Forgetfulness, brain fog and frequent tiredness could all be signs of a deficiency in B-vitamins
How often have you walked into a room and forgotten what you went in there for? ‘Brain fog’ may not be a medical condition, but it is often used to describe when we are suffering from reduced cognitive function, a lack of concentration, or memory loss.
Forgetfulness, ‘brain fog’ and frequent tiredness could all be signs of a deficiency in B-vitamins. In fact, they are essential for brain health and a deficiency can result in a predisposition to several negative health issues. Supplementation of the entire B-vitamin group is recommended to protect brain health, yet many people are deficient.
Here, Keeley Berry, nutritional expert and product developer at natural health brand BetterYou, explains why B-vitamins are key in supporting brain function, and the impact a deficiency can have on our psychological health.
With many of us experiencing disruption to our day-to-day routines and trying to adapt to the ‘new normal’, we can be forgiven for not having our ‘head screwed on’. But forgetfulness, confusion and lethargy may in fact be down to low B-vitamin levels within the body.
B-vitamins are dietary micronutrients that work closely at a cellular level. They are absolutely essential for every aspect of brain function, yet so many of us know so little about them and more worryingly, are unaware if we are deficient.
Thiamin (B1), niacin (B3) and biotin (B7), as well as folate (B9), vitamins B6 and B12 all contribute towards normal psychological function, whilst pantothenic acid (B5) supports normal mental performance. Evidence suggests that adequate B-vitamin levels are essential for optimal neurological functioning. Their collective effects are particularly prevalent to energy production and the synthesis of DNA and numerous neurochemicals.
Keeping our nervous and immune systems healthy, B-vitamins support brain activity and a deficiency can impact psychological health. Depression, memory loss, understanding and judgement can all be affected by these brain-boosting vitamins.
From a dietary perspective, a rainbow of vegetables, a source of protein and healthy fats are a great way to approach building out our diets. Salmon, liver, and beef, in addition to leafy greens, eggs and milk are all good sources of essential B-vitamins.It can however be difficult to obtain optimal amounts through diet alone and food sources which contain meaningful amounts are primarily meat, fish and dairy products – which can leave those following specialist diets, such as vegans and vegetarians, exposed to deficiency.
What’s more, some B-vitamins are notoriously difficult to absorb through the gut. As vitamin B12 is quite a large molecule, the body’s process of absorbing it is lengthy and is dependent on the availability of a glycoprotein, called intrinsic factor (IF). B-vitamins are also water-soluble, which means that the body does not store them, and our diet must supply them each day.
Whilst adequate levels of all B-vitamins should be obtainable from a healthy diet, a review into the relationship between B-vitamins and the brain, suggests that large populations of developed countries are suffering deficiencies in one or more of this group of vitamins.
Concluding that a B-vitamin deficiency will provide a predisposition to a number of negative health consequences (including poor brain function), the review recommends that in the absence of an optimal diet, supplementation of the entire B-vitamin group, rather than a small sub-set, would be a rational approach for preserving brain health.
It is important to provide our body with the tools it needs to ensure optimal psychological function, so for those that have difficulty swallowing, suffer from digestive disorders or dislike taking tablets or capsules, a vitamin oral spray supplement is proven to be just as effective.
Pill-free supplementation, such as a vitamin oral spray, offers an effective and convenient alternative to traditional methods. Providing optimal absorption, this convenient supplementation solution delivers nutrients directly to the bloodstream, via the soft tissue within the mouth – avoiding primary processing of the digestive system.