Firstly, we know, that you know, eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, managing stress and getting enough sleep are the best ways to help maintain your health. But we understand these things are not always possible, especially when balancing the demands of life. Fortunately research has shown that there are many supplements you can turn to for a health boost.
COLLAGEN: the star of the show : for healthier hair and skin + muscle mass boost
First and foremost, its important to note that collagen is the second most abundant substance in our body, after water. Collagen also happens to be the most abundant protein in our body.
It is found in all our connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and bones, with its purpose being to provide these body parts with their strength, structure and elasticity. As we get older, our bodies become less efficient at naturally producing collagen which is why so many men supplement their diet with collagen to keep their bodies in optimal working condition.
Collagen offers various health benefits, including maintaining the skin’s elasticity (which can result in a more youthful appearance), maintaining the health of the hair and nails, and supporting joint health. Collagen is also an excellent protein source, packing in more protein per calorie than other sources while containing less sodium and sugar.
So what is Collagen? It’s the most abundant structural protein in the human body and is often called the body’s scaffolding. It’s the glue that holds the body together and is found in skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues. Collagen has many important functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. Collagen makes up about a third of all the protein in the human body, more than any other type of protein in the body by mass. Specifically, it makes up about 70-75% of our dry-mass skin content, providing volume that keeps skin looking plump and keeps lines at bay. This naturally-occurring protein is found in your body in large amounts and helps to keep you healthy and looking great. It’s also rich in the amino acids proline and glycine, which you need to maintain and repair your tendons, bones, and joints. Our bodies make collagen by combining different amino acids extracted from our diet. Scientists have identified twenty-nine different types of collagen (each ‘type’ is a different combination of amino acids). But in humans, the vast majority is type I, II, or III.
As we age, we break down Collagen faster than we can replace it and our natural collagen production begins to slow down which can result in sagging skin, the appearance of fine lines and thinning hair. We begin to lose about 1% of our collagen per year in our mid-20s. By the time we get to 40, we will have lost around a third of our natural collagen. Excess sun exposure, smoking and poor diet can also inhibit collagen production.
When we apply Collagen on the skin, it doesn’t absorb well and there have been some impressive clinical studies showing that supplementing your diet with ingestible collagen can increase your collagen intake and has multiple benefits such as
- improving skin elasticity & reducing acne and acne related blemishes
- providing relief from joint & muscle pain
- boosting muscle mass & faster muscle recovery
- preventing bone loss
- promoting heart health
- increasing hair and nail strength
- improving gut and brain health
- aiding weight loss.
Although there are also several protein-rich foods you can eat to increase your collagen intake, including beef, pork skin and bone broth, the problem is that these unprocessed sources of amino acids are comparatively difficult for your body to absorb. So you’d need to consume an enormous amount of bone broth to have any impact on your collagen levels.
Using a process called hydrolysation we break down the collagen into smaller pieces known as “peptides” which makes it easier for you to absorb. This is why collagen peptides are also known as hydrolysed collagen.
Unsurprisingly, Marine collagen comes from fish. When the flesh of a fish is removed to be used as food, everything that is left is cleaned, and collagen is extracted via the process hydrolysation. Marine collagen is more sustainably produced and has less impact on the environment than for example bovine collagen which is sourced from animals (cows & pigs). And there is a lower risk of contaminants as Marine Collagen does not pose any known risk of transmissible diseases.
Studies that have looked at the absorption of collagen peptides found marine collagen tends to be absorbed better than bovine collagen due to its low molecular weight. Studies also show hydrolyzed collagen seems to be well absorbed in general, and can boost circulating levels of important amino acids.
Marine collagen is predominantly type 1 which is used in our skin, tendons and bones. This makes it an excellent choice for people looking to improve their general wellbeing or rejuvenate their skin.
Clinical studies show that Himmense SHIFT's key ingredient, Type 1 hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides, can have a beneficial effect on the appearance of skin, boost muscle mass and reduce joint pain when taken daily for 12 weeks. And it can boost circulating levels of important amino acids. We highlight some of these studies below:
Being in constant contact with the external environment, the skin is subject to more insults than most of our other organs, and is where the first visible signs of aging occur. As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. Collagen plays a role in strengthening skin, plus may benefit elasticity and hydration.
