The critical role of B-vitamins (and drinking)

Little known secret - B-vitamins are involved in thousands of critical cellular reactions throughout your body.  Cellular reactions are things like food metabolism, cell repair, and muscle growth. 

While they have a broad range of responsibilities, one of the most significant things they do is help eliminate toxins from alcohol, and many hangover symptoms are caused by nutrient deficiencies. That said, B-complex vitamins are also vulnerable to and often destroyed by alcohol.[1]

B-vitamin depletion is a common side effect of drinking alcohol. As you’ve probably experienced yourself, it leaves you feeling tired and low energy following an evening of drinks.

This happens because of two reasons:

1: Processing toxic by-products from alcohol (like acetaldehyde) is taxing on your liver and expends high amounts of crucial nutrients like B-vitamins. Once the liver uses its available supply of these nutrients, they are drawn from your bloodstream to replenish the loss. As a result, your body and brain are deprived of these nutrients and your normal body functions suffer.

2: Alcohol also reduces B-vitamin absorption. This makes it even more difficult for your body to replace what is lost at an adequate rate.[2] 

A study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture found that over 40% of people in America have low B12 levels.  This makes them further susceptible to these symptoms.[3]

For these reasons, taking a B-vitamin supplement before drinking alcohol is a helpful way to support your body’s normal functions while also reducing the impact of hangovers. Don’t take a multivitamin that only supplies 100% of the “Daily Value” of nutrients.  The Daily Value is typically a level intended only to prevent deficiency diseases.  For vitamins that are particularly impacted by alcohol, you may benefit from taking higher than normal daily values.  This can help overcome vitamin loss, improve absorption and leave you ready to take on your day.

 

 

 

[1] https://www.bouldermedicalcenter.com/nutrition-recommendations-consume-alcohol/

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC301849/

[3] http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm

 



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