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May 21

B-12 Vitamins

B-12 Vitamins

Ask Dr. Conard. Q: How are B vitamins connected to stress?
By Scott Conard, M.D.

A: This is a very timely question, since April is Stress Awareness Month, and also tax month in the U.S. Anyone who is struggled with financial paperwork or financial trouble can appreciate why stress is a hot topic this month. Not everyone, however, understands the physical and mental impact of stress, and the link with B vitamins, especially Vitamin B-12.

A certain amount of stress is just a normal part of life; in fact, stress can be an ally in helping us accomplish specific goals or tasks. However, when stress becomes chronic, and we feel overwhelmed much of the time, our bodies and minds pay a steep price. One distressing example: stress depletes our bodies of B vitamins.

Lookalike symptoms: stress and B-12 deficiency
In my practice, I often see patients suffering from lack of energy, low moods, fatigue and irritability. These are among the symptoms that also occur with chronic stress. And it is amazing how many times people get dramatic relief from these problems when they increase their levels of B-12 by taking a quality supplement.

There is a strong, clinical connection between the symptoms of stress and the symptoms of B-12 deficiency. Just look, for example, at a few of the symptoms of stress listed by Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association):

Lack of energy

Trouble concentrating

Nervousness

Memory problems

Irritability

It is no coincidence: these same symptoms show up in people who have a B-12 deficiency, all caused by decreased mental and nerve functioning.

Research continues to point to a strong link between chronic stress and B vitamins. One report in the journal Psychopharmacology, for example, detailed a study of 215 healthy men between the ages of 30-55. Part of the group was given sugar pills, part was given high-dose B vitamin supplements. Those in the supplement group had lower stress ratings and better mental performance.

It is easy to see why I often advise B-12 supplementation when people complain of low energy, mood swings, forgetfulness and confusion. These are classic symptoms of a brain and body running on too little Vitamin B-12, and there is a lot of overlap with the symptoms of chronic stress.

As Stress Awareness Month showcases the problems that stress can cause, consider ways to manage and reduce the stress in your life. Consider, too, supplementing with TriVitas Sublingual B-12. It is the quality B-12 tablet that I recommend to my patients, and it might help you, too.
Scott Conard, M.D., is the founder of TienaHealth, an organization of medical doctors in primary care practice who emphasize healthy lifestyles to maintain wellness. Dr. Conard is considered a national expert on disease prevention.

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