An increased intake of B vitamins can help improve concentration and other cognitive skills in young patients that are about to develop schizophrenia and other psychoses, according to a study conducted by scientists from Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Australia. Here, it is important to consider all the different factors that may lead to a deficiency of the essential B vitamins, including unhealthy diets, too much sugar, energy beverages, alcohol, and other stimulants. It appears that the unhealthy lifestyle that many youngsters have increases their risk of psychoses. It is therefore not enough to treat them with anti-psychotic drugs and psychological therapy, if the brain and the nervous system lack essential nutrients.
A good night’s sleep with accompanying dream activity is essential. It helps us recharge our batteries and process the things that have happened during the day. Magnesium is important for our ability to relax, which helps us fall asleep faster. According to an Australian study, high-dosed supplementation with vitamin B6 just before bedtime helps us remember our dreams. Moreover, magnesium and vitamin B6 have a synergistic effect on stress, so it is vital to get enough of these nutrients, as stress is a frequent cause of poor sleep. Magnesium and vitamin B6 are also important for the body’s ability to produce the sleep hormone melatonin.
Women in modern society typically live more than a third of their life after menopause. Once they stop menstruating, different hormone changes and ageing processes occur that can potentially affect health and quality of life. Studies show that certain B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin K2 affect our mood, cognitive functions, circulatory system, mucous membranes, connective tissues, bones, anti-cancer mechanisms and other functions. It is therefore important to get plenty of these nutrients, especially after menopause where women are particularly vulnerable.
- but is heavily overrated in energy beverages and breakfast cereals
Vitamin B6 is essential for the energy turnover, nervous system, hormone balance, and a number of other important functions. Vitamin B6 has been added to many energy beverages and breakfast cereals as an “energy booster” or a way of telling consumers that the product is healthy. But don’t be fooled. The same products often contain loads of sugar and caffeine, which burdens the blood sugar balance and the nervous system. It is therefore far better to get vitamin B6 by eating a balanced and healthy diet, possibly topped off with a supplement if necessary. Those who are likely to benefit from a supplement are strict vegetarians and vegans, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and seniors.