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Angel Fernandez

The Importance of Vitamin B

Table of Contents

Biologically, human beings are prepared to adapt to any alteration of the external environment in order to survive: if we detect a danger or a threat to our survival, a physiological response is triggered in our body that is as powerful as it is instantaneous that stimulates the defense mechanisms that mobilize our energy and make it easier for us to escape. attacking, defending, or protecting our own. Therefore, we can say that these fluctuations in external factors generate physiological responses that are appropriate and positive for the human being: it is what we could call biological stress, and it is completely oriented to survival.

However, when a situation of pressure, demand or threat is prolonged over time and becomes a permanent and chronic factor in a person’s life, it triggers what we understand in our society and in a generic way as stress: a mood disorder that causes a negative psychological experience. where a multitude of processes are actively involved in our body.

Stress is a very important risk factor for the development of diseases and emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety and many others: unfortunately, these problems are very common in modern society and constitute a great burden on all national health systems. Thus, any improvement in terms of the factors that predispose to the development of stress will constitute the best prevention of possible future diseases and disorders, with the increase that this entails in people’s quality of life.

Despite being such a common problem in our world, it is not so easy to detect high levels of stress, especially on the part of the person who suffers from it. This is due to the wide range of symptoms and signs with which stress presents itself in each person: neck or back pain that can lead to contractures, stomach discomfort or digestive problems, hair loss, increased frequency of colds or infections, insomnia and problems falling asleep, tiredness, skin problems such as dermatitis or hives, headaches and even weight changes.

One of these factors that directly affects good psychological and cognitive functioning, and therefore a lower predisposition to the development of stress, is diet. Like a wide variety of hormones and neurotransmitters, nutrients directly affect the physical and mental state of human beings, so an adequate supply of them reduces the risk of this type of emotional disorders and, consequently, is associated with an improvement in the quality of life of both healthy and affected people.

Particularly important for this purpose are vitamins: the nutrients responsible for the proper functioning and regulation of physiological processes. The body is unable to manufacture most of them, so we must ingest them with our diet. Specifically, and with regard to cognitive and mental activity, the vitamins directly involved in the regulation and proper functioning of biological processes are those belonging to group B: it is scientifically proven that this group is directly involved in the proper functioning of the nervous and brain levels.

Supplementation with B vitamins has traditionally been used to improve energy levels, reduce fatigue and, ultimately, feel better to face our demanding day-to-day lives. However, in recent years its use has also been extended towards improving the mental health of patients in general. In fact, there are studies that show that supplementation with high doses of vitamins such as B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12, under certain circumstances, results in a benefit in mood and brain health. As if that were not enough, the absence of these vitamins in the diet has been linked to an increased risk and incidence of depression, a disease that hits our society with virulence.

The presence of vitamins B6, folic acid and B12 in foods such as lean meats, fish, green leafy vegetables, legumes and nuts make the Mediterranean diet an ideal option for maintaining good mental health and preventing diseases of all kinds. Therefore, supplementation with these vitamins can contribute both to the prevention and care of the mental health of healthy people, as well as to the treatment together with specific drugs of people in situations of stress, depression or anxiety.

The impact of these vitamins on mental health and mood and the numerous research studies on this action are explained by the characterization of B vitamins as cofactors (substances that favor the development of certain processes) of the manufacture and regulation of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in our body: two substances directly involved in the regulation of mood and mood, as well as depression and anxiety. In fact, serotonin and dopamine are common targets of drugs used in treatments for depression and other similar mental disorders.

Thus, at the brain and mood level, the role of supplementation with vitamins B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12 resides, among other functions, in the care of the state of brain health and the mental health of the human being, thus preventing the development of both mental disorders and diseases of any other type that appear. in many cases, as a result of poor mental health. In addition, in patients affected by stress, anxiety or depression, supplementation with B vitamins is a good aid for antidepressant treatments.

By Angel Fernandez

Doctor of Pharmacy. Optician, medical translator and science and sports writer. I am very lucky to be able to work with what I am really passionate about thanks to my multidisciplinary training and experience. I believe in communication as the main tool of knowledge.


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