Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to Select a B Complex Supplement

I mentioned last week that B Complex aids our bodies in dealing with stress. And what woman doesn't have stress! I'd like to take that post a step further, without being an information firehose :)
B Complex is also a critical component in nerve function and communication, hormonal balance, metabolism, learning and memory, the production of red blood cells and antibodies, and in regulating sleep mechanisms. This is a very brief list; I'm just scratching the surface here. This particular group of vitamins is pretty important for our functionality!

And, just by way of note, the absorption of B Vitamins is inhibited by antibiotics, caffeine and birth control pills.

So, let's say you decide your body might benefit from a B Complex supplement. How would you go about choosing one out of the many? Previously, I thought the more expensive a supplement is, the better it must be. I was wrong. In nature, B vitamins are always found in balance with one another. This doesn't mean exactly equal amounts of each of the individual B vitamins are present. Rather, the array of B vitamins is found in very similar proportions all throughout nature. The RDA is based on these amounts.

Here's where I'm going with this thought... let's say you read the label and see that there is 6,333% RDA of your Niacin and Riboflavin. Then, as you scan down, you see about 50% RDA of Folic Acid and about 10% RDA of Biotin. This is not a balanced supplement. Why is that bad? Well, your body can mimic B Vitamin deficiency as it struggles to absorb all the overload. You want a supplement that contains about 100% of each of the 8 vitamins in the B Complex.

You also want to read the label to check the amount of Biotin. Biotin is the most expensive of the B vitamins, yet it is very pivotal in the utilization of the rest. If you don't have enough Biotin, you can't really use the other Bs, no matter how many you give yourself. Unfortunately, many brands skimp on the Biotin so they can produce a more cost-effective supplement. Don't purchase a B Complex unless it contains 100% RDA of Biotin.

Why do I mention all of this? Well, as I've talked with women from all walks of life, I'm coming to the conclusion that the vast majority are experiencing several symptoms attributable to lack of adequate B Complex. Maybe our need for it has increased as our multi-tasking and stress levels have increased. Maybe the diminishing quality of our diet has left us deficient. Maybe prescription drugs have hindered our B Complex absorption. Maybe there is another reason that I haven't yet considered. I am not a medical professional and I don't go around diagnosing my friends... but, if another mom benefits even half as much as I did from the addition of the right B Complex Supplement, then this post was worth my time and yours.

This is the B Complex I take. Some days I can tell I need it more than others :) It meets all the criteria I've mentioned in this post, plus my standards for purity. And it's from a company that I approve of, as I mentioned here.

1 comment:

Mama Krit said...

I'll be honest I only understood about half of that! Ha! But I am going to take your word and try the supplements you recommended. Thanks!!!