VITAMIN B AND SHILAJIT
Shilajit is filled with lots of goodness. That much is known. From amino acids, minerals, vitamins and DCPs, DBPs, fulvic acid, and lots more, Shilajit sure has a lot to offer. And as you know, we love learning new things along the way. While we have prepared many blog topics so far (which you can find here), there are still many areas that we didn’t cover. Examining the laboratory analysis of our Shilajit, a group of substances caught our attention. Together, they form what we call the vitamin B complex. This diverse and exciting component is crucial in many aspects and can affect our health in many different ways. And we’re here to learn how this happens. After all, if we want to use Shilajit as it is meant to be, we have to learn about its aspects. So, vitamin B, where to begin?
First of all, let’s be clear about something. When talking about vitamin B, there are a few different substances that can be categorized under it. This means we’re talking about vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. In Shilajit, vitamins from B1 to B6 can be found and the rest found in traces that practically do not affect our health. That being said, let’s see what they do.
Thiamin (thiamine), or vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in some foods, added to foods, and sold as a supplement. Thiamin plays a vital role in the growth and function of various cells. Only small amounts are stored in the liver, so a daily intake of thiamin-rich foods is needed. Because thiamin is involved in several basic cell functions and the breakdown of nutrients for energy, a deficiency can lead to various problems in the brain and heart that require a constant supply of energy. Thiamin is found naturally in meats, fish, and whole grains. It is also added to breads, cereals, and baby formulas. Thiamin is destroyed with high-heat cooking or long cooking times. It also leaches into the water and will be lost in any cooking or soaking water thrown out. This is one of the reasons we emphasize that you don’t put your Shilajit in boiling water as it destroys valuable nutrients.
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is naturally present in foods, added to foods, and available as a supplement. Bacteria in the gut can produce small amounts of riboflavin, but not enough to meet dietary needs. Riboflavin is a key component of coenzymes involved with the growth of cells, energy production, and the breakdown of fats, steroids, and medications. Most riboflavin is used immediately and not stored in the body, so excess amounts are excreted in the urine.  An excess of dietary riboflavin, usually from supplements, can cause urine to become bright yellow.
Niacin, or vitamin B3, is a water-soluble B vitamin found naturally in some foods, added to foods, and sold as a supplement. The two most common forms of niacin in food and supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. The body can also convert tryptophan—an amino acid—to nicotinamide. Niacin is water-soluble, so the excess amounts the body does not need are excreted in the urine. Niacin is essential for the body to convert carbohydrates, fat, and alcohol into energy. It helps maintain skin health and supports the nervous and digestive systems. Unlike other B-group vitamins, niacin is very heat stable, and little is lost in cooking.
Pantothenic acid is needed to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and alcohol and produce red blood cells and steroid hormones. It is used to make coenzyme A (CoA), a chemical compound that helps enzymes to build and break down fatty acids as well as perform other metabolic functions, and acyl carrier protein, which is also involved in building fats. Pantothenic acid is widespread and found in various foods, but some good sources include liver, meats, milk, kidneys, eggs, yeast, peanuts, and legumes. Pantothenic acid is found in almost all plant and animal foods to some degree, because the vitamin is found in all living cells.
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine is needed for protein and carbohydrate metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, and certain brain chemicals. It influences brain processes and development, immune functions, and steroid hormone activity. Vitamin B6 has been widely studied for its role in disease prevention. The vitamin in supplement form shows the most promise for the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea, but such use should only occur under the supervision of a physician.
It’s called Biotin and is needed for energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and glycogen synthesis. High biotin intake can contribute to raised blood cholesterol levels. It is a water-soluble B vitamin found naturally in some foods and also in supplements. It also helps to regulate signals sent by cells and the activity of genes. Biotin supplements are often glamorized as a treatment for hair loss and to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails. Although a deficiency of Biotin can undoubtedly lead to hair loss and skin or nail problems, evidence showing the benefit of supplementation is inconclusive.
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9, water-soluble and naturally found in many foods. It is also added to foods and sold as a supplement in the form of folic acid; this form is actually better absorbed than that from food sources—85% vs. 50%. Folate or folic acid (the synthetic form of folate which is used extensively in dietary supplements and food fortification) is needed to form red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. It helps develop the fetal nervous system, DNA synthesis, and cell growth. Women of child-bearing age need a diet rich in folate for this reason.
And the last one, cyanocobalamin. It helps produce and maintain the myelin surrounding nerve cells, mental ability, red blood cell formation, and the breaking down of some fatty acids and amino acids to produce energy. Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is naturally found in animal foods. It can also be added to foods or supplements. Because vitamin B12 is only found in foods from animal sources, people following strict vegan diets, as well as breastfed babies of vegan mothers, tend to be most commonly affected. Absorption of B12 from the gut also tends to decrease with age, so the elderly are another group who are more at risk of deficiency.
So, there you have it. We hope you found this blog helpful. As you can see, the vitamin B complex is crucial and not something to overlook. If you want to learn anything else, feel free to browse other blogs right here.
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