This post is part of our blog series, “5 Reasons Why”, which helps readers understand why IV therapy in Toronto is an option for optimal, natural health. Stay tuned for more posts in this series!

Did you know that there are eight different types of B vitamins?

Each B vitamin is necessary for building energy, reducing fatigue, and supporting brain health. Every B vitamin is involved in at least one or several steps of building energy.

B vitamins and their energy production roles are crucial because they help promote the maintenance and function of the body and brain cells. This is why we need an adequate amount of each B vitamin in the body! If we lack any of these vitamins, our energy production and brain function may face limits; some individuals may even undergo further health consequences.

Your IV therapist or naturopathic doctor may suggest B vitamins in your intravenous (IV) therapy treatments. Here are the B vitamins that might be included in your IV therapy sessions and how each may produce health benefits and assist with improving wellness:

1. B1 (Thiamine)

Known as thiamine, B1 is a cofactor for enzymes that break down glucose and produce energy.

Thiamine is commonly found in fish, nuts, seeds, wheat, cooked asparagus, navy beans and edamame. Our diet may already contain ample amounts of B1, so a deficiency shouldn’t occur. “However, conditions that lead to altered gastrointestinal function are common and can decrease absorption, including conditions that interfere with thiamine absorption from the intestine,” explains the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. For instance, people with gluten sensitivity may not absorb B1, especially since foods with small amounts of gluten tend to remove vitamin B1.

A B1 vitamin deficiency may lead to memory loss, disorientation, amnesia and a decline in working memory. In fact, “[m]ultiple similarities exist between classical thiamine deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in that both are associated with cognitive deficits and reductions in brain glucose metabolism,” confirms the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Your IV therapist or naturopathic doctor may suggest IV vitamin infusions of B1 to help lessen thiamine deficiencies or endorse cognitive function. If you excessively drink alcohol, your B1 levels may diminish; this is because drinking alcohol encourages B1 to flush out via urine. So if you have been diagnosed with a B1 deficiency due to alcoholism, this is also why intravenous treatments of B1 may be recommended. 

2. B2 (Riboflavin)

Interestingly, riboflavin (vitamin B2) is linked to cognition. In a study of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment, a high vitamin B2 intake resulted in improved cognitive performance on various tests.

For the human body to healthily thrive, riboflavin is needed for developing blood cells, skin health, the digestive tract (lining), and brain function. B2 is an essential component of flavoproteins, coenzymes that metabolize carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Riboflavin also aids in the production of energy or ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Side effects of B2 vitamin deficiency may include signs of weakness, inflammation, sores around the mouth, scaly skin, personality change, sore throat, itchy eyes and a sensitivity to light.

If you don’t eat enough dairy, meat or fortified cereals, you may be prone to a B2 deficiency. Malabsorption, chronic alcoholism and other chronic disorders may put you at risk of a B2 deficiency, too. Vegetarian athletes may also be at risk as some vegetarian diets dismiss all animal products (i.e. eggs, milk), and these foods tend to be sources of vitamin B2. Thus, intravenous vitamin drips of B2 may be suggested for helping support cognition, promote cellular energy, and recover from a riboflavin deficiency.

3. B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3 (niacin) is part of a coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). NAD+ is converted into NADP+, a coenzyme involved in the breakdown of complex substances in the body. The energy released by this breakdown of substances then creates carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.

Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s have been shown to carry low levels of B3. Niacin has been shown to participate in both brain and nervous system function, so your IV therapist may recommend intravenous vitamin drips of B3 to help promote optimal brain function.

Furthermore, “[i]t is now recognized that a deficit of mitochondrial energy metabolism (i.e. impaired mitochondrial phosphorylation potential) plays a role in the pathogenesis of chronic migraine headaches,” confirms Nutrition Journal. Niacin may not only improve cellular energy, but also increase your blood flow (vasodilating the blood intracranial vessels), which may help alleviate migraines. So if you’re prone to migraines, it may be plausible for IV niacinimide (a different biochemical version of B3) and other nutrients (i.e. intravenous B2, IV magnesium and oral CoQ10) to promote the relief of painful headaches, especially since IV vitamin infusion therapy directly enters the bloodstream.

