Cart 0

B Vitamins for Brain Health

Lincoln Cannon Nootropics Product Ingredient

B Vitamins work together in the body to convert food into energy. They are necessary for healthy development and maintenance of the brain and nervous system, as well as other organs and systems in the body. Because their functions are interrelated, a deficiency or insufficiency in one may negatively affect the function of another.

There are eight B Vitamins. They are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. One of them, Vitamin B2, is in my list of top tier nootropics. Another, Vitamin B3, is in my list of top tier geroprotectors. Although various substances have been or are sometimes associated with the B4, B8, B10, and B11 classifications, consensus science does not currently recognize them as vitamins.

Most B Vitamins have multiple vitamers. Vitamins are functional classifications, and vitamers are the molecular structures within each classification. Vitamers of a particular vitamin may differ in effects beyond the functions essential to the vitamin. Some differences may be complementary, and some may present different opportunity and risk profiles.

Because the body cannot synthesize them, B Vitamins must come from the diet. According to a 2011 study on nutrient sources in the United States, from 2% to 12% of people consume less than the estimated average requirement (EAR) for the various B Vitamins from natural and fortified foods. Regulatory agencies have established guidance, such as recommended daily intake (RDI) in the United States and nutrient reference value (NRV) in the European Union, to help consumers avoid adverse effects associated with deficiency.

Larger but unknown percentages of people consume less than optimal amounts of B Vitamins. This insufficiency is also associated with adverse effects, as described by a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“Dietary deficiencies are well documented, and they have characteristic signs and symptoms. In addition, recent findings have determined that less than optimal biochemical concentrations (representing suboptimal status) have been associated with risks of adverse health effects. These health effects include cardiovascular disease, stroke, impaired cognitive function, cancer, eye diseases, poor bone health, and other conditions.”

Optimal intake of B Vitamins may vary significantly from person to person. However, because all B Vitamins are water-soluble, excess amounts are usually eliminated from the body. So they are generally safe to consume at higher amounts than those specified by RDI or NRV. But caution is still warranted. Regulatory agencies have established guidance on the upper limit (UL) of daily intake likely to pose no risk of adverse effects.

Supplementation of all eight B Vitamins (B Complex) in doses above RDI and below UL may be an effective strategy for optimizing intake with little risk. Most supplement vendors that sell B Complex appear to follow this strategy, as evidenced by the top 35 B Complex products at Amazon.com on 29 August 2016. The mean doses for all B Vitamins except B9 were well above RDI. None of the mean doses were above UL as set by CRN – three of the mean doses were above the most conservative UK UL, for minor reasons described in sections below.

Vitamin B RDI NRV UL

Supplementation of high dose B Complex may support brain health and improve mental performance, according to these studies:

These studies had divergent results:

Supplementation of subsets of B Vitamins may NOT support brain health and improve mental performance, according to these meta-analyses:

This meta-analysis had divergent results:

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 vitamers include Thiamin (Thiamine or Aneurin) and Thiamine Pyrophosphate (Thiamine Diphosphate or Cocarboxylase). They are found in foods like enriched, fortified, or whole-grain products; bread and bread products, mixed foods whose main ingredient is grain, and ready-to-eat cereals.

Regulatory agencies recommend that you consume between 1.1 mg and 1.2 mg daily. In the United States, recommended daily intake (RDI) is 1.2 mg. In the European Union, the nutrient reference value (NRV) is 1.1 mg.

Supplementation is generally safe up to at least 100 mg daily. In the United States and the European Union, UL is not determined. In the United Kingdom, UL is 100 mg. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) also sets its UL at 100 mg. Maximum absorption per dose is above the CRN UL. Bioavailability of Thiamin and Thiamin Pyrophosphate may be roughly equivalent. Sulbutiamine, a Vitamin B1 dimer, may provide greater bioavailability than alternatives.

Supplementation may decrease risk of dietary deficiency and insufficiency. In the United States, EAR is 1 mg. Before supplementation, about 6% of people consume less than EAR. The proportion of people with insufficiency is unknown.

Supplementation at 12 to 50 mg daily may support brain health and improve mental performance, according to these studies:

Supplementation of Sulbutiamine at 400 to 600 mg daily may also support brain health, according to these studies:

For Vitamin B1 in B Complex supplements, the mean dose is 50 mg, which is 4167% RDI, 50% UK UL, and 50% CRN UL. Vitamin B1 as Sulbutiamine is an ingredient in Thrivous Clarity.