- A 2014 study of 69 participants aged 35 to 55 found that those who took 2.5 or 5 grams of collagen daily for 8 weeks showed a lot of improvement in skin elasticity, compared with those who did not take the supplement.
- A separate study found that participants who took a collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks had 76% less dryness, 12% fewer visible wrinkles, better blood flow in the skin, and a 6% higher collagen content compared with a control group.
- In addition, taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin.
Collagen is an excellent protein source, packing in more protein per calorie than other sources while containing less sodium and sugar.
- A 2019 study in recreationally active men aged between 21-27 years showed that a combination of collagen supplements and strength training increased muscle mass and strength more than a placebo.
- One study of 53 elderly men with sarcopenia a loss of muscle caused by aging, found that those who took collagen daily, in addition to lifting weights three times per week for 3 months, gained significantly more muscle and lost more fat than those who only lifted weights.
Collagen helps maintain the healthy cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that covers the surface of our joints, protecting them from wear and tear. As we age, the amount of collagen in our body decreases so we are at an increased risk of developing conditions such as osteoarthritis.
By including collagen in our diet, it aids in the repair of cartilage tissue, as well as alleviate joint inflammation and pain.
- Studies have shown that collagen supplements help with arthritis pain and sports-related joint pain. Arthritis causes the collagen in joints to break down faster than it can be replenished, which results in joint pain and decreased mobility.
- One study concluded that “hydrolysed collagen has a positive therapeutic effect on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, with a potential increase in bone mineral density, a protective effect on articular cartilage, and especially in the symptomatic relief of pain.” A 2017 study published in the Journal of Arthritis found that collagen supplements helped relieve pain for patients with osteoarthritis. A 2016 study published in Nutrition Journal also found that collagen supplements helped relieve pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
- A joint study by Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Centre followed a group of 30 Osteoarthritis (OA) patients for 48 weeks. Half were given a placebo, and the other half were given collagen supplements. MRI scans proved that the collagen patients had significant re-growth of damaged cartilage after a year.
- In one study conducted by Penn State University, 73 athletes who consumed collagen daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest, compared with a group that did not take it.
- In another study, adults that took collagen daily for 70 days had a significant reduction in joint pain and were better able to engage in physical activity than those who did not take it.
When it comes to our hair, the specific protein responsible for maintaining its structure and quality is keratin. As we age and keratin reduces, hair often becomes thinner, weaker and sometimes more coarse. Collagen contains amino acids in a very easy to absorb form and some of these amino acids are vital for the production of keratin, so a supplement may be key to helping keep hair at its optimum condition.
Going one step further, a study in Japan found that the reduction of a type of collagen, XVII, near hair follicle stems is associated with hair loss. The study examined mice at the age when they usually begin to lose hair. It found that those lacking in type XVII saw damaged stem cells turn into skin cells, which break away from the body like dandruff, thus contributing to hair follicle shrinkage and ultimately hair loss.
Given that amino acids are essential for stimulating and supporting hair follicles and keratin production, it makes sense to ensure that your diet includes a high-quality source of these proteins so as to potentially avoid hair loss and maintain a healthy head of hair.
Collagen helps protect your heart and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. It provides structure to your arteries, which keep blood flowing to and from your heart. A meta-analysis published in The British Journal of Nutrition determined that collagen supplements positively affected biomarkers related to cardiovascular disease, with studies showing that taking collagen supplements can reduce artery stiffness and increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in the body. This means it can help reduce your risk of developing heart conditions.
- Collagen helps promote heart health by keeping arteries healthy and strong. Arteries are the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart throughout the body. They play a crucial role in distributing oxygen, nutrients and hormones throughout your body. Weak, stiff, and inflexible arteries are linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke. In one small study, people who took a collagen supplement at breakfast and dinner (for a total of 16 grams per day) showed a significant reduction in arterial stiffness. A separate study found that 2.5 grams of collagen per day had similar effects.
- Collagen helps improve cholesterol balance and also decrease total cholesterol, lower triglycerides (fats linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease) and prevent and treat the build-up of plaque on artery walls. If your levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol are too high, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This build-up is also known as cholesterol plaque. This plaque can narrow your arteries, limit your blood flow, and raise your risk of blood clots, heart attack and stroke. In one study, participants experienced a significant reduction in measures of artery stiffness and their levels of HDL (good) cholesterol rose by an average of 6%.
