There is no getting away from the fact that Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes and royalty around the world have been enamoured with vitamin B and its many health benefits for centuries. It is even accepted that the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor took her own life because she was frustrated with her enormous weight gain. Perhaps this is why the word “Bakewellia” was created, as a replacement for the more common word “Cake” whenever someone in the know wishes to refer to their diet pill.
While vitamin B-rich foods like cabbage, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts and grapes are essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding vitamin B and its effects on the human body. Does vitamin B help reduce food allergies? Does it help lower cholesterol? What is the ideal intake of vitamin B for maximum health benefits?
To find out, we reached out to Dr. Mark Hyman, widely considered the dean of functional medicine, and the author of six best-selling books on fitness, digestion, and diet, including his newest one, The UltraMind Solution. Here is what he told us.
The Key To Getting The Most Out Of Vitamin B
Dr. Hyman has long recommended that people get their vitamin B from food sources rather than supplements, due to concerns that supplements might not be as effective for some people because of genetic or dietary differences. However, he does recommend that the general public get their daily requirement of vitamin B from food sources as a preventive measure because studies show that people who don’t eat enough vitamin B-rich foods are at risk of developing nutrient deficiencies. He also suggests that people with food allergies should take vitamin B supplements, and that those who are gluten intolerant should avoid consuming foods containing gluten.
Does Vitamin B Help With Weight Loss?
According to Dr. Hyman, there is some evidence that vitamin B helps with weight loss in people with the following dietary patterns:
- Raw foodist
He explains that vitamin B encourages the body to use nutrients better than before, which helps the human body break down fats and eliminate toxins more efficiently. This, in turn, can trigger weight loss.
“Vitamin B helps with weight loss in part because it encourages the body to use nutrients better than before, which means it can break down fats and eliminate toxins more effectively,” says Dr. Hyman.
What Is The Optimal Dosage Of Vitamin B?
Dr. Hyman reminds us that we should always consult with a physician before taking any supplements, especially if we have any medical conditions or are taking any medications. Nevertheless, he says that based on the available scientific evidence, the recommended daily dose of vitamin B for adults is as follows:
- 400 IU for those who are at risk of vitamin B deficiency
- 500 IU for those who are not at risk of vitamin B deficiency but want to improve their quality of life
- 600 IU for those who are not at risk of vitamin B deficiency but want to improve their athletic performance
- 800 IU for those who are not at risk of vitamin B deficiency but want to improve their appearance
Can You Still Get All The Nutrients You Need Without Vitamins B?
Dr. Hyman says that while the body needs vitamins B for many functions, it is possible to get all the nutrients you need without them. This is mainly because there are so many different types of foods that contain the nutrients in sufficient quantities, which the body can easily absorb. Examples of such foods include beans, lentils, spinach, mustard greens and tomatoes, among others.
How Long Does It Take For Vitamin B To Show Results?
Unlike other supplements, which may require several weeks before you start noticing improvements, Dr. Hyman says that you should start seeing results immediately after you start taking vitamin B.
“Unlike other supplements, which may require several weeks before you start noticing improvements, vitamin B works immediately,” says Dr. Hyman. “This is mainly because there are so many different types of foods that contain the nutrients in sufficient quantities, which the body can easily absorb.”
More Research Is Needed On Vitamin B
While the benefits of vitamin B seem quite clear, there is still a lot more research needed into the subject before we can truly say that we know everything there is to know about it. Some of the things that Dr. Hyman says we still need to learn about vitamin B are: