Methylated B Vitamins UK

5 Surprising Benefits of B Vitamins & Signs of Vitamin B Deficiency

B vitamins are an incredibly important group of water-soluble nutrients, yet many people today are deficient in them. There are eight B vitamins, and each of them plays a vital role in preventing serious health issues like fatigue, nerve damage, breathlessness, headaches and heart palpitations. Water-soluble means that these vitamins are capable of being dissolved in water, unlike other vitamins such as vitamin D, which are fat-soluble and need to be taken with a source of fat in order to be properly absorbed into the body.

Whilst B vitamins are usually easily absorbed, they’re also easily lost, as water-soluble vitamins are excreted regularly by the body. B vitamins easily become depleted via stress, alcohol consumption, a diet high in excessive refined sugars and starches, by certain medications, and gut malabsorption issues. Research shows that in the USA and UK, around 20% of people over the age of 60 have a vitamin B12 deficiency, [1] which can lead to symptoms such as extreme tiredness, breathlessness, chronic mouth soreness and mouth ulcers, pins and needles, depression, mobility issues and disturbed vision. [2] Health expert Chris Kresser has found that vitamin B12 deficiency statistics are also under reported, therefore many more people are likely deficient in B vitamins.

In this blog, you’ll learn what the 8 B vitamins are, signs of vitamin B deficiency, the benefits of B vitamins, and why it’s important for most people to supplement with a vitamin B complex.

What are the B vitamins?

As we mentioned, there are eight B vitamins, and each of them are vital for preventing and treating health problems. B vitamins are especially important for the nervous system. This is what the B vitamins do for your body:

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Converts carbohydrates to energy, protects the immune system. Supports nerve conduction and muscle contraction.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Experts have found that a lack of B2 can lead to infertility and deformities in the foetus. [3] Vitamin B2 mainly converts carbs, fats and proteins into energy, and supports liver detoxification.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Enables energy production in cells, and supports cardiovascular health by lowering levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Again, converts the macros from food into energy, important for fat metabolism, helps the body deal with stress. Vital for the adrenal glands and nervous system.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Improves nervous system function and mood, needed for energy and red blood cell formation.
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate): Helps form red blood cells, supports cardiovascular health by lowering levels of homocysteine (linked to heart disease), supports healthy formation of a baby’s nervous system throughout pregnancy.
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Required for red blood cell synthesis and energy production from food. Vital for the nervous system and brain health, where it protects the myelin sheath, speeds up nerve impulses, improves memory and the production of choline for cognitive function.

As you can see, the benefits of B vitamins are endless. If you often feel fatigued, experience brain fog, struggle with excess weight or mood issues, it’s possible your vitamin B levels may be low.

What are the signs of low B vitamin levels?

Because B vitamins become depleted due to poor dietary choices, gut malabsorption, some medications, illness, excessive alcohol intake and stress, many of us are likely to be low in at least some of the B vitamins. Many of the B vitamins work synergistically too, meaning they support the function of each other. Vitamin B2 and B3 are essential for vitamin B9 (folic acid) to work properly for example, and vitamin B9 and B12 work closely together. A deficiency in one B vitamin can therefore have a knock-on effect and cause signs of low B vitamin levels in the body. This is why supplementing with a vitamin B complex is important, because all eight B vitamins work together.

Signs of vitamin B deficiency:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Mouth inflammation, sores and redness
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Dermatitis, rashes and scaly dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Pins and needles
  • Anaemia
  • Gut and digestion issues
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Infertility
  • Poor detoxification
  • Shortness of breath
  • Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
  • Mobility issues and loss of balance
  • Low stress tolerance
  • Anxiety

Another potential cause of low vitamin B levels is poor methylation. Methylation is the body’s ability to convert B vitamins into the active form that the body can properly use. Research shows that impaired methylation can lead to many of the vitamin B deficiency symptoms listed above [4], and that up to 40% of us have a genetic defect that means we are unable to methylate certain B vitamins like vitamin B12. [5] If you’re unable to methylate, your body cannot use the B12 you eat or supplement with, so the most important thing to look for on your vitamin B complex is methylcobalamin, a pre-methylated form of vitamin B12 which has already been converted, and that your body can use right away. If you’re at all unsure of whether you’re part of the 40% of people who are poor methylators, choose a vitamin B complex with methylcobalamin.