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 vitamers include Riboflavin (Riboflavine), Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide (FAD), Flavin Mononucleotide (FMN or Riboflavin-5-Phosphate). They are found in foods like organ meats, milk, bread products, and fortified cereals.

Regulatory agencies recommend that you consume between 1.3 mg and 1.4 mg daily. In the United States, RDI is 1.3 mg. In the European Union, NRV is 1.4 mg.

Supplementation is generally safe up to at least 40 mg daily and perhaps up to 200 mg daily. In the United States and the European Union, UL is not determined. In the United Kingdom, UL is 40 mg. CRN sets its UL at 200 mg. Regarding the UK UL assessment, CRN notes: “minor and inconsistent adverse effects reported with 400 mg supplemental intake suggest that the [UK] uncertainty factor … is unnecessarily restrictive”. Maximum absorption per dose is at least 27 mg and probably higher at a diminishing rate. Bioavailability of B2 vitamers may be roughly equivalent.

Supplementation may decrease risk of dietary deficiency and insufficiency. In the United States, EAR is 1.1 mg. Before supplementation, about 2% of people consume less than EAR. The proportion of people with insufficiency is unknown.

Supplementation at 25 to 400 mg may provide a notable decrease to migraine. For links to studies, see my list of top tier nootropics.

For Vitamin B2 in B Complex supplements, the mean dose is 50 mg, which is 3846% RDI, 125% UK UL, and 25% CRN UL. Vitamin B2 as Riboflavin-5-Phosphate (FMN) is an ingredient in Thrivous Clarity.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 vitamers include Nicotinic Acid (Niacin), Nicotinamide (Niacinamide), Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADP), and Nicotinamide Riboside. They are found in foods like meat, fish, poultry, enriched and whole-grain breads and bread products, and fortified ready-to-eat cereals.

Regulatory agencies recommend that you consume 16 mg daily. In the United States, RDI is 16 mg. In the European Union, NRV is also 16 mg.

Supplementation is generally safe up to at least 35 mg daily and perhaps up to 1500 mg daily for the Nicotinamide vitamer. In the United States, UL is 35 mg. In the European Union, UL is 10 mg for Nicotinic Acid and 900 mg for Nicotinamide. In the United Kingdom, UL is 17 mg for Nicotinic Acid and 500 mg for Nicotinamide. CRN sets its UL at 250 mg for Nicotinic Acid and 1500 mg for Nicotinamide. Regarding the other UL assessments, CRN notes: “flushing reaction in response to supplemental nicotinic acid deserves to be characterized as a nuisance, but not as a hazard … CRN UL for excessive supplemental nicotinic acid is based on the hepatotoxic effects at much higher doses, effects that can be clearly hazardous”. Maximum absorption per dose is above the CRN UL. Bioavailability of B3 vitamers may be roughly equivalent, although they may function differently.

Supplementation may decrease risk of dietary deficiency and insufficiency. In the United States, EAR is 12 mg. Before supplementation, about 2% of people consume less than EAR; and after supplementation, about 10% consume more than UL. The proportion of people with insufficiency is unknown.

Supplementation may support brain health, according to these studies:

This study had divergent results:

Supplementation above the CRN UL may provide a strong increase to HDL-C and a notable decrease to LDL-C and triglycerides. For links to studies, see my list of top tier geroprotectors.

Supplementation above the CRN UL may provide a subtle decrease to risk of stroke, according to these studies:

This study had divergent results:

However, supplementation above the CRN UL may also promote a subtle detrimental effect on blood glucose, insulin, and insulin sensitivity. For links to studies, see the Vitamin B3 article at Examine.com.

For Vitamin B3 in B Complex supplements, the mean dose is 100 mg, which is 625% RDI, 588% UK UL, and 40% CRN UL. Vitamin B3 as Nicotinamide is an ingredient in Thrivous Clarity.

Vitamin B4

Vitamin B4 may refer to Adenine, Carnitine, or Choline. Consensus science does not currently recognize any of these substances as a vitamin.

However, Carnitine and Choline are both nootropics.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine, a form of Carnitine, is in my list of top tier nootropics. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to ammonia, thereby detoxifying the brain.

I consider Alpha-GPC, which contains Choline, to be a second tier nootropic. CDP-Choline may also be an effective nootropic.