- Collagen helps balance blood pressure. When arteries become stiff and thick, it’s harder for blood to flow easily, increasing the risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension. Some research suggests that glycine, one of the primary amino acids in collagen can promote heart health by reducing blood pressure and protect against arterial damage.
Collagen has been used for treating wounds for more than 2,000 years, according to a study published in the journal BioMedical Engineering OnLine. The collagen is applied topically, often with other structural proteins and antibiotics, to promote healing and prevent infection.
- For example, a review published in the journal Biopolymers in 2014 describes how a collagen gel or sponge may be placed over a severe burn. The sponge allows the skin to maintain a moist environment while protecting it from infections, and the collagen acts as a scaffold for the regeneration of cells and production of new collagen.
- Collagen works best when paired with other age fighting super ingredients which is why our daily Himmense SHIFT collagen drink for men is infused with vitamin C, for maximum absorption, as well as vitamins B5, B6, B12, C & D3, Selenium and Ashwagandha for multiple health benefits. We know men want to look and feel their best which is why we’ve made sure SHIFT is free from added sugar, sweeteners, artificial flavours, sweeteners, colours, gluten, dairy, soya, animal fat, alcohol, cholesterol, emulsifying agents & soy lecithin.
ASHWAGANDHA: for stress relief, libido and testosterone boost
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera, and it’s also known by several other names, including Indian ginseng and winter cherry. It’s classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it can help your body manage stress.
The Ashwagandha herb is traditionally used to boost energy, reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. Its efficacy in reducing anxiety, stress, improving muscle strength and reducing fatigue symptoms in patients with chronic conditions has been demonstrated in recent trials, which is why clinical studies are underway in the UK to trial its effectiveness in promoting recovery from long COVID.
Research has shown Ashwagandha has a number of benefits that can potentially boost testosterone levels, muscle mass and male fertility. Other significant benefits include reducing stress and anxiety, increasing strength performance, improving glucose metabolism, reducing inflammation, boosting brain function, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, blood sugar and cortisol levels and helping fight insomnia, fatigue, and the symptoms of depression as well as treating cancerous cells.
See more below for the numerous benefits of Ashwagandha that are supported by science:
- Cortisol is known as a stress hormone given that your adrenal glands release it in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low. In some cases, cortisol levels may become chronically elevated, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha supplements may help lower cortisol levels in chronically stressed individuals. In a 60-day study in 64 people with chronic stress, those in the group that supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with 11% in the placebo group. Some research suggests that ashwagandha may also help reduce depression.
- Several studies have shown that Ashwagandha helps increase testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men.In one study of 75 infertile men, the group treated with ashwagandha showed increased sperm count and motility. What’s more, the treatment led to a significant increase in testosterone levels. The researchers also reported that the group who took the herb had increased antioxidant levels in their blood.In another study men who received ashwagandha for stress experienced higher antioxidant levels and better sperm quality.
- In one study, healthy men who took 750–1,250 mg of pulverized ashwagandha root per day gained muscle strength after 30 days. In another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study of 57 young male subjects (18-50 years old) with little experience in resistance training, showed those who took ashwagandha had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size. It also more than doubled their reductions in body fat percentage, compared with the placebo group.
- Several studies have suggested that it can reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes.
- Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy and decrease markers of inflammation.
- Ashwagandha may help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. One animal study found that it lowered total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 53% and nearly 45%, respectively. While controlled human studies have reported less dramatic results, they have observed some impressive improvements in these markers.
- In one controlled study of healthy men who took 500 mg of standardized extract daily reported significant improvements in their reaction time and task performance, compared with men who received a placebo. Another 8-week study in 50 adults showed that taking 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily significantly improved general memory, task performance, and attention.
- Animal and test tube studies have shown that withaferin, a bioactive compound in ashwagandha promotes the death of tumor cells and may help treat several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain, and ovarian cancer. Although no evidence suggests that ashwagandha exerts similar effects in humans, the current research is encouraging.
