Why Vitamin B Supplementation Is Important For Women

It is important for women to watch their dietary intake of Vitamin B. There are a couple of reasons why, women specifically, are more at risk for a deficiency of these vitamins. 

In this blog, you will understand why Vitamin B supplementation is important for women and what other strategies you can use to maintain healthy levels. I will explain where vitamin B comes from and what the symptoms are of a deficiency. But that's not all, I will also discuss:

  • The value of getting your bloodwork done on a regular basis
  • How you can overcome a deficiency

 

Where Does Vitamin B Come From?

There is a variety of B vitamins that all have a specific origin and function. All of them, however, are essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system, DNA-formation, red blood cell production, and helping to convert food into energy.

All vitamins are found in a wide variety of foods like:

  • Whole grains
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Dark green vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • (Organ) meat

Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is the trickiest of all. This essential vitamin you only get by eating animal products. Therefore, if you are a vegan or vegetarian supplementation is extremely important. There are foods, some non-animal foods, like tempeh and nori that have vitamin B-12, however, these aren’t as rich in B-12 as organ meats, clams, and mackerel. 

 

Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency

If you have a lack of vitamin B, this might have consequences for your health. Common symptoms that come with vitamin B deficiency are:

  • Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • Constipation
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Behavioral changes

Now, this sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it?

Luckily, a deficiency is easily prevented. But let’s first understand why women are more at risk for a deficiency.

 

Why Women Are More Prone to a Vitamin B Deficiency

Women, just like men, need proper nutrition to maintain a healthy and fit body. If you hit the gym often, preform cardio regularly, or do any other strenuous sport you need to eat more than somebody who doesn't. In the sport of fitness competitions, women in general will have to maintain a lean figure and to accomplish this will have to remain in a calorie deficit for a lengthy period of time. While this might help to keep a low body fat percentage, it can have consequences on performance and general health in the long term.

Because vitamin B is important for energy production, DNA formation, red blood cell production and maintaining a healthy nervous system, if a woman wants to eventually get pregnant one day making sure she is getting enough vitamin B is crucial.

 

The Value of Regular Bloodwork

Your vitamin B levels are easily determined by getting your bloodwork done. Still, it is smart to get tested on a regular basis.

Let me explain why.

Your body is a big chemical factory that doesn’t always apply to set standards. What I am trying to say here is that if you only check your blood once you feel like you might be deficient your bloodwork might be a false positive.

So, what do I mean with that?

Let’s say you feel tired on a regular basis even though you are sleeping 8 hours. After you visit the doctor and you get your blood tests done it turns out you have a shortage of vitamin B. Not a big one, but just too little. The diagnose will be: “Vitamin B deficiency”.

Now imagine you did a blood test 6 months before experiencing symptoms. The result of your B blood test might be the same. As I mentioned before, your body doesn't always comply to set standards.

If your doctor has this information, he can make a better-informed decision. Maybe there’s something more going on than just a lack of B in your blood. Therefore, by doing bloodwork on a regular basis you increase its reliability.

 

How to Overcome Vitamin B Deficiency?

If your shortage of B isn’t too significant you can easily compensate it by taking a supplement. However, if it’s more severe the doctor might give you an injection to improve your levels right away.

Here are some considerations to choose the right supplement:

  • In the case of vitamin B-12 choose Methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin (which converts into methylcobalamin) because it is absorbed easiest
  • Choose a supplement without any additives like sweeteners and colorants
  • Be aware that in the case of a sublingual spray of vitamin B-12 that only 1% is absorbed

Still, I think an important takeaway is that we women shouldn't be afraid to eat. There are plenty of healthy strategies to stay lean.

One, for example, is to increase the amount of fiber in your diet to improve your metabolism. And another is, to build more muscle which will improve your base caloric expenditure.

So be mindful of your fitness; eat enough, take your vitamin B supplement and take the sustainable road to maintain a healthy and fit body.


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Bree Hunter

Bree Hunter is a Calgary fitness model and personal training professional. Since entering the world of fitness modelling, Bree has achieved an extraordinary and unparalleled year-round physique and she is excited to help her clients reach the same levels of success. Bree's drive and determination saw her achieve high levels of success on the. . .

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