Celebrity futurist Ray Kurzweil recommends Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Phosphatidylcholine. Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Alpha-GPC (Choline) are ingredients in Thrivous Alpha.

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 vitamers include Coenzyme A, Pantothenate, Pantothenic Acid, Pantothenol, and 4-Phosphopantetheine. It is found in foods like chicken, beef, potatoes, oats, cereals, tomato products, liver, kidney, yeast, egg yolk, broccoli, and whole grains.

Regulatory agencies recommend that you consume between 5 mg and 6 mg daily. In the United States, RDI is 5 mg. In the European Union, NRV is 6 mg.

Supplementation is generally safe up to at least 200 mg daily and perhaps up to 1000 mg daily. In the United States and the European Union, UL is not determined. In the United Kingdom, UL is 200 mg. CRN sets its UL at 1000 mg. Regarding the UK UL assessment, CRN notes: “clinical trial data identified by the [UK] provided evidence that supplemental intakes of 2,000 mg did not produce adverse effects … with the absence of adverse effects with daily intakes as high as 10 g, and systemic clinical experience with oral intakes of up to 1,000 mg per day, 1,000 mg per day is selected as the CRN supplemental UL value”. Bioavailability of B5 vitamers may be roughly equivalent.

Supplementation may decrease risk of dietary deficiency and insufficiency. In the United States, EAR is not established. The proportion of people with insufficiency is unknown.

For Vitamin B5 in B Complex supplements, the mean dose is 100 mg, which is 2000% RDI, 50% UK UL, and 10% CRN UL. Vitamin B5 as Calcium Pantothenate is an ingredient in Thrivous Clarity.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 vitamers include Pyridoxine (Pyridoxol), Pyridoxine-5-Phosphate, Pyridoxamine, Pyridoxamine-5-Phosphate, Pyridoxal, and Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate. They are found in foods like fortified cereals, organ meats, and fortified soy-based meat substitutes. In the United States, FDA regulates the Pyradoxamine vitamer as a pharmaceutical.

Regulatory agencies recommend that you consume between 1.4 mg and 1.7 mg daily. In the United States, RDI is 1.7 mg. In the European Union, NRV is 1.4 mg.

Supplementation is generally safe up to at least 10 mg daily and perhaps up to 100 mg daily. In the United States, UL is 100 mg. In the European Union, UL is 25 mg. In the United Kingdom, UL is 10 mg. CRN sets its UL at 100 mg. Regarding the other UL assessments, CRN notes: “three government reports based their risk assessment on widely differing datasets and methods, especially in determining uncertainty … the complete absence of adverse effects in credible, well-designed studies at 100 and 150 mg and only marginal evidence of adverse effects at 200 mg … indicate that 100 mg can be confidently identified, with a low level of uncertainty, as a safe level of consumption”.

Supplementation may decrease risk of dietary deficiency and insufficiency. In the United States, EAR is 1.1 mg. Before supplementation, about 12% of people consume less than EAR; and after supplementation, about 1% consume more than UL. The proportion of people with insufficiency is unknown.

Supplementation (independent of B Complex consideration) may NOT support brain health or improve mental performance, according to these meta-analyses:

This study had divergent results:

However, supplementation above the CRN UL may promote risk of nerve damage, according to this and related studies:

For Vitamin B6 in B Complex supplements, the mean dose is 50 mg, which is 2941% RDI, 500% UK UL, and 50% CRN UL. Vitamin B6 as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate is an ingredient in Thrivous Clarity.

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 vitamers include Biotin. It is found in foods like liver, and smaller amounts in fruits and meats.

Regulatory agencies recommend that you consume between 30 mcg and 50 mcg daily. In the United States, RDI is 30 mcg. In the European Union, NRV is 50 mcg.

Supplementation is generally safe up to at least 900 mcg daily and perhaps up to 2500 mcg daily. In the United States and the European Union, UL is not determined. In the United Kingdom, UL is 900 mcg. CRN sets its UL at 2500 mcg. Regarding the UK UL assessment, CRN notes: “absence of adverse effect at 9mg of biotin per day suggests that biotin supplements with lower amounts are likely to be safe … [and the UK uncertainty factor] is unnecessarily restrictive”.

Supplementation may decrease risk of dietary deficiency and insufficiency. In the United States, EAR is not established. The proportion of people with insufficiency is unknown.

For Vitamin B7 in B Complex supplements, the mean dose is 300 mcg, which is 1000% RDI, 33% UK UL, and 12% CRN UL. Vitamin B7 as Biotin is an ingredient in Thrivous Clarity.