A B3 deficiency may progress to vertigo, memory loss, paranoia, diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and more. Neurological symptoms are known to occur with a niacin deficiency. So if you’re concerned about your vitamin B3 levels, please speak to your IV therapist or naturopathic doctor on the possible benefits of vitamin IV drips for your health needs.

4. B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Vitamin B5 helps build a coenzyme that synthesizes fatty acids, lipids, cholesterol and acetylcholine. A deficiency in pantothenic acid (B5) is rare in healthy patients because the vitamin is found in plant- and animal-rich foods, or it may be already added to prepared foods (i.e. cereals). But a deficiency may occur due to malabsorption. 

Signs and symptoms of a B5 deficiency are fatigue or weakness, irritability, gastrointestinal distress, numbness, muscle pain, cramps, brain damage, behavioural change and demyelination. In some cases, this deficiency may cause neurological dysfunction (i.e. confusion). Pantothenic acid may be recommended for your IV vitamin drips to help encourage cellular energy, which may aid in relieving a B5 deficiency.

Although pantethine (an active form of vitamin B5) is not intravenously offered, it is still worth discussing because your naturopathic doctor may recommend this form of vitamin B5 as an oral supplement. In fact, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, pantethine has been studied for potentially lowering cholesterol in patients with dyslipidemia, a condition in people in which the amount of lipids are either too high or too low in the body. 

5. B6 (Pyroxidine)

The human body doesn’t have the ability to store this vitamin. Therefore, we need to find vitamin B6 sources on a daily basis to stimulate optimal health.

Pyroxidine (B6) helps synthesize and break down amino acids. It helps release glucose from glycogen, a pathway required by enzymes for synthesizing neurotransmitters and hemoglobin. Vitamin B6 is also required for producing hemoglobin and it even contributes to numerous cellular functions.

In Western diets, a B6 deficiency is infrequent. If there is a B6 deficiency, it’s usually related to a deficiency in other B vitamins (i.e. B12). However, the following patients are at risk of developing a B6 deficiency: those who are geriatric; those with compromised renal function; those who drink excessive alcohol and/or have malabsorption issues.

A pyroxidine deficiency may cause anemia along with low hemoglobin content. The size of the red blood cells are either normal or small, though their capacity for carrying oxygen becomes diminished. This may result in muscle weakness, fatigue, dermatitis, mouth sores, fatigue, confusion, shortness of breath, irritability, impaired alertness, depression, cognitive decline and dementia.

Your IV therapist or naturopathic doctor may recommend IV pyroxidine to help support the treatment of anemia or encourage mental health improvements. “A low level of vitamin B6 has [been linked to depression] as vitamin B6 is a cofactor in the tryptophan-serotonin pathway,” explains Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Keep in mind that IV therapy may promote swift results in mood because it enters the bloodstream directly, detouring the digestive system.

6. B7 (Biotin)

You’ve likely seen biotin oral supplements in stores for promoting healthy hair and nails. But did you know that biotin (B7) is also required in the body for several chemical reactions?

Biotin is involved in a series of chemical reactions to release stored energy and metabolize lipids. It’s also required for synthesizing glucose, fatty acids, and some non-essential amino acids. Biotin may possibly help normalize the functioning of the nervous system, as B7 already plays a role in metabolizing cellular energy.

Biotin deficiency is linked to neurological concerns, such as depression, lethargy, hallucinations, and paraesthesia (tingling/burning sensation) of the extremities. A B7 deficiency may also cause weakness, hair loss, and a rash around the eyes, nose and mouth.

This deficiency may be uncommon for most people, but individuals with excessive alcohol issues or who use certain medications (i.e. antibiotics) may have trouble properly absorbing vitamin B7. So an IV therapist might recommend intravenous biotin to help “top up” biotin levels into the bloodstream, bypassing absorption concerns.

7. B9 (in the form of folic acid or methyltetrahydrofolate)

A fraction of our population has a defect in a gene called MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase). This gene directs the construction of the MTHFR protein, which aids the body in processing folate. The body requires folate to create DNA and adjust proteins. The MTHFR gene that codes for this enzyme has the potential to mutate, which can either restrict the enzyme’s ability to function routinely or completely inactivate it.

