The Nerve Cell & the Nervous System
When nerves are healthy, sensory nerves (such as those in your fingers and toes) communicate well to the environment and receive messages clearly. There is no tingling, no numbness, no burning, and no pain in the feet, hands or anywhere else.
Healthy motor nerves communicate to the muscles so that they move on demand. They relay the commands sent to the muscles from the brain. There is no unsteadiness, or being unbalanced, no dropped foot. There is no muscle weakness.
When a nerve is healthy, it has a myelin sheath surrounding it. This lining protects the nerve and just like a wire with a protective coating, it will not short circuit or create any uncomfortable feelings such as tingling, burning or pain.
Signs of Declining Nerve Health
- Pins and needles discomfort
- Burning Sensation
- Sensitivity to Touch
What does the body need for nerve health? *
Without the right nutrients, your nervous system can become susceptible to oxidative stress, inflammation, and damage.
The body needs specific nutrients (vitamins) that will nourish the nerves and create health in each individual nerve. This, of course, will build a healthy nervous system. It helps to supplement with these B vitamins as it is difficult to get enough of these vitamins in food, especially if your nervous system health is fading.
B1 (thiamin) Besides being important for energy production, cardiovascular function, brain function, eye health and proper functioning of the muscles and all body cells, it is necessary for nerve function.
B1 is used in the development of myelin sheaths: Myelin sheaths are the protective covering of the nerves. Deficiency of vitamin B1 results in weakening of the sheaths. Adequate intake of vitamin B1 ensures the development of myelin sheaths and aids nerve functioning. It is also required for regulating the transmission of particular types of nerve signals along the brain and the spinal cord.
Thiamin also contributes to optimal cognitive activity, normal brain functioning, and learning capacity.
Vitamin B1 even acts as an antioxidant, helping to guard the body against the destructive effects of free radicals.
Vitamin B1 Deficiency
A vitamin B1 deficiency can happen due to numerous reasons, such as poor diet, abusing alcohol, or liver and kidney problems. Eating large quantities of sweets, sodas, and processed foods can also be at a higher risk of deficiency.
A deficiency may result in muscle weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, and stiffness. A vitamin B1 deficiency can also negatively affect heart function and cause the heart muscles to weaken.
Using alcohol results in lower vitamin B1 as it uses up B1 and lowers the amount of B1 that can be absorbed by the body. It blocks the B1 absorption but also damages the lining of the small intestine which will disrupt normal absorption of all ingredients.
Vitamin B1 deficiency results in digestive problems
A thiamin deficiency can negatively affect the nervous system resulting in tingling, numbness, irritability, poor memory retention, and depression.
Benfotiamine is a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1 (thiamine) that is 3.6 times more bioavailable than water-soluble thiamine. This unique nutrient is one of the best defenses against nerve cell damage. It helps provide nerves with fuel, relieve nerve pain, transmit nerve impulses, support muscle contractions, and reduce oxidative stress.
Benfotiamine is one of the only synthetic nutrients that can be recommended because of its safety, effectiveness, and unmatched benefits for the nervous system.
B12 – Vitamin B12 is critical for maintaining this myelin sheath around nerves. The myelin sheaths are sleeve-like protectors that shield your nerve cells from damage Nerves are encased in a fatty sheath composed of a protein called myelin which shields nerve fibers from each other.
It’s also essential in the production of “feel-good” hormones that help stabilize your mood and energy levels.
Vitamin B12’s primary use by the body is aiding in the production of red blood cells, and in helping to maintain the health of the central nervous system. It keeps nerve cells healthy and protects against deterioration of the nerves.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A deficiency of vitamin B12 can contribute to wide range of problems. Extended periods of deficiency can eventually result in degenerations of nerves as the body needs it to build the myelin sheath. Those who suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency can have tingling sensations numbness, and burning feelings, weakness in the legs and problems walking.
General symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include tiredness, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, flatulence, reduction in appetite, and menstrual problems. This can be reversed when the deficiency is remedied.
Vitamin D One of the functions of Vitamin D is the regulation of nervous system development and function. Vitamin D is one of the most vital nutrients for nervous system health. It has potent neuroprotective effects and reduces oxidative damage to nervous tissue. Vitamin D is also involved in the activation of essential neurotransmitters that regulate the nervous system.
B2 (Riboflavin) – Vitamin B2 is a powerful antioxidant that helps keep free-radical damage under control in your nervous system, and it’s also a vital nutrient for maintaining low neuroinflammation. The body utilizes vitamin B2 to keep tissue healthy and to help accelerate healing of injuries. B2 protects the nervous system.
B6 – Your nervous system requires vitamin B6 to produce neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. Without normal neurotransmitter levels, nerves fail to communicate with each other, causing abnormal breathing, irritability, anxiety, a lack of energy, and many other adverse effects.
Vitamin B9 (folate) – Folate is essential for the formation of the nervous system and the production of neurotransmitters. Folate deficiency is commonly associated with mental fatigue and depression symptoms. It is necessary to activate the absorption of the B12 (Folate is the natural B9 found in food. Folic acid is a synthesized version of vitamin B9 that is added to processed foods and the common version used in supplements.)
The B vitamins work together. If you take a supplement and it doesn’t have all of these, you won’t get all the benefits you are seeking. For instance, B1 (thiamin) is dependent on the other B-complex vitamins. Absorption of B1 into the body requires adequate supplies of vitamin B6, B12 and B9 (folate). A deficiency in vitamins B12 can increase loss of B1 in the urine, and vitamin B6 also appears to help regulate distribution of thiamin throughout the body.
Magnesium Magnesium is a crucial mineral for the transmission of signals between your neurons. It also plays a role in neuromuscular conduction, which is the process that allows your central nervous system to control muscle movement. Additionally, magnesium helps protect against brain atrophy caused by neuronal loss.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) ALA is a highly potent antioxidant that has the power to neutralize free radicals known to cause nerve pain. This unique compound can also stimulate nerves and regenerate damaged nerve fibers.
All these vitamins work together to nourish the nerves and calm the nerve endings.
What type of B1 & B12 should you use?
You need to both the Benfotiamine (B1) and Methyl B12. The result is that the blood stream levels of vitamin B1 and vitamin B12 can be greatly increased, providing the nutritional support needed by the body to rapidly and far more effectively nourish the nerves.
You might have heard of the new type of vitamin B1 being produced, called Benfotiamine. It is a fat-soluble version of vitamin B1. What does this mean? It means this form of vitamin B1 can be taken orally in large dosages, and it will not flush out of the body the way ordinary tiamine (vitamin B1) does. This is due to the fact that this type of B1 will be delivered into the blood stream where it can travel to the cells and be used. It doesn’t just flush from the body.
Methylcobalamine (called Methyl B12). This is the form of vitamin B12 that can be directly utilized by the body. When regular B12 (called cyanocobalamin) is taken, the body has to convert it into the Methyl B12 in the gut. Often a person can have a hard time converting B12 especially as we get older. Methyl B12 already comes in this useable form. So, when you take this type of B12, your body uses it.
B12 from food is absorbed in the intestines and needs a secretion from the stomach called gastric intrinsic factor in order to be effectively absorbed. If you are deficient in gastric intrinsic factor, you will absorb much less vitamin B12, and therefore can become deficient.
Both Benfotiamine and Methyl B12 have been shown to be non-toxic and without any side effects even in very high dosages, so it can be taken as a supplement.
Taken together with the three other B (B2, B6, B9), and Vitamin D3 in the exact proportion that work together will produce the best results.
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**Studies & Research on Nerve Health (based on science)
*Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publishing Listing of vitamins