Apr 5, 2021
The Three B Vitamins Most Americans Are Missing: B6, B9 and B12
B vitamins are essential nutrients, meaning your body can’t produce them on its own. Why is getting enough B vitamins important, and which ones do you need the most?
Why You Need B6, B9 and B12
- Muscle weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Tingling sensation
- Mood changes
- Memory problems
- Cracked or swollen lips
Feeling tired after a long day is probably normal. On the other hand, if it happens all the time, then you may have a deficiency.
How Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 Help Your Body
Vitamin B6 supports the immune system, brain cells and nerves. It helps to balance levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, giving you a brighter outlook and happier mood. It's vital for brain health and memory. If you're feeling depressed a lot, low B6 this may be the reason why.
Folate/Folic Acid (B9)
Vitamin B9 helps your body create healthy red blood cells. This is good for your energy levels and circulatory health. Are you constantly out of breath? It's time to make sure you're getting enough folic acid! Adults need plenty of vitamin B9 to protect the heart and balance blood sugar levels.
Vitamin B12 is an all-around superstar for tons of different body systems. It’s involved in creating new cells and healthy DNA. Having the right level of B12 can help prevent age-related eye problems, osteoporosis, anemia, depression, memory problems and heart disease. It’s even good for your skin, fingernails and hair!
Why Are There So Many B Vitamins?
Some people find the long list of B vitamins confusing. Why so many different Bs? There’s only one type of vitamin A, C, D and E, right?
Actually, other vitamins have lots of variations, too. For example, vitamin E has eight different chemical forms. There are several types of vitamin C and vitamin D (D2, D3, etc.). So it’s not really surprising that there are different types of vitamin B compounds.
The reason vitamins B1, B6, B9, B12 and other B vitamins belong to the same family is that they all play a similar role in the body: supporting your metabolism. They help with energy levels and digestive enzymes. Each B vitamin contributes in specific ways, so your body needs balanced levels of all of them.
How To Get More B Vitamins Naturally
The best way to boost your B vitamins is by eating healthy foods:
- You can find B6 in tuna, poultry, peanuts, oats and bananas
- Get B9 from leafy green veggies, broccoli, kidney beans and peas
- Vitamin B12 is mainly found in eggs, milk, cheese and meat
What about taking a B complex? You can if your doctor recommends it, but what will probably happen is you’re going to get too much of B vitamins you already have (B1, B2, etc.) and not enough of the ones you’re missing. It’s usually better to look for a supplement that focuses on the specific problem you want help with, such as better mental focus and memory, sleep quality, or metabolism and fat burning. These supplements combine the right B vitamins with other natural plants and herbs for more powerful effects.