B vitamins health benefit and proper dosage for daily intake, should you take more than the RDA recommendations?

Many people taken too high a dosage of vitamin b complex 50 mg or 100 mg per capsule. Research regarding the benefits of B vitamin does not indicate that high dosages are necessary for health maintenance or long term intake. Buy a multivitamin supplement and get all the benefits of b vitamins.

B Vitamins and Coenzymes
The following are some common B vitamins and we will discuss in the future the proper dosage

Thiamin Cocarboxylase is a form of B vitamin.
Riboflavin  Flavin Mono Nucleotide
Niacin  Nicotinamide NADH energy boosting vitamin, best used no more than three times a week
Biotin
Pantothenic acid supplement for more energy as is known as B5
Pyridoxine  Pyridoxal Phosphate
Cyanocobalamin Dibencozide (also known as Vitamin-B12)

Coenzymated B Vitamin Complex supplement
B Vitamin coenzyme is an activated and more powerful form of Vitamin B complex.

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 as inositol hexanicotinate - 4 mg

B Vitamins and coenzymes
A B vitamin supplement is the cheapest, safest, and most reliable way to improve your wellbeing and overall mental abilities. We recommend them to those who wish to improve their mood, mental clarity, memory, and energy. The effects are subtle, especially in the young who normally have adequate dietary intake of these nutrients. Improvements in cognitive functions from the B vitamins are particularly noticeable in middle age individuals and the elderly.

Most of the B complex products contain too high doses of the B vitamins. Two to five times the RDA is sufficient for most purposes.

In addition to discussing the B vitamins, this page will review coenzymes—the new, more activated forms of the B vitamins—and 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 they 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
Alertness
Learning and memory
Speed of thinking
Verbal fluency
Concentration and focus
Visual clarity

Which Clinical Conditions Do the Bs Benefit?
Because of their wide range of effects, B vitamins and their coenzymes can potentially be helpful in:
Depression and mood disorders
Age related cognitive decline
Anxiety disorders due to excess stress
Addiction disorders
Chronic fatigue
Alzheimer’s disease
Parkinson’s disease
Women need 400 micrograms of folic acid daily during preconception and during pregnancy to help reduce the risk of neural tube defects (defects of the brain and spine).

Mental function and health
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 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.

No benefit for heart disease?
Taking B vitamins may not prevent heart attack and stroke in people who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. The findings, based on eight clinical trials of more than 24,000 people, gives added weight to current recommendations against using B vitamins as a way to prevent heart trouble. The idea that B vitamins like folic acid, B-6 and B-12 might help prevent heart complications stems from the fact that they lower blood levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. However, researchers have not been sure whether high homocysteine levels actually contribute to atherosclerosis progression, or are merely a marker of heart risks. Suggesting the latter may be true, hardly any clinical trial has proven that B-vitamin supplements prevent heart attack and stroke. The new review gathered  data from eight clinical trials testing the effects of folic acid, vitamin B-6, B-12 or some combination of the these supplements. The trials involved 24,210 people with either established heart and blood vessel disease -- atherosclerosis or a history of stroke, heart attack or other heart complications -- or major risk factors for it, like diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Researchers found that adding the supplements to standard medical care did little to lower study participants' risks of heart attack, stroke or death for up to seven years of follow-up. Cochrane Library, online October 7, 2009.
    Comments: Perhaps lower dosages or a different blend of the B vitamins may provide some benefits.


Understanding Coenzymes
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 ones 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). 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. 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.

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 myelin—the white sheath surrounding nerves—is 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 don’t 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. It’s quite possible that with age, nutritional deficiencies, or enzyme deficiencies, some individuals may not be able to convert B12 into its coenzyme forms.

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.

Recommendations
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 wouldn’t 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.

Interactions with herbal remedies
We do not suggest using a vitamin B complex with 100 mg of each vitamin when used with yohimbe bark
since they and the herbal extract can be too stimulating.