A defect in this gene may be concerning because the MTHFR protein is compulsory for processing B9 in the body. The MTHFR gene is responsible for breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that the body requires to construct proteins. Generally speaking, some B vitamins (including folic acid) help break down homocysteine, converting it into further substances that the body may need. But if the MTHFR gene is mutated, homocysteine may accumulate within the blood. This may cause: blood clots, a stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, or homocystinuria, which is a disorder related to methionine metabolism.

Consequently, your IV therapist or naturopathic doctor may recommend different forms of intravenous folic acid/vitamin B9 to possibly help support mood, detoxification, energy and fertility.

Keep in mind that folate is an essential vitamin for cell growth in the central nervous system. It’s also a required coenzyme for synthesizing methionine (an amino acid) and for constructing RNA (ribonucleic acid). A folate deficiency may cause the body to experience peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord lesions, psychosis, cognitive decline and dementia. Not to mention, this nutritional deficiency may cause megaloblastic anemia, a condition in which the body cannot properly produce red blood cells. Hence, your IV therapist or naturopath may suggest intravenous folate to aid in improving cellular health and/or to help with correcting MTHFR deficits.

8. B12 (in the form of methylcobalamin, cobalamin, or hydroxocobalamin)

For the body to effectively absorb vitamin B12, the stomach, pancreas and small intestine must be functional. Hence, a B12 IV therapy may be recommended for nutrition and/or malabsorption issues, and also to help support the MTHFR pathways.

Patients diagnosed with poor nutrition and/or Crohn’s disease and vegans or vegetarians may be at risk of a B12 deficiency. Also, B12 malabsorption is frequent among the elderly, who may undergo impaired digestive functioning.

A vitamin B12 deficiency is concerning because the body does not produce vitamin B12, even though the body needs this vitamin. The function of folate, the breakdown of fats, and proteins and the synthesis of hemoglobin all require B12. Cobalamin is also vital for making red blood cells and DNA. A B12 deficiency can cause numerous side effects, such as anemia. This deficiency may trigger further neurological dysfunctions, including myelopathy, neuropathy and neuropsychiatric abnormalities.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies limit the methionine synthase, a key enzyme that helps process amino acids. This limitation may further promote the progression of neurodegenerative disorders (i.e. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s), which is another reason why B12 may arise in a discussion about your IV therapy.

Learn More About B Vitamins and IV Therapy in Toronto

As you’ve read, B vitamins contribute to our mental health and cellular energy. Some of us may be lacking these important vitamins, but treatments with intravenous B vitamins may possibly (and swiftly) produce positive effects and encourage optimal health.

Do you think you’re at risk of a vitamin B deficiency? Here at our intravenous vitamin centre, The IV Lounge, we understand that the meaning of good health is an individual goal. We’re here to listen to your health concerns and help you seek natural therapies; our clinic is currently accepting new patients. Book your appointment with our naturopathic doctor by emailing us at info@theivlounge.ca or by calling (647) 549-3484.

Recommended Reading: Vitamin D IV Therapy Toronto Booster Shots Supplementation

References

Brown MJ, Ameer MA, Beier K. Vitamin B6 Deficiency. [Updated 2020 Oct 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470579/

Bucher E, Sandbakk Ø, Donath L, Roth R, Zahner L, Faude O. Exercise-induced trunk fatigue decreases double poling performance in well-trained cross-country skiers. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2018 Oct;118(10):2077-2087. doi: 10.1007/s00421-018-3938-4. Epub 2018 Jul 13. PMID: 30006669.

Gibson GE, Hirsch JA, Fonzetti P, Jordan BD, Cirio RT, Elder J. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) and dementia. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016;1367(1):21-30. doi:10.1111/nyas.13031

Green R., Allen L.H., Bjorke-Monsen A.L., Brito A., Gueant J.L., Miller J.W., Molloy A.M., Nexo E., Stabler S., Toh B.H., et al. Vitamin B12 deficiency. Nat. Rev. Dis. Primers. 2017;3:17040. doi: 10.1038/nrdp.2017.40.

