How do the B Vitamins support your hormones
Hormones are messenger signals in the body. They tell the cells how to react, and the cells respond to the hormonal signals, sometimes within minutes, and sometimes within hours. Hormone imbalances can exist in both males and females and can occur at any age.
There are over 200 different types of cells in the body, and the cells are engineered to react to a certain type of hormone. Although the effect of imbalanced hormones can (and often does) have a knock-on effect on the wider body, even if they are not directly involved.
Many hormones in the body require B vitamins for their synthesis and utilisation in the body. Here we have outlined our top 6 hormones that need the B Vitamins to function well. So, if you feel a little out of balance, these could be a good starting point for you.
B vitamins, especially vitamin B6 can increase testosterone in men. Testosterone naturally decreases with age and may also be low in states of obesity and chronic stress. Testosterone is needed for building muscle mass and for normal brain function in men. Vitamin B6 is also helpful for balancing testosterone in women who have excess or reduced testosterone levels.
B vitamins including vitamin B5 and B6 are needed for the creation of the adrenal hormones - adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are released in times of stress, and they trigger the release of glucose into the blood so there is energy to fight and run. In chronic stress states, B vitamins may quickly become used up, and the ability to deal with life’s stresses becomes impaired. When adrenals are not making hormones appropriately, anxiety, depression, low immunity, and fatigue may be the result.
Vitamin B6 is needed for many reactions in the body, including the regulation and metabolism of glucose. Insulin is the hormone that takes sugar into the blood, and when it does not function effectively, it results in diabetes. Vitamin B6 impacts the way that insulin behaves, and deficiency in vitamin B6 can cause and be the result of diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7279184/
Serotonin and Dopamine
B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, are needed for the synthesis of the hormones serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is known as the happy hormone, and dopamine is known as the reward hormone that is experienced after exercise and other activities. Both of these hormones need to be balanced for healthy moods and an imbalance can contribute towards psychiatric disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3271502/
Melatonin is the sleep hormone and is synthesised from serotonin. Serotonin requires vitamin B12 for its synthesis, and then vitamin B6 is needed for its conversion into melatonin. Melatonin may become out of balance when travelling through time zones, and when doing shift work.
The thyroid is the gland in the front of your neck which produces thyroid hormones. These hormones control growth and metabolism and may become out of balance for a variety of reasons. B vitamins, especially vitamin B2 are needed for the production of thyroid hormones along with other nutrients. Individuals with low thyroid function also have a tendency to have low vitamin B12 levels so can benefit from additional supplementation.
Why should I take a B complex rather than individual B vitamins for hormone support?
B vitamins work synergistically and in balance with each other. A deficiency in one B vitamin may be corrected quicker if the other B vitamins are taken alongside it. Some B vitamin deficiencies also have the same symptoms as others, so sometimes it can be hard to identify a single deficiency. Apart from vitamin B12 which may be low in individuals on a plant-based diet, it is unusual for only 1 B vitamin to be low in the body, so a comprehensive B complex is often recommended.
Birch & Wilde Vitamin B Complex includes all the B Vitamins in their most bioavailable versions (most well absorbed), as well as a few super supportive added extras, such as your daily allowance of Vitamin C, Choline, Inositol and PABA. Making sure your B vitamins are bioavailable enough to be well absorbed by your body is essential to them being effective.