Vitamin B complex plays a crucial role in energy production and brain metabolism. The discovery of these beneficial effects was recognised in the 1930s, when Honekamp, a German physician, successfully treated schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and epilepsy with yeast and other Vitamin B rich nutrients.
Vitamin B complex consists of 8 vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. From these, the most important brain boosting vitamins are:
Irreplaceable for the nervous and muscular system, thiamine plays a crucial role in nerve impulses. A deficiency in this particular nutrient can cause Korsakoff’s syndrome; a chronic memory loss condition often seen in alcoholics.
Niacin has been found to improve HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels, helping to prevent the risk of atherosclerosis (fatty deposits in arteries) consequently, preventing the risk of stroke. Niacin also maintains healthy cerebral blood-flow, improving focus and concentration levels. B3 has also been found to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease prevention.
B9 (Folic Acid):
Folic acid is a nutrient essential for amino acid metabolism, it helps to lower levels of homocysteine; the amino acid associated with brain cell damage. Half of the body’s store of folic acid is in the liver meaning that those suffering from liver damage are highly susceptible to a Folic Acid deficiency. Consuming adequate levels of Vitamin B9 has found to have beneficial effects on cognitive function such as improved memory, focus and alertness.
Cobalamin is essential for the development and function of brain and nerve cells. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the maintenance of myelin sheaths; the substance that covers nerves in the central and peripheral nervous system protecting nerve-impulse transmission.