Fall is a super busy time when many people start to complain of fatigue. Sometimes it’s simply being over scheduled, but often, there is a nutritional component as well. Read on about how the B vitamins contribute to our energy production:
The A1 Energy Team is really the B’s!
When it comes to energy production, the B vitamins are major players. They are present for every step of converting food into energy. We use the TRIAD test to evaluate the need for each individual B vitamin, making it a very useful tool for optimizing energy production.
Let’s start with B6, my favorite of all the B Complex vitamins. B6 is critical for most people dealing with fatigue. This is because it is essential for converting several amino acids that directly produce energy, into their active form.
For example, in order to convert phenylalanine and tyrosine into the adrenal hormones epinephrine, nor-epinephrine and dopamine, adequate amounts of B6 must be present. When people are fatigued because of inadequate conversion of phenylalanine and tyrosine into adrenal hormones, the amount of B6 in a conventional multivitamin and sometimes even in an additional B Complex, is rarely enough.
Another variable that prevents people from getting enough B6 activity is the form that is supplied in most supplements. A large percentage of the population has genetic polymorphisms, or changes, that prevent them from converting B6 into its bioavailable, or active form. People whose ancestors are from the northern European tier, such as the British Isles, Germany, Russia, Scandinavia and the like, are particularly liable to have this genetic alteration and are therefore unable to make this important conversion. The correct form of B6 for this group is called P5P (Pyridoxyl-5-Phosphate). Using this form makes all the difference in its effectiveness.
Besides its vital role in producing energy from phenyalanine and tyrosine, B6 also acts as a co-factor to release serotonin from tryptophan. Low serotonin can cause depression, which in turn many people can experience as fatigue.
Serotonin is the brain chemical that makes us feel happy and content. We have often found that providing clients the building blocks and co-factors so they can make their own serotonin has enabled them to stop using anti-depressants. Not only are they spared the often unpleasant side effects of using SSRI medications, but they have the satisfaction of knowing that they are replacing something that their body lacks, thereby creating a permanent resolution to their depression and anxiety.
This remarkable vitamin, B6, is also a diuretic and affects blood sugar regulation. It can often “cure” carpal tunnel by improving the tight junction through which the carpal nerve passes, by reducing water retention and swelling. Low levels of B6 can cause balance problems, fatigue, depression, and ADD/ADHD.
The addition of B6 to an autistic child’s regimen can greatly improve their function. In fact, I have had some of my most remarkable turnarounds with