What is the best vitamin for stress? Find out how to reduce stress with the help of this vitamin!
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Why Vitamin B12 Is the Best Vitamin for Stress
The Best Vitamin to Lower Stress Levels
If you constantly feel anxiety and stress, you may have a Vitamin B deficiency. Good thing is, you can boost your energy and mood with supplementation of this B -vitamin.
First, what is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin your body crucially needs but can’t produce. It plays an essential role in a person’s health and helps to keep the brain, nerves, and blood cells in working order.
Plus, the vitamin also makes you feel happier, more energized, and less stressed.
Humans get their B12 from what they eat, whether you’re a vegan or an omnivore, it’s vital to keep track of your B12 intake. If you don’t get enough B12, it can lead to feelings of tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, inflammation, and pale skin.
Regularly taking B12 keeps the body working properly, countering the effects of stress hormones and free radicals.
Stress also increases blood pressure, causing the narrowing of the blood vessels and the heart to beat faster. If you can’t deal with stress the right way, it can increase the risk of hypertension and heart attacks.
Here are four health benefits of vitamin B12:
- Improve mood
- Boost energy and metabolism
- Support healthy skin, hair, and nails
- Reduce stress and inflammation
What Is B12 and What Does It Do?
B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, like all other B vitamins, naturally found in some foods and is also available in supplement form. This means it dissolves in water and is transported through the bloodstream.
It’s important to be aware that there are both natural and synthetic sources of B12.
Cobalamin B12 is a natural source of the vitamin and is only created by microorganisms like the bacteria that grows in soil and some seaweeds. To create synthetic forms of B12, cobalt and cyanide are fermented to produce cyanocobalamin.
Even though cyanide is used in minuscule amounts, it’s still cyanide which is why it’s vital to be aware of the source of B12.
Though the body doesn’t produce Vitamin B12, it still plays a vital role in keeping the body healthy.
The human body needs B12 to carry out a number of essential functions that keep your body in good working order. Vitamin B12 is responsible for a number of jobs in the body including:
- Forming red blood cells
- Playing a role in DNA synthesis
- Helping convert amino acids and making creatine
- Producing myelin sheath, the coating on the nerves
- Helping with the synthesis of hemoglobin
What Are the Health Benefits of B12?
If you’re experiencing work-related stress, chronic stress, anxiety, adrenal fatigue, or some kind of inflammation, taking Vitamin B12 can help.
Eating food rich in B- vitamins or taking supplements helps you experience the health benefits of Vitamin B12.
Here are some of these benefits:
1. Improve Mood
Vitamin B12 may help to improve your mood.
One study found that participants with depression and low levels of B12 were more likely to show improved depressive systems when taking an antidepressant and B12 supplement than those just taking an antidepressant.
Another study found that vitamin B12 deficiency was associated with twice the risk of developing severe depression. The precise mood enhancing mechanism that B12 has isn’t entirely clear; however, it’s thought to do with its role in serotonin production.
The vitamin plays a role in synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood.
Increased serotonin helps put you in a “good mood,” balancing the production of the cortisol hormone. Too much cortisol may result in Cushing’s Syndrome, which can lead to various health problems like diabetes, muscle weakness, and sudden weight gain.
What is Cushing’s Syndrome? This illness develops when the body creates too much cortisol and is often linked to obesity and hypertension.
2. Boost Energy and Metabolism
All B vitamins play an essential role in your health and energy metabolism.
One of the most common first symptoms of a B12 deficiency is a lack of energy and feeling fatigued. By taking a B12 supplement or increasing your intake of the vitamin, you will likely see improvements in your energy levels.
A deficiency in one of the B vitamins, including B12, can affect how other B vitamins work as well as disrupt your metabolism. B12 is essential for the metabolism of fats and proteins but it needs B6 and folate to work properly.
3. Support Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails
As B12 plays such an integral role in cell production, the right levels of the vitamin are needed to support healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Studies have shown that supplementing B12 improves dermatologic symptoms in individuals with a B12 deficiency.
Low levels of B12 have been found to cause symptoms such as hair changes, nail discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and a loss of skin color in certain patches.
If you do have enough B12 in the body, taking more won’t make significant changes to your skin, hair, and nails.
4. Reduce Stress and Inflammation
There is a clear relationship between stress and B12. High levels of stress can deplete your levels of B vitamins within the body. Not enough B12 limits the synthesis of the hormone serotonin.
Deficiencies in B12 can intensify feelings of stress and anxiety. Taking the right amount of B12 can help to lower stress by helping the nervous system to function properly.
Researchers believe both vitamins B6 and B12 help to reduce inflammation by lowering levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is a protein linked to a greater risk of developing heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Because the body can’t store excess amounts, many people experience a deficiency in Vitamin B12. This causes significant problems in the body, especially in regulating mood and synthesis of red blood cells.
According to a study, 6% of people aged 60 and above in the U.K. and the U.S. do not get enough B12 from their usual diet.
Aside from older adults, other people who may lack B12 include:
- People suffering from Crohn's disease and other gastrointestinal problems
- Diabetic people on metformin
- People with chronic heartburn taking proton pump inhibitors
- People who had gastrointestinal surgeries like bowel resection surgery
There is also a study that said having a Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in increased oxidative stress and impairment of memory. Oxidative stress is when the free radicals and antioxidants in the body are not balanced.
Since most natural sources of Vitamin B12 come from animal products, vegans who do not take supplements may become deficient as well.
Whole grains, plant-based milk, and other fruits and vegetables have been fortified with Vitamin B12, eating those alone may not be enough for the body’s needs. That’s why taking additional supplements should be incorporated into the diet of vegans.
Whole food vitamins take large quantities of fruit and vegetables and condense them, allowing you to get more vitamins and minerals without having to eat a large amount of food. This is great for people on diets or those who find it hard to eat fruits and vegetables regularly.
Sunwarrior’s Vitamin Mineral Rush contains 200% of your RDA of vitamin B12 methylcobalamin, a natural source of B12 that supports healthy energy levels and overall well-being.
Sunwarrior’s liquid vitamin mineral complex is packed with a number of whole food ingredients and contains essential vitamins and minerals like folate, magnesium, biotin, pantothenic acid, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium, and potassium.
Supplementing with B12 is especially important for vegans as a lot of food sources that contain B12 contain animal products.
Watch Chef Jason Wrobel share the top 10 foods for a good mood in this video from Sunwarrior:
The majority of your daily vitamin intake should come from natural food sources as much as possible, however, taking a B12 supplement can give your body the boost it needs to thrive and help you meet your daily intake.
Do you get enough of the best vitamin for stress? Share your experience with Vitamin B12 in the comments section below!