteries. A daily dose of folic acid and B12, in amounts normally found in a multivitamin supplement, can make a significant impact in reducing a personís risk from heart disease.
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