- India and the UK are collaborating to conduct clinical trials of ‘Ashwagandha’ for promoting recovery from long COVID.
The double-blind clinical trial will involve 2,000 people living in the UK with long Covid and will take place over one year. The positive effects of ‘Ashwagandha’ have been observed in Long COVID and successful completion of the trial could be a major breakthrough and give scientific validity to India’s traditional medicinal system. Dr Sanjay Kinra, professor in clinical epidemiology at LSHTM and principal investigator on the study, said: “Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce symptoms of other conditions that are similar to those of long Covid, so we are hopeful that it will be an effective way to combat the condition.”
You can read more about the benefits of Ashwagandha here. It is a safe supplement for most people, however, people with autoimmune diseases should avoid ashwagandha unless authorized by a healthcare provider. This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes.
SELENIUM: for an antioxidant + immune system boost
Though you may have never heard of the micronutrient selenium, it is vital to your health. It is an essential trace mineral that plays a critical role in important processes in your body, including your metabolism and thyroid function and helps protect your body from damage caused by oxidative stress. This is according to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS).
What’s more, selenium may help boost your immune system, improve fertility, slow age-related mental decline, and even reduce your risk of heart disease.
Selenium can be found in a wide variety of foods, including Brazil nuts, seafood and meat but the amount of selenium in these food sources depends on the concentration of the soil and water where it grew. People can also add the mineral to foods or consume it as a supplement.
Keep reading to find out the key science-backed benefits of selenium:
- Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidative stress and helps defend your body from chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s as well as premature aging and the risk of stroke. Oxidative stress is caused by an excess of free radicals in the body, Smoking, alcohol use, and stress can cause an excess of free radicals. This leads to oxidative stress, which damages healthy cells. Antioxidants like selenium help reduce oxidative stress by keeping free radical numbers in check to lessen your risk of the aforementioned diseases. They work by neutralizing excess free radicals and protecting cells from damage caused by oxidative stress.
- Higher blood levels of selenium may protect against certain cancers, while supplementing with selenium may help improve quality of life in people undergoing radiation therapy. A review of 69 studies that included over 350,000 people, found that having a high blood level of selenium was associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancers. Another review of 16 clinical studies on selenium and radiotherapy, which included 1303 cancer patients, concluded that Selenium supplements improved the general condition of patients, improved quality of life, prevented or reduced the side effects of radiotherapy and did not reduce the effectiveness of radiotherapy or cause any toxicity.
- Selenium may help keep your heart healthy by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress and inflammation have been linked to atherosclerosis, or the build-up of plaque in arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to dangerous health problems like strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease. In an analysis of 25 observational studies, a 50% increase in blood selenium levels was associated with a 24% reduction in the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, a review of 16 controlled studies – involving more than 400,000 people with heart disease –showed that taking selenium supplements decreased levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) — one of the main risk factors for heart disease.
- A diet rich in selenium may help prevent mental decline and improve memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease (it’s worth noting that in the UK, the 2nd leading cause of death in 2020, after COVID-19 was Dementia and Alzheimer’s). Oxidative stress is believed to be involved in both the onset and progression of neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. Several studies have shown that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have lower blood levels of selenium. Another study found that antioxidants in both foods and supplements may improve memory in patients with Alzheimer’s.
- The fact that there’s more selenium in thyroid tissue than in any other organ in the human body tells you something about the influential role this mineral plays in the proper functioning of your thyroid gland. And a healthy thyroid gland is important, as it regulates your metabolism and controls growth and development. Selenium protects the thyroid gland from oxidative stress and is necessary for thyroid hormone production. Selenium deficiency has been associated with thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which involves the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. Furthermore, a study including over 6,000 people found that low levels of selenium were associated with abnormal thyroid function.
- Selenium is crucial for the health and proper functioning of your immune system which keeps your body healthy by identifying and fighting off potential threats. These include bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Selenium helps lower oxidative stress in your body, which reduces inflammation and enhances immunity. Studies show that selenium supplements help boost the immune systems of people with influenza, tuberculosis and hepatitis C. On the other hand, deficiency has been shown to harm immune cell function and may lead to a slower immune response. Another study associated selenium deficiency with an increased risk of death and disease progression in people with HIV, while supplements were shown to lead to fewer hospitalizations and an improvement in symptoms for HIV patients.