Vitamin B8

Vitamin B8 may refer to Adenosine Monophosphate (also known as AMP or Adenylic Acid) or Inositol. Consensus science does not currently recognize either of these substances as a vitamin.

However, Inositol is in my list of top tier nootropics. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to anxiety and panic attacks.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 vitamers include Folic Acid and Folate. Folate forms include 5-Formyltetrahydrofolate (Folinic Acid) and 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate. 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate forms include D-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (D-5-MTHF, 6R-D-Methyltetrahydrofolate, or 6R-D-MTHF) and L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF, 6S-L-Methyltetrahydrofolate, or 6S-L-MTHF). They are found in foods like enriched cereal grains, dark leafy vegetables, enriched and whole-grain breads and bread products, and fortified ready-to-eat cereals.

Regulatory agencies recommend that you consume between 200 mcg and 400 mcg daily. In the United States, RDI is 400 mcg. In the European Union, NRV is 200 mcg.

Supplementation is generally safe up to at least 1000 mcg daily. In the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, UL is 1000 mcg. CRN also sets its UL at 1000 mcg. Folate may present a lower risk of adverse effects than Folic Acid. In some cases, 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate may provide greater bioavilability than 5-Formyltetrahydrofolate, particularly for persons with the MTHFR genetic mutation. L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate may have higher antioxidant activity than D-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate.

Supplementation may decrease risk of dietary deficiency and insufficiency. In the United States, EAR is 320 mcg. Before supplementation, about 11% of people consume less than EAR; and after supplementation, about 6% consume more than UL. The proportion of people with insufficiency is unknown.

Supplementation may decrease risk of neural tube birth defects, according to this and related meta-analyses:

Supplementation (independent of B Complex consideration) may NOT support brain health or improve mental performance, according to these meta-analyses:

These studies had divergent results:

However, supplementation above the UL may promote risk of colon cancer, according to this and related studies:

For Vitamin B9 in B Complex supplements, the mean dose is 400 mcg, which is 100% RDI, 40% UK UL, and 40% CRN UL. Vitamin B9 as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate is an ingredient in Thrivous Clarity.

Vitamin B10

Vitamin B10 may refer to Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (also known as PABA). Consensus science does not currently recognize this substance as a vitamin.

Vitamin B11

Vitamin B11 may refer to Pteryl-Hepta-Glutamic Acid (also known as PHGA) or Salicylic Acid. Consensus science does not currently recognize either of these substances as a vitamin.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 vitamers include Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxocobalamin, Adenosylcobalamin, and Methylcobalamin. They are found in foods like fortified cereals, meat, fish, and poultry.

Regulatory agencies recommend that you consume between 2.4 mcg and 2.5 mcg daily. In the United States, RDI is 2.4 mcg. In the European Union, NRV is 2.5 mcg.

Supplementation is generally safe up to at least 2000 mcg daily and perhaps up to 3000 mcg daily. In the United States and the European Union, UL is not determined. In the United Kingdom, UL is 2000 mcg. CRN sets its UL at 3000 mcg. Maximum dose with absorption above a constant 1.2% is between 500 and 1000 mcg. Because Cyanocobalamin contains a small amount of cyanide (perhaps inconsequential), Methylcobalamin has become an increasingly popular vitamer. However, Methylcobalamin may need to be combined with Adenosylcobalamin to be most broadly effective.

Supplementation may decrease risk of dietary deficiency and insufficiency. In the United States, EAR is 2 mcg. Before supplementation, about 3% of people consume less than EAR. The proportion of people with insufficiency is unknown.

Supplementation (independent of B Complex consideration) may NOT support brain health or improve mental performance, according to these meta-analyses:

For Vitamin B12 in B Complex supplements, the mean dose is 120 mcg, which is 5000% RDI, 6% UK UL, and 4% CRN UL. Vitamin B12 as Adenosylcobalamin and Methylcobalamin is an ingredient in Thrivous Clarity.

Thrivous

Based on these studies, Thrivous developed a nootropic dietary supplement for daily use. Each serving (two capsules) of Clarity contains a high dose of bioavailable Vitamin B Complex. Accordingly, daily supplementation of Clarity may support brain function. So what are you waiting for? Talk to your doctor about starting Clarity today!

Buy Thrivous Clarity, the Daily Nootropic



Older Post Newer Post