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Improve Your Nerves And Your Mood With This Vitamin

vitamin_b6Last week we wrote about the essential role of vitamin B2 in helping the other b vitamins perform their vital functions.  Among those other vitamins is B6, which is one of the most essential vitamins for nerve health and is important for anyone suffering from painful nerve related health problems such as Neuropathy.

What Are The Benefits of Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6 performs a variety of functions that are essential for your health.  According to Dee Sandquist, MS, RD, CD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, “It is important for cardiovascular, digestive, immune, muscular, and nervous system function.”

Of these many benefits, the most relevant for Neuropathy patients is vitamin B6’s positive affect on nerve health.  Vitamin B6 boosts the health of nerves and is essential in maintaining a properly functioning nervous system.  A deficiency in vitamin B6 can put a strain on the nervous system and result in nerve damage.

How Does It Work?

Vitamin B6 maintains the health of your nerves by assisting in the production five different neurotransmitters.  These neurotransmitters carry important electrical signals from one cell to another.  One of the key neurotransmitters impacted by vitamin B6 is serotonin.  This neurotransmitter helps regulate mood, sleep and appetite – all of which are important for your overall health.

How Much Should I Take?

Too much of a good thing can be a bad and such is the case with vitamin B6.  Taking large doses (in excess of 100mg/day for adults) of vitamin B6 for an extended period of time (usually a year or more) can actually have an adverse effect on your nerves.  Make sure you’re getting at least the recommended dietary intake of 1.3 mg per day.  We recommend around 4-8mg per day for adults.

If you’re looking for ways to give your nervous system the support it needs to function its finest, vitamin B6 is essential.  If your diet isn’t providing you with the necessary amounts, you should make sure to obtain it through supplemental sources, such as our effective Neuropathy Support Formula.  Your nerves will thank you.

 

 

Why Riboflavin Is Essential For Nerve Health

riboflavin_b2The B vitamins are an important class of vitamins.  They convert carbohydrates into glucose, thus fueling our body with the energy it needs.  They are rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals and can slow the aging process.  Perhaps most importantly for those with Peripheral Neuropathy, the B vitamins play a critical role in maintaining the health and normal functioning of the nervous system.

Among the eight different B vitamins, Riboflavin – or Vitamin B2 – is a key player in helping the other B vitamins perform their necessary functions.  Of particular relevance to Neuropathy sufferers is the role Riboflavin plays in helping Vitamin B6 perform its vital functions.

Vitamin B6 carries out many functions.  Among them, it helps the body make neurotransmitters that carry signals from one nerve cell to another.  These transmitters are essential for maintaining nerve health.  Vitamin B6 also helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels by converting carbohydrates into glucose when levels drop too low. In order to carry out these and other essential functions, Vitamin B6 is reliant on Riboflavin to change it into a form the body can use.   According to researchers at Oregon State University, “Riboflavin deficiency can affect multiple pathways in the metabolism of vitamin B6, folate, niacin, and iron.”

So if you’re looking to get the most out of your B vitamins – whose benefits include nerve health, anti-aging properties, cancer fighting properties, heart health and even boosting of mood and lowering of depression – it is critical that your body get enough Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin, to support them.

Have B vitamins made a difference for you?  We want to hear from you!  Post a comment below or share your story on our Facebook Page.

4 Health Benefits of Vitamin D That You Didn’t Know About

Food sources of vitamin DWith the summer sun shining brightly across much of the country it’s easier than ever to get your fill of vitamin D, or the “Sunshine Vitamin”, as it is often called.  Our bodies produce Vitamin D naturally through direct exposure to sunlight, though you can also get the vitamin through various foods and supplements.  The National Institutes of Health recommends getting the vitamin through a combination of all three so as to avoid becoming vitamin D deficient.

So why does vitamin D matter?  It has a surprising number of health benefits.  It is perhaps most well known for promoting healthy bones and teeth through enhancing the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.  But new research is showing the vitamin goes well beyond  just promoting healthy bones.  Here are four surprising benefits of Vitamin D you may not have heard of before:

Combats High Blood Pressure

According to a study conducted by Boston University, patients with high blood pressure whose vitamin D levels were increased over a three month period saw their blood pressure levels brought back to normal levels.  After a period of nine months with increased levels of vitamin D, researches continued to see benefits to their blood pressure.  Research suggests that vitamin D inhibits the production of the hormone renin, which is believed to contribute to high blood pressure, thus helping to reduce abnormally high blood pressure levels.

Inhibits cancer cell growth

According to the National Cancer Institute,  “vitamin D has been found to have several activities that might slow or prevent the development of cancer, including promoting cellular differentiation, decreasing cancer cell growth, stimulating cell death, and reducing tumor blood vessel formation.”  While much research still needs to be done, vitamin D has shown promise in its ability to reduce the risk of certain cancers through the aforementioned methods.

Reduces Risk of Insulin Resistance and Elevated Blood Sugar

In a study published by the American Diabetes Association, a deficiency in vitamin D in middle-aged men and women was found to be associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels.  According to Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, of Boston University School of Medicine, vitamin D “also stimulates your pancreas to make insulin.”  So not only does vitamin D work to reduce insulin resistance, but it helps promote sufficient production of it in the pancreas.