- Due to selenium’s ability to reduce inflammation, some studies suggest that this mineral may help reduce asthma-related symptoms. One study showed that asthmatic patients with higher levels of blood selenium had better lung function than those with lower levels. Another study found that giving people with asthma 200 mcg of selenium per day reduced their use of the corticosteroid medications used to control their symptoms.
- Studies have indicated that selenium could be a factor in both male and female fertility, helping to improve semen quality at the same time as lowering the risk of miscarriage.
Whilst selenium is essential for good health, getting too much can be dangerous. The NHS advise that taking 350μg or less a day of selenium supplements is unlikely to cause any harm. Himmense SHIFT contains 55μg of Selenium (100% NRV) for an antioxidant and immunity boost.
VITAMIN C: for skin, immunity and brain function
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vital nutrient for health, it helps form and maintain bones, healthy skin, blood vessels and cartilage. It is also an antioxidant. According to the NHS, Vitamin C also plays a significant role in healing wounds, protecting cells and keeping them healthy:
- It helps the body produce collagen.
- It is an antioxidant that protects against cell damage caused by oxidative stress (e.g. excessive exercise and tissue trauma)
- It helps the body absorb iron, a mineral our body uses to make red blood cells which carry oxygen to all parts of our body.
- It boosts the immune system which protects us from viruses and more.
- It enhances wound healing.
- It reduces dementia risk. Low vitamin C levels have been linked to an increased risk of memory and thinking disorders like dementia, while a high intake of vitamin C has been shown to have a protective effect on thinking and memory as you age.
Because Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it cannot be stored in the body and must be obtained from the diet or supplements. The EU recommended daily intake (NRV) for vitamin C is 80mg.
Here are 7 scientifically proven benefits of taking a vitamin C supplement.
- 1. May reduce risk of chronic disease
- 2. May help manage high blood pressure
- 3. May lower heart disease risk factors
- 4. May reduce blood uric acid levels and help prevent gout
- 5. Helps prevent iron deficiency
- 6. Boosts immunity
- 7. Protects your memory and thinking as you age
Below we examine why taking collagen and Vitamin C together will likely boost your skin, joint and bone health even more than if you just took one of the supplements on its own.
- Studies have shown that vitamin C enhances collagen synthesis, which may have an anti-ageing effect and Vitamin C assists in antioxidant protection of the skin against UV-induced damage.
One of the most compelling arguments for a vital role for vitamin C in skin health is the association between vitamin C deficiency and the loss of a number of important skin functions. In particular, poor wound healing (associated with collagen formation). Taking vitamin C with collagen may speed up healing. When we are deficient in vitamin C, the collagen produced by fibroblasts is unstable, so tissue repair is less efficient and wounds take longer to heal.
- Studies have also shown that taking Collagen with Vitamin C (which plays an essential role in collagen synthesis in our bodies) helps maintain healthy cartilage (the tissue that covers the surface of our joints, protecting them from wear and tear) and helps with the healing of tendons bone and ligament grafts
- Studies relating to fracture healing have shown that taking a vitamin C supplement may help speed up bone healing following a fracture, increase collagen synthesis, and reduce oxidative stress in the body.
The bottom line: Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that must be obtained from the diet or supplements.
VITAMIN D: for stronger bones, a healthier heart & better mood
Vitamin D - sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin” due to its ability to be absorbed by the body through sunlight - helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Vitamin D is also vital in facilitating a normal immune system.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults and increases the risk of developing fragile bones (osteoporosis).
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors and it is also found in a small number of foods.
- oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- red meat
- egg yolks
- fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
In the U.K., between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight and since it is difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone (especially for those that are vegans or vegetarians), the NHS advise everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D during the autumn and winter to keep your bones and muscles healthy.
Furthermore, the Department of Health and Social Care recommends that you take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day throughout the year if you have dark skin – for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background (as the higher the levels of melanin, the less vitamin D the skin can absorb) OR,
- are not often outdoors – for example, if you're frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors.
