Wellness Database: Vitamin B
Vitamin B, or folate, improves cognitive functioning and reduces cardiovascular disease risks. It may reduce the risk of breast cancer and dementia.
Vitamin B May Alleviate Symptoms Associated with Chronic Work Stress
Summary: High doses of vitamin B complex may reduce mood and psychological strain associated with chronic work stress. Participants (n=60) completed the 3-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in which personality, work demands, mood, anxiety and strain were assessed. Vitamin B complex treatment groups reported lower personal strain and reduction in confusion and depressed/dejected mood after 12 weeks. Treatment did not effect mood or anxiety. Findings that vitamin B may be a cost-effective treatment for the mood and psychological strain effects of occupational stress.
Vitamin B May Improve Mood and Reduce Workplace Stress
Summary: In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 60 subjects, daily supplementation with a high-dose vitamin B-complex for a period of 3 months was found to be associated with significantly decreased levels of 'personal strain,' confusion, and depressed/dejected mood. The authors state, "The results of the study are consistent with two previous studies examining multivitamin supplementation and personal (non-work) feelings of strain and suggestive of significant decreases in the experience of workplace stress after 90 day supplementation of a B multivitamin."
Reference: "The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress," Stough C, Scholey A, et al, Hum Psychopharmacol, 2011 Sept 8; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia).
Iron and Folic Acid Supplements Reduce Child Mortality in Developing Nations
Summary: In a study involving data collected from 52,917 singleton live-born infants and from the deaths of 1,525 children under the age of 5 years, risk of death of children under the age of 5 was significantly reduced by 34% if the mother consumed iron-folic acid supplements (adjusted HR=0.66), with the greatest effect found for deaths on the first day of life (adjusted HR=0.40. Reduction in neonatal deaths during days 1-30 was also found (adjusted HR=0.69), as was a reduction in postneonatal deaths (adjusted HR=0.74). A strong dose-response relationship was found with increasing numbers of iron-folic acid supplements consumed linked to an even greater protection from death in children < 5 years of age. The authors state,"In developing countries increased use of antenatal iron-folic acid supplements will reduce deaths of children <5 y of age, especially in the first year of life."
Reference: "Iron and folic acid supplements in pregnancy improve child survival in Indonesia," Dibley MJ, Titaley CR, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Jan; 95(1): 220-30. (Address: Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia).
Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 Prevent Cognitive Decline
Summary: In a randomized, controlled, 2 year trial involving 900 adults aged 60-74 years of age with elevated psychological distress, daily supplementation with 400 microg folic acid and 100 microg vitamin B12 was found to be associated with improvements in cognitive status after 2 years, as compared to placebo. Improvements in the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-Modified total score and TICS-M delayed recall score. The authors conclude, "Long-term supplementation of daily oral 400 ?g FA + 100 ?g vitamin B-12 promotes improvement in cognitive functioning after 24 mo, particularly in immediate and delayed memory performance."
Reference: "Oral folic acid and vitamin B-12 supplementation to prevent cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults with depressive symptoms--the Beyond Ageing Project: a randomized controlled trial," Walker JG, Batterham PJ, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Jan; 95(1): 194-203. (Address: Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia).
Vitamin B5 May Lower Cholesterol
Summary: Researchers investigated the effect of vitamin B(5) (pantethine) on total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in low to moderate cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk North American subjects. A total of 120 subjects initiated a therapeutic lifestyle change (TLC) diet 4 weeks before randomization (baseline) and maintained the diet throughout a 16-week study period. At baseline, subjects were randomized in a triple-blinded manner to either pantethine (600 mg/d, baseline to week 8, and 900 mg/d, weeks 9-16) or placebo (n = 60 per group). While sustaining a TLC diet and in comparison with placebo, pantethine demonstrated significant (P < .005) and sustained reductions (from baseline to week 16) in TC (6 mg/dL, 0.16 mmol/L, 3%), LDL-C (4 mg/dL, 0.10 mmol/L, 4%), and apolipoprotein B (4 mg/dL, 0.04 g/L, 5%). The researchers say their data suggests that pantethine supplementation for 16 weeks (600 mg/d for weeks 1-8 then 900 mg/d for weeks 9-16) is safe and significantly lowers TC and LDL-C over and above the effect of TLC diet alone. Although the absolute magnitude of these effects was small, the results are noteworthy as prior studies have shown that, for each 1 mg/dL (0.026 mmol/L) reduction in LDL-C, there is a concomitant 1% reduction in overall future CVD risk.
Folate Associated with Decreased Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Summary: In a study involving an examination of data collected from 525,488 individuals between the ages of 50 and 71 years, who were followed up with for a mean 9.1 year, including 8.5 years post folic acid fortification, during which time 7,212 incident cases of colorectal cancer were identified, a higher total folate intake was found to be associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer (HR for 900 microg/d or greater compared to less than 200 microg/d: 0.70) in the post-fortification analysis. Protective effects were also found to be associated with the highest intakes from supplements (HR=0.82) or diet (HR=0.81), in both the pre- and post-fortification periods. The authors state, "Given that the adenoma-carcinoma sequence may take >= 10 y, additional follow-up time is needed to fully examine the effect of folic acid fortification."