Hanna T.N., Zygmont M.E., Peterson R., Theriot D., Shekhani H., Johnson J.O., Krupinski E.A. The Effects of Fatigue From Overnight Shifts on Radiology Search Patterns and Diagnostic Performance. J. Am. Coll. Radiol. 2018;15:1709–1716. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2017.12.019.

Haskell CF, Robertson B, Jones E, Forster J, Jones R, Wilde A, Maggini S, Kennedy DO. Effects of a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement on cognitive function and fatigue during extended multi-tasking. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2010 Aug;25(6):448-61. doi: 10.1002/hup.1144. PMID: 20737518.

Hunt Alesia, Harrington Dominic, Robinson Susan. Vitamin B12 deficiency BMJ 2014; 349 :g5226

Hvas AM, Juul S, Bech P, Nexø E. Vitamin B6 level is associated with symptoms of depression. Psychother Psychosom. 2004 Nov-Dec;73(6):340-3. doi: 10.1159/000080386. PMID: 15479988.

Kennedy DO. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy–A Review. Nutrients. 2016;8(2):68. Published 2016 Jan 27. doi:10.3390/nu8020068.

Kennedy, D.O., Veasey, R., Watson, A. et al. Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males. Psychopharmacology 211, 55–68 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-010-1870-3.

Lam LF, Lawlis TR. Feeding the brain – The effects of micronutrient interventions on cognitive performance among school-aged children: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr. 2017 Aug;36(4):1007-1014. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.06.013. Epub 2016 Jun 23. PMID: 27395329.

Le Mansec Y, Pageaux B, Nordez A, Dorel S, Jubeau M. Mental fatigue alters the speed and the accuracy of the ball in table tennis. J Sports Sci. 2018 Dec;36(23):2751-2759. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2017.1418647. Epub 2017 Dec 20. PMID: 29260619.

Lin CF, Lee WC, Chen YA, Hsue BJ. Fatigue-Induced Changes in Movement Pattern and Muscle Activity During Ballet Releve on Demi-Pointe. J Appl Biomech. 2016 Aug;350(358):350-8. doi: 10.1123/jab.2014-0263. Epub 2016 Mar 8. PMID: 26955753.

Marks, John. The Vitamins: Their Role in Medical Practice. Springer, Dordrecht, 1985. 

Minerals Important for Metabolism and for Blood Function and Renewal. (2020, August 14). Retrieved December 27, 2020, from https://chem.libretexts.org/@go/page/2621

Mollicone D., Kan K., Mott C., Bartels R., Bruneau S., van Wollen M., Sparrow A.R., Van Dongen H.P.A. Predicting performance and safety based on driver fatigue. Accid. Anal. Prev. 2019;126:142–145. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2018.03.004.

MTHFR Mutation Test.” Medline Plus. Updated July 31, 2020. Viewed on Jan. 24, 2021. 

Pantothenic Acid – Vitamin B5”. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Viewed on Jan. 6, 2020. 

Prousky, J., Seely, D. The treatment of migraines and tension-type headaches with intravenous and oral niacin (nicotinic acid): systematic review of the literature. Nutr J 4, 3 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-4-3

Riboflavin”. WebMD, viewed on Jan. 5, 2021. 

Riboflavin deficiency.” By Larry E. Johnson , MD, PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. Last full review/revision Nov 2020. Viewed on Jan. 5, 2021. 

Riboflavin Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.” National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Updated June 3, 2020. Viewed on Jan. 5, 2021. 

Rudin-Brown C.M., Harris S., Rosberg A. How shift scheduling practices contribute to fatigue amongst freight rail operating employees: Findings from Canadian accident investigations. Accid. Anal. Prev. 2019;126:64–69. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2018.01.027.

Tardy, A.-L.; Pouteau, E.; Marquez, D.; Yilmaz, C.; Scholey, A. Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients 2020, 12, 228.

Vitamins Important for Metabolism. (2020, August 14). Retrieved December 27, 2020, from https://chem.libretexts.org/@go/page/2620

Young LM, Pipingas A, White DJ, Gauci S, Scholey A. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and ‘At-Risk’ Individuals. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 16;11(9):2232. doi: 10.3390/nu11092232. PMID: 31527485; PMCID: PMC6770181.