The B vitamins are thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, B12 and folic acid. The B vitamins help the body to convert food into fuel. Research also suggests that b complex deficiency is linked to candida (Pizzorno & Murray, 2012). B vitamins, like all of the essential vitamins are essential to immune health and avoiding infection.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine along with the other B vitamins is sometimes called the “anti-stress” vitamin because it may strengthen the immune system and improve the body’s ability to combat stressful conditions (Ehrlich, 2013). Thiamine deficiency is rare but those suffering with alcoholism, Crohn’s disease, anorexia and those undergoing kidney dialysis are at risk (Ehrlich, 2013). Symptoms of thiamine deficiency include headache, nausea, fatigue, irritability, depression and abdominal discomfort (Ehrlich, 2013). Diseases associated with thiamine deficiency include beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure and depression are all disease which can occur as a result of thiamine deficiency. Pork has the highest concentration of thiamine (Ehrlich, 2013). Plant sources such as dried beans and peas are also good sources.
Riboflavin works just as the other B vitamins with its role in energy production. In addition to this, riboflavin also acts as an antioxidant, fighting harmful [articles called free radicals that attack cells and DNA (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014). Symptoms of riboflavin deficiency include fatigue, slow growth, digestive problems, eye fatigue, swollen magenta colored tongue and sensitivity to light (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014). Common disease associated with deficiency include cataracts, migraine headaches and autism (Ehrlich, Riboflavin, 2013). Dietary sources of riboflavin are often the same as other B vitamins such as thiamin. Brewer’s yeast, organ meats, almonds, whole grain but most notables dairy products (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014).
Niacin helps the body make various sex and stress related hormones in the adrenal glands (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014). Symptoms of deficiency include indigestion, fatigue, canker sores, vomiting, poor circulation and depression. Severe Niacin deficiency can cause a condition known as Pellagra. Pellagra is characterized by cracked and scaly skin, dementia and diarrhea (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014). Dietary sources Niacin include beets, Brewer’s yeast, beef liver, fish, sunflower seeds and peanuts (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014).
Pantothenic acid allows the body to synthesize cholesterol (Ehrlich, Pantothenic Acid, 2013). Deficiency is rare. Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, stomach pain, burning feet, and upper respiratory infections (Ehrlich, Pantothenic Acid, 2013). Conditions that may arise due to deficiency include high triglyceride levels, impaired wound healing, and rheumatoid arthritis (Ehrlich, Pantothenic Acid, 2013). Dietary sources include fresh meats and vegetables as well as whole grains.
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine helps the body to make antibodies, maintain normal nerve function, make hemoglobin, break down proteins and maintain normal blood sugar levels (Ehrlich, Vitamin B6, 2013). Deficiency of vitamin B6 is uncommon in the United States. Symptoms of deficiency include confusion, depression, irritability, and mouth and tongue sores (Ehrlich, Vitamin B6, 2013). Vitamin B6 is found in avocado, bananas as well as meats, nuts and legumes.
The body uses biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014). Biotin is often used to produce stronger hair, skin and nails. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include dry skin, hair loss, swollen and painful swollen tongue and fatigue (Ehrlich, Biotin, 2013). Biotin deficiency can also result in changes in blood pH which can lead to coma and even death (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014) Dietary sources of biotin include Brewer’s yeast, cooked eggs, nuts whole grains, cauliflower, bananas and mushrooms (Ehrlich, Biotin, 2013).
Vitamin B12 is very important. It allows the body to maintain healthy nerve cells as well as the production of DNA and RNA (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014). People who consume plant based diets are especially susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency and must supplement their diet. Vitamin B12 deficiency may be asymptomatic which is especially dangerous. Sever deficiency can lead to nerve damage. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products and enriched soil.
Lastly folic acid is crucial for brain function as well as mental and emotional health (Insel, Ross, McMahon, & Bernsten, 2014). Symptoms of folic acid deficiency include gingivitis, tongue inflammation, diarrhea, shortness of breath, forgetfulness and mental sluggishness (Ehrlich, Folic Acid, 2013). Women of childbearing age should take special care to ensure that they are getting adequate amounts of folic acid. Folic acid deficiency can lead to birth defects and impaired child development. A folic acid supplement should be considered before conception. Dietary sources of folic acid include dark leafy greens, whole grains and beans.
So, you want to know how you can get a lot of b vitamins in your diet? A good way to start is by simply adding nutritional yeast to literally everything. Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, so don’t worry it won’t make your candida worse. Popcorn, vegan mac and cheese, salads, pretty much all savory foods could benefit from nutritional yeast.
One serving equal to 1 tablespoon of the Bragg’s brand of nutritional yeast contains:
180% of the daily value for Thiamin (B1)
160% of the daily value for Riboflavin (B2)
70% of the daily value for Niacin (B3)
140% of the daily value for Pyridoxine (B6)
40% of the daily value for Folic Acid
40% of the daily value for B12
And finally 30% of the daily value for Pantothenic Acid
Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, June 19). Biotin. Retrieved from University of Marland Medical Center: https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/biotin
Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, June 19). Folic Acid. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: https://umm.edu/heakth/medical/altmed/supplement/folic-acid
Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, June 19). Pantothenic Acid. Retrieved from University of Maryland: Https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/pantothenenic-acid
Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, June 19). Riboflavin. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/riboflavin
Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, June 19). Thiamine. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: Http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b1-thiamine
Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, June 19). Vitamin B6. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: Htps://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b6
Insel, P., Ross, D., McMahon, K., & Bernsten, M. (2014). Nutrition. Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Pizzorno, J. E., & Murray, M. T. (2012). Textbook of natural medicine. Paradise Valley: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.