Reference: "Pre- and postfortification intake of folate and risk of colorectal cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States," Gibson TM, Weinstein SJ, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2011 Aug 3; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA).
Supplementation for a Metabolic Tune Up
An optimum intake of micronutrients and metabolites, which varies with age and genetic constitution, would tune up metabolism and give a marked increase in health, particularly for the poor, young, obese, and elderly, at little cost. (1) DNA damage. Deficiency of vitamins B-12, folic acid, B-6, C or E, or iron or zinc appears to mimic radiation in damaging DNA by causing single- and double-strand breaks, oxidative lesions or both. Half of the population may be deficient in at least one of these micronutrients. (2) The Km concept. Approximately 50 different human genetic diseases that are due to a poorer binding affinity (Km) of the mutant enzyme for its coenzyme can be remedied by feeding high-dose B vitamins, which raise levels of the corresponding coenzyme. Many polymorphisms also result in a lowered affinity of enzyme for coenzyme. (3) Mitochondrial oxidative decay. This decay, which is a major contributor to aging, can be ameliorated by feeding old rats the normal mitochondrial metabolites acetyl carnitine and lipoic acid at high levels. Many common micronutrient deficiencies, such as iron or biotin, cause mitochondrial decay with oxidant leakage leading to accelerated aging and neural decay.
Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Mar 1;423(1):227-34.
Folate May Prevent Birth Defects
With a case-control study, we investigated whether periconceptional intake of supplemental or dietary folate reduced the risk of having a neural tube defect (NTD)-affected pregnancy. Mothers of 549 (88% of eligible) cases and 540 (88%) controls were interviewed in person about vitamin supplements used in either the 3 months before or the 3 months after conception and also about usual diet in the 3 months before conception. Women with any use of a folic acid-containing vitamin in the 3 months before conception had a lower risk of having an NTD-affected pregnancy [odds ratio (OR) = 0.65; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.45-0.94]. ORs were similar for 3 levels (< 0.4, 0.4-0.9, and > 0.9 mg per day) of average daily intake of folic acid. Any level of use in the first 3 months after conception resulted in a lowered risk as well (OR = 0.60; 95% CI = 0.46-0.79). Reduced risks were less marked for Hispanics and were not observed among women who graduated from college. Modest reduced risks were noted among non-vitamin users whose estimated daily dietary intake of folate was more than 0.227 mg. We observed decreasing risk with increasing folate intake from combined dietary sources and vitamin supplements. A reduction in NTD risk associated with folate intake is consistent with other studies; however, the reduced risk may be particular to subsets of the population, primarily non-Hispanic women and women whose education does not exceed high school.
Periconceptional vitamin use, dietary folate, and the occurrence of neural tube defects. Epidemiology. 1995 May;6(3):219-26.
Vitamin B6 May Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer
In a study involving 391 subjects with breast cancer and 782 controls, vitamin B6 intake was found to be associated with a reduction in risk of breast cancer. Specifically, women in the second and highest tertiles of vitamin B6 intake were found to have reduced multivariate-adjusted ORs for breast cancer (0.78 and 0.64, respectively). Moreover, higher intake of vitamin B6 was found to be associated with a significantly lower risk of developing ER-negative breast tumors. The authors conclude, "Our findings suggest that higher intake of vitamin B(6) is associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk, particularly ER-negative tumors."
Vitamin B and Omega 3s Improve Cognitive Function
Summary: In a study involving 1,748 men and women between the ages of 45 and 80 years, with a history of myocardial infarction, unstable angina, or ischemic stroke, patients with prior stroke who received B vitamins (3 mg vitamin B6, 0.02 mg vitamin B12, 0.56 mg folate) plus omega-3 fatty acids (600 mg EPA+DHA) were significantly less likely to have a decreased score on the temporal orientation task, as compared to those receiving a placebo (OR=0.43). While no other significant effects on cognitive function in the group as a whole were found, some disease history-specif and age-specific beneficial effects were found. The authors state, "...dietary effects on cognition are likely group-specific. These results could be useful in interventions aimed at preventing cognitive decline in high-risk individuals." Reference: "Cognitive function after supplementation with B vitamins and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids: ancillary findings from the SU.FOL.OM3 randomized trial," Andreeva VA, Kesse-Guyot E, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2011 May 18; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Nutritional Epidemiology Research Unit, University of Paris XIII, Bobigny, France).
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Nutrients and Diet
Alpha Lipoic Acid Amino Acids Antioxidants Arginine Calcium Carnitine Carotene Chromium Picolinate Citrulline Coenzyme Q10 DHEA Fat Fiber Fruit and Vegetables Garlic Ginkgo Biloba Glucosamine Vegetarian Diet Green Tea Iron Lutein Lycopene Magnesium Mediterranean Diet Multivitamins Nitric Oxide Nuts Olives Omega 3 Fatty Acids Policosanols Polyphenols Pomegranate Probiotics Pycnogenol Red Yeast Rice Salt Saffron Selenium Soy Theanine Vitamin A Vitamin B Vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K White Tea Zinc