How to increase vitamin B levels

To improve your energy, mood, fertility, nervous system function and hormone health, as well as preventing cognitive decline and heart disease, you can start by adding more foods rich in B vitamins to your diet. Foods high in B vitamins include:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Liver
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Pulses
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Peas
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Mushrooms
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Avocado

Vitamin B12 deficiency is the most common B vitamin deficiency, often related to poor methylation, pernicious anaemia, or a diet low in vitamin B12. Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include nerve damage, brain fog, fatigue, mood issues, anxiety, insomnia, and issues with supporting a healthy pregnancy. Vitamin B12 can only be found in animal products like liver, meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy, so if you eat a plant-based diet, it’s absolutely essential to supplement with vitamin B, and to make sure you’re taking a form that contains the active form of methylcobalamin. Even if you do eat many of these foods, the benefits of a vitamin B complex are that you’ll be getting all eight B vitamins together, so they can support proper function and increase the levels in your body for greater health. 

Now you know how important B vitamins are, let’s look at some of the key benefits a b vitamin complex gives you:

1. B vitamins for energy

B vitamins help convert carbohydrates, fats and proteins from food into energy. Statistics show that over 13% of those in the UK live in a constant state of exhaustion, [6] 1 in 8 adults feels ‘tired all the time’. [7] and that another 25 percent feel tired ‘most of the time’. [8] Low vitamin B levels are often linked to tiredness and fatigue, but thankfully supplementation is very effective for remedying this. Research studies show symptoms of lethargy, breathlessness and poor energy regressing and disappearing with the consistent supplementation of vitamin B12. [9] If you struggle with low energy levels and fatigue, taking a vitamin B complex in the morning can be a game-changer for improving energy levels throughout the day.

2. B vitamins for preventing cognitive decline

Elevated levels of homocysteine are linked to higher rates of neurodegenerative diseases, which are expected to become more prevalent in the next several decades due to ageing populations. [10] B vitamins lower levels of homocysteine, which can help prevent the onset of neurodegenerative issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia, and many experts recommend they should be seriously considered as an intervention to prevent or slow cognitive decline. [11] Homocysteine is also linked to higher rates of heart disease, and vitamin B9 in particular helps protect from this. B vitamins also support the speed of nerve impulses and neurotransmitter production, both of which tend to decline with age. 

3. B vitamins for weight loss

If you struggle to lose excess weight, lack of B vitamins could be the issue. B vitamins aid weight loss by improving the body’s mitochondrial health (essentially acting like the body’s ‘batteries’). With healthy mitochondria, your metabolism and energy levels become healthier too. Vitamin B12 has also been linked to weight loss, [12] in that it enables the body to exercise to a greater capacity, and speeds up metabolism. Several studies have also found that low levels of vitamin B12 are also more common in obese individuals. [13]

4. B vitamins for anxiety and stress

Stress and anxiety deplete the body of B vitamins, and B vitamins are essential in adrenal health and enabling the body to handle stress. Studies show that vitamin B6 is particularly helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression [14], and that intake of B vitamins is associated with an increased resiliency to and recovery from stress[15]. If you often experience stress and anxiety, it’s definitely worth adding more B vitamins to your diet, and including a vitamin B complex in your supplement routine to increase your levels of these stress-busting vitamins.

5. B vitamins for better skin

B vitamins support the role of cells with a quick turnover, like your skin, tongue, and gut lining. Issues with digestion, poor gut health, leaky gut, mouth ulcers, skin rashes and dermatitis are often linked to low vitamin B levels. Studies show that vitamin B3 improves ageing facial skin appearance [16], whilst B vitamins in general play a crucial role in the diversity and richness of the gut microbiota, [17] and should be included in any protocol to heal leaky gut. Since the gut and skin are so directly linked, taking B vitamins to support gut health can have a direct impact on the health of your skin too.

