Do you need B Vitamins? Find out now!

You want to know if you are lacking B-Vitamins but don’t know where to start. This is actually very straightforward and if you have read any of my other vitamin or mineral blogs it is the same story.


There are no blood tests which are going to be reliable for B-Vitamins. And this is especially true for the B Vitamins, which have a very unique characteristic. You may very well show ‘normal’ levels of B12 in your blood according to the parameters deemed ‘normal’ by the medical authorities – but at the very same time you can have low levels in your cerebral spinal fluid. In fact this is often the case with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients who have decreased neurological capabilities from vitamin B12 deficiencies, which elude their standard blood work. 

Why would B12 be low in Cerebral Spinal Fluid but normal in serum? It’s simple, we are all unique – some people even have a defect of the blood brain barrier. You are a unique person and this couldn’t be anymore true for your fingerprints than it is for your biochemistry and nutrient requirements. Sure most fingerprints look alike, but are vastly different in the minute details. 


Blood testing simply tests what is in your blood and we want to know if there is enough getting to the tissues. 


We need to determine if the tissues are getting enough by understanding what happens to the tissues when B Vitamins are lacking. You are going to (as always), look at the 10 most clinically documented symptoms of B Vitamin deficiency and see how many you are experiencing. 


For you to be confident that you need B Vitamins, you will experience at least 3 of these symptoms. Because some of these symptoms can certainly be attributed to other things, and we are going to look at what those other things are as well, so we can increase the reliability of  the results. 


If you are only lacking one or two of the symptoms it would be hard to assert that they are indeed due to a lack of B Vitamins and not the result of a prescription drug, allergy or other nutrient deficiency.


The signs and symptoms to consider are:


  • Acne
  • Anemia
  • Constipation
  • GI Disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Dry, falling hair
  • Insomnia
  • Dry, Flaky skin
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Low energy

So, if you have THREE of these symptoms it would be a reasonable idea to increase your B Vitamins, whether that be through foods rich in B vitamins, or through a supplement. 

However, you must look at those antagonistic substances to see if you are potentially self-sabotaging by doing something that is inhibiting the B Vitamins you are already getting. These antagonistic substances can pull vitamins from the tissues, they can inhibit absorption or they can cause you to eliminate it faster. Whatever mechanism the substance works isn’t what’s important, it is the fact that they are going to increase your need for B Vitamins.

The substances to look out for are:

  • Alcohol
  • Birth control pills
  • Coffee
  • Diuretics
  • Infections
  • Malabsorption
  • Overcooking food
  • Sleeping pills
  • Stress
  • Sugar
  • Sulfa drugs
  • Tobacco

If you are consuming these substances or have any of the issues listed above they are 100% going to decrease your B Vitamins. You must try to lower these or eliminate them entirely where possible. If you are taking prescription drugs do not stop taking them, I will never ever recommend that. What I will say is that these drugs are absolutely affecting your B vitamin levels, there is no doubt. 


The next thing you need to do is increase consumption of foods rich in B Vitamins or take a supplement. That’s it, it’s very straightforward and simple.

If you still doubt this method, think about it this way. If you have perfectly normal levels of B Vitamins why are you suffering from the very symptoms of B Vitamin deficiency? Honestly, how could you believe your levels are perfect if your bodily symptoms mirror the symptoms detected in clinical studies? This is specifically why we want to experience at least 3 of these symptoms so we increase the reliability of this method beyond other contributing factors. Of course, using this test in conjunction with all of the other vitamins and minerals is the best way to get an overall picture of your nutrient needs and where you should place the most emphasis. 

To use an example, if you test each of the nutrients and discover that you have 3 symptoms of vitamin B deficiency but have 8 symptoms for iron and 9 for vitamin D, I would start by consuming Iron and Vitamin D rich foods first. Often in taking care of the most lacking nutrients first, other lesser deficiencies tend to correct themselves.

This simple test is straightforward, fast and easy to understand. It also removes the possibility of getting a precisely WRONG answer which happens extremely often with blood work.

If you do want to increase your B Vitamins I suggest starting with the following foods first:

  • Liver (beef or lamb)
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Brown rice
  • Almonds
  • Egg yolks
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Dark green vegetables
  • Oats
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Seaweed
  • Cabbage
  • Black strap molasses
  • Lentils


If you want to use a supplement form it is best to buy a lower dose and take it more often than it is to take a larger dose less often. I think a B50 is the highest you should go in a single shot but you can use it multiple times in a day. 


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