Regulates your immune system

New evidence has emerged showing that vitamin D provides an extra boost to the immune system. According to the National Public Institutes of Health, “The implications of vitamin D deficiency on the immune system have become clearer in recent years and in the context of vitamin D deficiency, there appears to be an increased susceptibility to infection and a diathesis, in a genetically susceptible host to autoimmunity.” Long thought to be only of benefit to the skeletal system, it is now clear that vitamin D plays an important role in a healthy immune system as well.  Perhaps the ‘D’ could stand for ‘defense’, as the vitamin has various beneficial effects on the innate immune system.

As more research and studies are conducted, there will doubtless be more evidence for the wide variety of health benefits of this simple vitamin.  In the meantime, ask your doctor for the best way to get your recommended dosage and make sure you’re getting it!  We suggest spending 5-10 minutes in direct sunlight each day in addition to taking a daily supplement with at least 500 IU (for adults).

 

Why Methyl-B12 Is More Effective Than The More Common Forms of Vitamin B-12

When it comes to nerve health, Vitamin B-12 is an essential player.  Vitamin B-12 supports the protective covering, known as the Myelin Sheath, around the nerves.  If this sheath is damaged or weakened, the electrical signals in the body are unable to transmit properly, often resulting in severe pain or numbness.  In the event that the sheath is damaged, Vitamin B-12 plays a key role in repairing the damage.  Studies have shown it aides in the regeneration and growth of nerve cells.

methylcobalamine-vitamin-b-12In order to perform its duties, Vitamin B-12 must absorb into your system.  Unfortunately, while most b vitamins absorb easily into the body, Vitamin B-12 has a more complex absorption and is therefore more prone to failure.  Upon consumption, the body must first convert cyanocobalamine (the most common form of Vitamin B-12) into methylcobalamine in order to use it.  There is, however, a more bio-available form of Vitamin B-12 known as methyl B-12.  Compared to the more common form of B-12, methyl B-12 is more easily absorbed into the body as it is delivered to the body in the form of methylcobalamine.  This negates the need for the body to have to convert the cyanocobalamine to methylcobalamine, thereby increasing the success rate of absorption.

According to a study in the Journal of Neurological Science, methylcobalamine may increase protein synthesis and help in the regeneration of nerves.  In ultra-high doses, it is shown to produce nerve regeneration.  So how can you get Vitamin B-12?  Here are the most common ways to get your body the B-12 it needs:

Food Sources:

Vitamin B-12 is found almost exclusively in animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and milk.  For vegetarians or those with dairy allergies, some breakfast cereals can be a good source of B-12.  According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, the majority of Americans are able to get enough Vitamin B-12 from the foods they eat.  It is not uncommon, however, for some to have difficulty absorbing the vitamin.  In fact, Vitamin B-12 deficiency affects up to 15% of the population in the U.S.

Dietary Supplements:

Vitamin B-12 is readily available in supplement form.  As we mentioned earlier, there are different types of B-12, the most common being cyanocobalamine.  Due to its complexities, vitamin B-12 is often difficult to absorb, with one study suggesting that for every 500 mcg taken orally only 10 mcg is absorbed. Research suggests that methylcobalamine, a less common form of B-12, is more easily absorbed into the body and may be the most effective form available.

If you suffer from debilitating nerve pain or numbness, give your body its best shot at easing the pain and repairing the damage by getting the right amount of B-12 for your situation.  Check with your doctor to find out what amount is right for you and ask about the best sources for increasing your rate of successful absorption.  Your body will thank you!

Which Vitamin B1 is Best For My Neuropathy?

blog-vitamin-b1A quick search for Neuropathy Support Supplements online will reveal that most contain Vitamin B1, which is an essential vitamin for our body.  Vitamin B1 allows the body to properly use carbohydrates, which help provide energy and fuel for our central nervous and muscular systems.  Clearly, it has a potential benefit for anyone with Neuropathy.

But did you know there is more than one form of Vitamin B1 and that one has been proven more effective than the other?  The most common form of Vitamin B1 is Thiamine, which is what you will find in most supplements on the market.   There is, however, a more effective form of Vitamin B1 called benfotiamine.  Lets take a look at the two and see how benfotiamine outperforms its counterpart.

Thiamine:

The most common form of Vitamin B1 found in supplements, Thiamine,  does indeed have its benefits.  As a Vitamin B1, it helps the body carry out the essential functions previously mentioned.  The problem that arises, however, is that the body has a difficult time absorbing Thiamine and can in fact only absorb minimal amounts of it, thereby inhibiting its ability to provide maximum benefit to the body.

Benfotiamine:

Enter the other form of Vitamin B1: benfotiamine.  With a special open-ring structure, benfotiamine is able to pass directly through the cell membrane and into the cells.  It is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more effective than thiamine at absorbing into cellular tissue (depending on the specific tissue).  As such, it provides maximum benefit to you without the wasting nutrients.

As further evidence of the benefits of benfotiamine over thiamine, the University of Giessen published a laboratory study in which two different groups of diabetic lab specimens were treated with the different forms of Vitamin B1.  Those treated with benfotiamine for six months were shown to have increased their motor nerve conduction velocity (NCV) to near normal levels, while those treated with thiamine saw no further improvement.

Conclusion:

Now that you’re aware of both forms of Vitamin B1, pay special attention to the label on your supplements.  If you’re supplement contains thiamine instead of benfotiamine, know that you’re body is not getting the maximum benefit.  Consider switching to a supplement that contains benfotiamine and start enjoying all that this wonderful vitamin has to offer.

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The statements made on our websites have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). Our products are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Neuropathy Treatment Group is not affiliated with any of the studies mentioned on the website. The testimonials on this website are individual cases and do not guarantee that you will get the same results.