When to take a vitamin B complex

B vitamins support enhanced cellular energy, so they’re best taken in the morning. The Love Life Supplements Vitamin B Complex contains a blend of B vitamins essential for health, including the active form of methylcobalamin, with inositol and choline for enhanced brain health too. Take 1 capsule daily with food.

Key takeaways

  • B vitamins are essential for energy, brain health, mood and reproduction
  • Signs of vitamin B deficiency include fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, breathlessness, poor exercise tolerance, nerve damage, mouth sores and skin issues.
  • B12 deficiency is common, especially for those on a plant-based diet, as foods high in B12 include liver, meat, seafood, fish, eggs and dairy products.
  • Many people do not methylate B vitamins effectively, so it’s important to look for methycobalamin in a vitamin b complex supplement.
  • Supplementing with a vitamin B complex can help improve energy and mood levels, enhance sleep quality, boost brain power, aid in weight loss, speed up metabolism, improve skin and gut health, and prevent cognitive decline and heart disease.

Get your vitamin B complex here.


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[2] NHS.. B12 deficiency. [Online]. Last Updated: 2022. Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

[3] Jenny Goodman. (2020). Staying alive in toxic times. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[4] Costello JF, Plass C. Methylation matters. J Med Genet. 2001 May;38(5):285-303. doi: 10.1136/jmg.38.5.285. PMID: 11333864; PMCID: PMC1734882.

[5] Thrive Functional Medicine. (2019). Methylation. [Online]. Thrive. Last Updated: 2019. Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

[6] Yougov. (2022). 1 in 8 britons feels tired all the time. [Online]. yougov. Last Updated: 2022. Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

[7] Yougov. (2022). 1 in 8 britons feels tired all the time. [Online]. yougov. Last Updated: 2022. Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

[8] Yougov. (2022). 1 in 8 britons feels tired all the time. [Online]. yougov. Last Updated: 2022. Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

[9] Tardy AL, Pouteau E, Marquez D, Yilmaz C, Scholey A. Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 16;12(1):228. doi: 10.3390/nu12010228. PMID: 31963141; PMCID: PMC7019700.

[10] Examine. (2021). B vitamins to perevent cognitive decline. [Online]. Last Updated: 2021. Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

 [11] Examine. (2021). B vitamins to perevent cognitive decline. [Online]. Last Updated: 2021. Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

[12] The Biostation. (.). How vitamin B12 could help you lose weight & shed fat. [Online]. Biostation. Last Updated: 2022. Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

[13] Sun Y, Sun M, Liu B, Du Y, Rong S, Xu G, Snetselaar LG, Bao W. Inverse Association Between Serum Vitamin B12 Concentration and Obesity Among Adults in the United States. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019 Jun 27;10:414. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00414. PMID: 31316466; PMCID: PMC6610317.

 [14] Duaa Durrani, Rahma Idrees, Hiba Idrees, Aayat Ellahi, Vitamin B6: A new approach to lowering anxiety, and depression?, Annals of Medicine and Surgery, 10.1016/j.amsu.2022.104663, 82, (104663), (2022).

[15] Mahdavifar B, Hosseinzadeh M, Salehi-Abargouei A, Mirzaei M, Vafa M. Dietary intake of B vitamins and their association with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms: A cross-sectional, population-based survey. J Affect Disord. 2021 Jun 1;288:92-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.03.055. Epub 2021 Mar 26. PMID: 33848753.

 [16] Bissett DL, Oblong JE, Berge CA. Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Jul;31(7 Pt 2):860-5; discussion 865. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31732. PMID: 16029679.

[17] Hossain KS, Amarasena S, Mayengbam S. B Vitamins and Their Roles in Gut Health. Microorganisms. 2022 Jun 7;10(6):1168. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10061168. PMID: 35744686; PMCID: PMC9227236.

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