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B Vitamins and Autoimmune Disease

B Vitamins

There are eight numbered B Vitamins that are all important for cellular metabolism but with more recent findings we know the importance of some B Vitamins and Autoimmune Disease.

People who suffer from Autoimmune Diseases and/or have genetic mutations that affect the way Vitamin B is used in the body may benefit from supplementing the natural forms of B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (Folate) and B12 (Cobalamin). These three vitamins are critical for for supporting the methyl cycle and DNA and RNA synthesis. B Vitamins are all water soluble and easily lost or destroyed by water, heat processing, roasting and canning. Elevated homocysteine is a proven factor for cardio vascular disease and taking B6, B9 and B12 can lower Homocysteine levels.

Vitamin B6 as the co-enzyme form Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, P5’P  is used in the metabolism of proteins and fats and is necessary for creating glucose from these foods and is also essential for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and red blood cells. It is necessary for the production of Hydrochloric acid and the absorption of Magnesium and B12. Helps the body metabolise and transport selenium and zinc, is a natural diuretic and alleviates nausea. It is involved in converting 5-HTP into Serotonin and also the calming neurotransmitter GABA.

Signs of Deficiency are

  • Anaemia not corrected by iron
  • poor sleep
  • kidney stones
  • morning sickness
  • PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Skin rashes and dry skin
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Insulin Resistance
  • muscle spasms and cramps
  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
  •  Asperger’s and Autism
  • Heart Disease

Causes of deficiency are

  • Oral Contraceptives
  • some anti-hypertensive medications (like Hydrazine)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • smoking
  • The colourant Tartrazine (yellow No.5)
  • Chronic infections
  • Stress
  • poor diet

Food sources of B6 are Bananas, Avocados, spinach, walnuts, poultry, fish , liver, cantaloupe melon, cabbage, milk, eggs, garlic, coconut milk and oil, grass fed beef, and seeds. The dose of P-5’P is 25mg – 50mg a day with food. If pregnant consult your Healthcare practitioner.

Vitamin B9 (Folate) is a vitamin that we know is essential to the healthy development of the foetus and therefore it is recommended to take a supplement pre-conceptually and during pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects, particularly spinal bifida. It is essential for division of body cells and red blood cell formation. It is converted into the coenzyme tetrahydrafolate (THF)with the co-factor P-5′-P which is needed for DNA and RNA synthesis.

The metabolically active form of Folate is L-methylfolate (5-MTHF) and this may be required due to problems metabolising Folic acid from birth with a gene variation that affects MTHFR activity or deficiency of the enzymes required due to ageing.

Signs of deficiency are

  • Nervous problems
  • impaired memory
  • confusion
  • insomnia
  • reduced immunity
  • recurrent miscarriage
  • breathlessness
  • fatigue
  • Heart problems
  • Digestive problems

Causes of deficiency are

  • the same as above
  • plus anyone taking Methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug also used for Rheumatoid Arthritis and some other Autoimmune conditions.

Food sources are Leafy green vegetables, carrots, Avocados, Asparagus, liver, egg yolk, apricots, melons, oranges, whole wheat and beans. Daily dose 400 to 800 mcg of 5-MTHF

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin or cyanocobalamin) and the more bio-available Methylcobalamin and Adenosylcobalamin 

A very important vitamin that occurs in animal products but may not be absorb very well, may be lost due to digestive disorders or may be missing or inadequate in vegetarian or vegan diets. It forms and regenerates red blood cells, is essential for a healthy nervous system, improves concentration, memory and balance and helps detoxify the body.

Signs of deficiency are

  • Anaemia
  • fatigue
  • heart disease
  • nervous system disorders and chronic pain
  • a sore tongue
  • irritability
  • Confusion and dementia

Good food sources are

  • Liver
  • Red Meat
  • kidneys
  • cheese
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • eggs

Supplementation can be between 10 and 100 mcg and in severe cases of deficiency  can be given by injection.

If you have Autoimmune disease, MTHFR gene mutation or high homocysteine I would highly recommend taking these three of these B Vitamins in their bio-available form to aid their absorption and help the methylation process.

 

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