B Vitamins for Stress

Stressed young woman in room and medicine on table. Closeup
B-complex supplements can help calm down the nervous system. (Image: Alliance/iStock/Getty Images)

In this day and age, we are prone to feeling continuous stress. We worry about our jobs and children; we stress over finances and relationships. Eventually, stress can wreck havoc on our health, causing illnesses, such as heart problems, excess weight, stomach and digestive problems as well as depression and anxiety. B vitamins can help with stress by working with brain chemistry and balancing neurotransmitters, thus aiding us in achieving balance over stress.

B1, Thiamine

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is important in keeping the nervous system healthy and plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy mental attitude. This water-based vitamin is essential to converting glucose into energy. B1 can help stabilize mood and improve memory and concentration.

B3, Niacin

Vitamin B3 supports the functions of the nervous and digestive system. The body can produce niacin from the amino acid L-tryptophan. A deficiency in B3 can cause depression, irritability, stress and mood disturbances. Niacin functions to help the body release energy from carbohydrates. This can control blood sugar and maintain nervous system function.

B6, Pyridoxine

Vitamin B6 can help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which aids in the body’s ability to cope with depression, stress and anxiety. Vitamin B6 may also help boost the immune system during times of anxiety.

B9, Folic Acid

Folic acid is an essential vitamin needed for energy. The body is unable to produce folic acid on its own. If there is a deficiency in folic acid, people may experience depression and fatigue which may produce higher levels of stress.

B12, Cyanocobalamin

Vitamin B12 could be called the memory vitamin because the organ that depends on it the most is the brain. B12 deficiencies may cause mental confusion, neurological changes and make it difficult to cope with stress. This water-based vitamin is significant in the creation of the sleep hormone melatonin and the mood hormone serotonin.

Other Important B Vitamins

B2 is necessary for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. B5, pantothenic acid, enhances the activity of the immune system and, with this improvement, the body can use its natural ability to withstand stressful conditions. B7, biotin, helps the body process glucose and can help balance moods and, in turn, stabilize stress.

B Complex

B vitamins are vital for optimal mental health and stress. Water soluble, they need to be replenished on a daily basis. Sources rich in B vitamins include cereals and grains, meats, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, peas, beans and vegetables. Taking a B-complex vitamin, which contains most the major B vitamins, might be the best option to help reduce stress. A good B-complex vitamin can help digestive metabolic processes which might be affected negatively since stress slows digestive processes.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.