“Do I Really Need to Take Vitamins?”
This is a question that is frequently asked by patients. For most of us, the answer is probably “yes” because we do not eat a healthy, balanced diet and our nutritional intake is lacking. We can have an adequate food intake, but still have inadequate nutritional intake. Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can affect both our physical and mental energy and well-being. Below is a small snap-shot of just a few of the vitamins and minerals that we most frequently discuss with patients because of their effects on mood and mental health:
B-Vitamins: B vitamins are critical for energy production in the body.
Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1 is often referred to as the anti-stress vitamin because of its calming and soothing effect on mood. Low levels of Vitamin B1 have been shown to increase anxiety levels. Whole grains and legumes are a natural source of Vitamin B1.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is essential to production of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and norepinephrine, to help ensure normal brain function and can impact both mood stability and sleep schedules. Lack of Vitamin B6 has been linked to depression, mood irritability and instability, as well as anxiety and difficulty concentrating. Chicken, fish, dairy, legumes, brown rice, and whole grains are a good source of Vitamin B6.
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell production and a healthy nervous system. Lack of B12 can lead to anemia, chronic fatigue, poor balance, weakness, numbness/ tingling in hands and feet, difficulty concentrating, and memory difficulties. Red meat, eggs and dairy are a good source of Vitamin B12.
Iron: Iron is necessary for red blood cell production and helps deliver oxygen to cells. A lack of iron can result in overwhelming fatigue, depression, and increased anxiety. Red meat, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables like spinach are a good natural source of iron.
Zinc: Zinc has been shown to have anti-viral properties in the body as well as to help protect brain cells from toxins. Zinc has also been shown to help improve the efficacy of antidepressant medications. Dark chocolate, chickpeas, lentils, and beans are a good natural source of zinc.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays a major role in keeping the immune system strong as well as the growth and development of bones and teeth. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to chronic fatigue, depression (especially seasonal depression in the winter months), muscle pain, nerve pain and neuropathy. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish and fortified dairy products and Vitamin D production can also increase with increased sun exposure.
At KWC, our focus is to help each patient live their best life possible. By offering nutraceuticals and premium CBD products, we strive to augment each patient’s therapy to help give them as many tools as possible to help them conquer depression, anxiety, and pain.