B is for Brain Health

Neurological research has revealed that your brain’s ability to perform tasks which we all take for granted is dependent on getting the right nutrition. Symptoms of neurological dysfunction such as impaired memory or muscle co-ordination, could well be due to a vitamin D deficiency.  Whether it be Thiamine (Vit B1), Riboflavin(Vit B2), nicotinic acid B3, Pantothenic acid (B5) or Pyridoxine (Vit B6), biotin, folic acid and Vit B12. It is always easier to prevent disorders which can result from such deficiencies than reverse them, for example ‘Korsakoff syndrome’ characterised by permanent mental impairment and loss of memory.

Vitamin B6 works synergistically with other B vitamins to create neurotransmitters.

Without sufficient Vitamin B, the brain cell cannot utilize glucose so it begins to starve, undermining first and foremost the parts which control memory, muscle co-ordination  and spatial awareness. Thiamine deficiency has been linked to dementia, whilst Pyridoxine deficiency has been linked to depression. Thiamine deficiency accounts for behavioural changes which tend to be medicalised under labels of  depression , insomnia , chest pain  and chronic fatigue. Vitamin B is water soluble, and so it can be urinated away. We all need a daily minimum intake to maintain the levels needed for optimum functioning.

If you have a nervous disposition, you may benefit from vitamin B12. Because it helps to maintain the myelin sheath which insulates the nerves. For long term benefits, B vitamins are best taken together as a complex because too much of one will create an imbalance in the others.

One of the best foods I’ve noticed for giving an immediate boost of well-being is the banana. No wonder, it contains six of the B vitamins. The signs of insufficiency (as opposed to deficiency)are lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, depression, anxiety, irritability, and ‘prickly legs’(neuropathy caused by damage to the peripheral nerves outside the brain and spinal cord).

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