How much vitamin B should I be taking?

by (2939)
Updated February 26, 2015 at 3:23 AM
Created June 19, 2011 at 7:11 AM

I got some solaray vitamin B complex today. I've been taking vitamin D and fish oil for the past few weeks and have noticed a big difference in my anxiety (taking primarily for mood/depression), probably from the vitamin D since the fish oil hasn't had time to kick in yet. Anyway I've been recommended vitamin B for a while, how much should I be taking? How long will it take to start seeing a difference?

2246 · June 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it can be overdone, it just takes a huge amount of Vitamin D for a prolonged period. At least according to the book, The Vitamin D solution.

10919 · June 19, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I normally am all about the supplements but B is so easy to get from egg yolks, red meat and organ meat it almost seems silly to supplement unless you're showing a deficiency in a blood test. I guess just one normal b-complex tablet a day is fine. Its a water soluble vitamin so you can't really overdo it like A and D. Just take it and if it makes you feel better to take it twice a day, do that. You'll get the best absorption from animal foods, though. Especially raw or barely seared liver.

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4 Answers

50 · June 19, 2011 at 7:20 PM

I'm wondering if you are recommended B vitamins for a specific (medical) reason or just general mood improvement? The main reason I'm aware of for taking B vitamins in relation to mood problems is to optimize the methylation cycle - it's sort of the upstream version of taking SAMe. If you want to learn more about that I have a couple of links to PUBMED that provide examples (there is of course mountains more - this is just a sort of random pick):

[Does diet affect our mood? The significance of folic acid and homocysteine]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19388520

Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671130

As far as amounts go, I tend to prefer staying as close to physiological levels as possible - although the definition of this changes under various circumstances. This gets to be a complicated discussion very quickly.

Here are two more links that will be relevant to your question (again, somewhat randomly chosen). Even if you only look at the study abstracts you can get a good deal of information to guide your further investigations:

Glutathione: a novel treatment target in psychiatry. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18538422

Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20929532

5227 · June 19, 2011 at 8:20 PM

It's interesting that you asked this, because I've been stalking inositol (Vit B8) research on the web all day yesterday and today to find ways to alleviate my anxiety symptoms.

I found the following data on WebMD:


The following doses have been studied in scientific research: BY MOUTH: For panic disorder: 12 to 18 grams per day. For obsessive-compulsive disorder: inositol 18 grams per day. For treating symptoms associated with polycystic ovary syndrome: D-chiro-inositol 1200 mg per day. For treating lithium-related psoriasis: 6 grams daily.

I also found these links, as well, which were very revealing and promising:

Double-blind, controlled trial of inositol treatment of depression

Inositol 6 g daily may be effective in depression but not in schizophrenia

Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment for panic disorder

Double-Blind, Controlled, Crossover Trial of Inositol Versus Fluvoxamine for the Treatment of Panic Disorder

I hope this helps! I'm pretty sure, after a bit more research, I'm going to start adding more inositol to my diet. :)

6235 · June 19, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I just take some anytime I notice my urine looks tan. It probably means I am taking a little more than I need, but it keeps me from feeling tired. I find that for me that means I take one tablet about every morning or so, but your needs might differ. I had to take it twice a day for two days before my urine was very yellow and than I backed down.

25467 · June 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

In my practice I can not answer this unless I do an organic acid survey of the gut. I do find women on BCPs have way higher needs than any other group because of what occurs in first pass liver metabolism.

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