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.
What does the body need to build healthy nerves? *
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 these B vitamins as it is difficult to get enough of these vitamins in food, especially if your nervous system health is fading.
B1 (tiamine) 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.
B12 – 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.
It is critical for maintaining this myelin sheath around nerves. Nerves are encased in a fatty sheath composed of a protein called myelin which shields nerve fibers from each other.
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.
Other B vitamins: These 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.
B2, B6 and B9: B1 (tiamine) is dependent on the other B-complex vitamins. Absorption of B1 into the body requires adequate supplies of vitamin B6, B12 and B9 (folic acid). A deficiency in Vitamins B12 can increase loss of B1 in the urine, and vitamin B6 also appears to help regulate distribution of tiamine throughout the body.
B9 (folic acid) is necessary to activate the absorption of the B12.
B2 The body utilizes vitamin B2 to keep tissue healthy and to help accelerate healing of injuries. B2 protects the nervous system.
Vitamin D One of the functions of Vitamin D is the regulation of nervous system development and function.
All these vitamins nourish the nerves and calm the nerve endings. They work together.
*Reference *Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publishing Listing of vitamins
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 cynocobalamine) 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