The B vitamins together and separately play important roles in nerve and brain function and in relaxing muscles. If you are older and not absorbing nutrients as well as you might be, your body may not be able to utilize the B vitamins in your food. It’s important to include the B vitamins in a multivitamin.
If you’re having trouble with leg cramps at night, an extra 50 mg of vitamin B6 an hour before bed may help. Some people are cured of restless leg syndrome by taking an extra 400 meg of folic acid before bed.
The B vitamins play an essential role in our neurological health, and yet most adult Americans are deficient in these vitamins. Although each of the B vitamins plays some role in brain function, vitamin B12 is best known for its ability to combat depression. For years alternative health professionals have given vitamin B12 shots as part of an overall treatment program for people who are extremely stressed out or depressed. Until recently this practice has been pooh-poohed, but now more and more M.D.s are jumping on the B12 bandwagon.
If you want to try B12 as an antidote for stress and /or depression, it’s important to know that it’s not well-absorbed when you take it orally (by mouth), which is why it is given in the form of injections. However, there are B12 supplements you can buy at your local health food store that are sublingual (dissolved under the tongue) and intranasal (in the nose). You’ll want to take about 1,000 meg (1 mg) at least every other day for treating depression.