Here are 3 more surprising benefits of vitamin D:
Studies show that vitamin D may also play a role in
- reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
- decreasing your chance of developing heart diseases, according to 2008 findings in Circulation
- treating hypertension and high blood pressure according to a 2019 review published in the journal of Current Protein Peptide Science
- helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- reducing the risk of COVID-19 according to some reports and studies
- lower the risk of type 2 diabetes according to a 2006 study in the journal Diabetes Care
- fighting certain cancers according to various studies referenced on the National Cancer Institutes (NCI) website
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and fighting off depression.
A study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo.
VITAMIN B5: for healthier digestion + natural sex drive boost
Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin from the B group of vitamins. It helps produce energy by breaking down fats and carbohydrates. It also promotes healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver.
People need B5 to synthesize and metabolize fats, proteins, and coenzyme A.
- converting food into glucose
- synthesizing cholesterol
- maintaining a healthy digestive system and assisting the body is using other vitamins, especially vitamin B2 which helps manage stress
- forming sex and stress-related hormones
- forming red blood cells
Vitamin B5 is also known as pantothenic acid, or Pantothenate. As with all B vitamins, pantothenic acid helps the body break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins so that our bodies can use them for energy and rebuilding tissues, muscles, and organs.
One study showed that vitamin B5 helped facial acne and reduced the number of acne-related facial blemishes when taken as a dietary supplement.
Some researchers have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis have lower levels of vitamin B5.
Did you know people take vitamin B5 supplements and derivatives to help with a range of conditions including Baldness, Dandruff & Asthma?
Our bodies do not store Vitamin B5, and we need to consume it every day to replenish supplies.
VITAMIN B6: for healthier brain + reduced risk of heart disease
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin which means vitamin B6 is needed every day since the body can’t store water-soluble vitamins. Your body cannot produce vitamin B6, so you must obtain it from foods or supplements.
Most people can get enough vitamin B6 through their diet, but certain populations may be at risk for deficiency. Some of the top sources of B6 are protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, and fish. If your diet tends to be scarce on protein, you may want to pay attention to how much B6 you’re getting.
In summary, vitamin B6 plays key roles in keeping the brain and nervous system functioning properly, and is involved in production of hemoglobin, the protein in blood that carries oxygen throughout the body. It also helps the body make the hormones serotonin (which regulates mood) and norepinephrine (which helps your body cope with stress). Vitamin B6 also helps the body make melatonin, which is important in helping regulate your internal clock and your sleep. Furthermore, a growing body of research suggests that vitamin B6 may play a role in slowing cognitive decline and age-related memory loss, reduce heart disease and prevent cancer and eye diseases.
Read more below for the multiple benefits of vitamin B6, backed by science.
- Vitamin B6 plays an important role in mood regulation because it is necessary for creating serotonin, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which are neurotransmitters that regulate emotions. Several studies have shown that depressive symptoms are associated with low levels of vitamin B6, especially in older adults who are at high risk for B vitamin deficiency. One study in 250 older adults found that deficient blood levels of vitamin B6 doubled the likelihood of depression.
- A growing body of research suggests that Vitamin B6 may prevent a decline in brain function by decreasing homocysteine levels that have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairments. One such study in 156 adults with high homocysteine levels and mild cognitive impairment found that taking high doses of B6, B12 and folate (B9) decreased homocysteine and reduced wasting in some regions of the brain that are vulnerable to Alzheimer’s.
- Vitamin B6 may prevent clogged arteries and reduce high homocysteine levels that lead to narrowing of arteries which are associated with heart disease risk. This is likely due to the role of B6 in decreasing elevated homocysteine levels. Research shows that people with low blood levels of vitamin B6 have almost double the risk of getting heart disease compared to those with higher B6 levels. Furthermore, a randomized controlled trial in 158 healthy adults who had siblings with heart disease divided participants into two groups, one that received 250 mg of vitamin B6 and 5 mg of folic acid every day for two years and another that received a placebo. The group that took B6 and folic acid had lower homocysteine levels and less abnormal heart tests during exercise than the placebo group, putting them at an overall lower risk of heart disease.
- Some observational studies suggest a link between adequate dietary intake and blood levels of vitamin B6 and a decreased risk of certain types of cancer. For example, a review of 12 studies found that both adequate dietary intake and blood levels of B6 were associated with lower risks of colorectal cancer. Individuals with the highest blood levels of B6 had an almost 50% lower risk of developing this type of cancer. Researchers suspect that it’s related to its ability to fight inflammation that may contribute to cancer and other chronic conditions.
- Studies have shown that Vitamin B6 may play a role in preventing eye diseases, especially a type of vision loss that affects older adults called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Since vitamin B6 helps reduce elevated blood levels of homocysteine, getting enough B6 may lower your risk of this disease. Research has also linked low blood levels of vitamin B6 to eye conditions that block veins that connect to the retina. A separate study in over 500 people found that the lowest blood levels of B6 were significantly associated with retinal disorders.
- Vitamin B6 may be helpful in preventing and treating anemia caused by deficiency, due to its role in hemoglobin production. Hemoglobin is a protein that delivers oxygen to your cells. When you have low hemoglobin, your cells don’t get enough oxygen. As a result, you may develop anemia and feel weak or tired. Studies have linked low levels of vitamin B6 with anemia. For example one study found that taking 75 mg of vitamin B6 daily during pregnancy decreased symptoms of anemia in 56 pregnant women who were unresponsive to treatment with iron.
VITAMIN B12: for red blood cell production + better bone health
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is arguably the most important of the eight B vitamins and is an essential vitamin that your body needs.
Your body doesn’t make Vitamin B12, so it’s important to get it from food sources such as Beef, pork, eggs, milk, cheese and fish. If you're vegetarian or vegan, you may not get enough B12 from your diet and even though some plant-based milks or grains may have been fortified with vitamin B12, vegan diets are often limited in this vitamin, putting people at risk of deficiency. Symptoms of deficiency include anaemia, depression, disturbed vision and dementia.
In summary, Vitamin B12 has multiple benefits from fighting fatigue and keeping our bodies’ nerve and blood cells healthy to producing DNA. It also helps with boosting energy, improving memory, helping prevent heart and eye disease, supporting bone, hair, skin and nail health and managing stress.
Read more below for the science-backed multiple benefits of vitamin B12:
- Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in helping your body produce red blood cells. A deficiency in B12 can lead to Anaemia. This is where you have fewer red blood cells than normal, and you may experience symptoms such as extreme tiredness, a lack of energy, feeling faint, a pale yellow tinge to your skin and/or a sore red tongue.
- Low blood levels of vitamin B12 have been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. One study in more than 2,500 adults showed that people with a vitamin B12 deficiency also had lower than normal bone mineral density which can become delicate and fragile over time, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis.
- Macular degeneration is an eye disease that mainly affects your central vision. Researchers believe that supplementing with vitamin B12 may lower homocysteine levels which has been associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood. Studies support the use of vitamin B12 supplements for improving symptoms of depression in people with a vitamin B12 deficiency. For example, one study in people with depression and low vitamin B12 levels found that those who received both antidepressants and vitamin B12 were more likely to show improved depressive symptoms, compared to those treated with antidepressants alone. Another study discovered that vitamin B12 deficiency was associated with twice the risk of severe depression.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with memory loss, especially in older adults. One study in people with early-stage dementia showed that a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements slowed mental decline. Another study found that even vitamin B12 levels on the low side of normal can contribute to poor memory performance.
- Vitamin B12 supplements have long been touted as the go-to product for a surge of energy. In fact, one of the most common early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue or lack of energy.
- Studies have shown that vitamin B12 helps decrease homocysteine levels, a type of amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
- Adequate levels of Vitamin B12 are needed to promote healthy hair, skin and nails given its role in cell production. In fact, low vitamin B12 levels can cause various dermatologic symptoms, including hyperpigmentation, nail discoloration, hair changes, vitiligo (the loss of skin color in patches) and angular stomatitis (inflamed and cracked mouth corners).
Vitamin B12 is vital to your health and deficiency can occur if your diet lacks adequate amounts of it or your body is unable to fully absorb it from the food you eat. Those at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include: older adults; people on a strict vegan diet; people with gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease; those who have had gastrointestinal surgeries, such as bariatric surgery or bowel resection surgery; and those who take metformin for blood sugar control. If you think that you might be at risk, speak to your doctor.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Consult a doctor or healthcare professional if you have any questions or are taking any other medications before you try any remedies.