Vitamins are commonly known and frequently consumed, usually as a dietary supplement. In fact, quite often you will be consuming foods that contain these vitamins without being aware! They have also been used in treating health issues or deficiencies with the body. Either way, it is an established notion that vitamins are tied to health benefits. What is less known, however, is that when used in conjunction, Vitamins B6 and B12 make for a potent nootropic - granting benefits to the consumer. To understand how these vitamins are proving to be effective in this regard, we need to look into how they function and the history behind them:

A healthy history

Vitamin B6 was first coined as such in 1934, when the Hungarian physician Paul Gyorgy used the substance to cure skin disease in rats (Gyorgy 1934). While understanding that the B6 substance worked, it was not until 1938 when Samuel Lepkovsky was able to isolate B6 from rice bran, and further research led to an understanding of the structure of B6.

As the story goes, B6 has evolved from its beginnings in curing skin disease to being assessed as a highly beneficial nutrient to be consumed. Some common foods that vitamin B6 can be found in include tuna, bananas, potatoes, cheese, fish, and meats. It is important to maintain a reasonable daily intake of B6 in order to prevent deficiency, which can lead to cardiovascular issues and other bodily issues.

The history behind vitamin B12 is also an accidental discovery. While doing research on curing anemia, scientists discovered that the test animals who ate large amounts of liver seemed to rapidly recover and even cure the anemia. Using these findings, Mary Shaw Shorb in 1947 was able to create a B12 extract isolated from livers.

Research over time has shown that B12 was not only found in liver, but rather the iron inside. B12 can be found in common foods such as fish, cheese, dairy, eggs, fortified cereals, and of course meats. B12 is also a common food supplement, being used in energy drinks and energy shots, as well as sometimes being used to enrich pasta and bread. It is important to maintain a daily intake of B12, as failing to do so can lead to nerve damage and poorer neurological function.

Tuning your body and mind

While we have established a baseline understanding of the positives of taking vitamin B6 and B12, we need to understand how they function within our body. Vitamin B6 functions by activating enzymes which produce energy, red and white blood cells, and certain neurotransmitters, which removes the amino acid ‘homocysteine’ from your blood, an acid which is associated with cardiovascular disease. By doing this, Vitamin B6 helps keep your body healthier physically and performing optimally.

On the other hand, B12 helps to create neurotransmitters as well as hemoglobin. While there are some similarities to B6, especially in regards to removing homocysteine, B12 also directly affects mood - specifically in the treatment of depression. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggested that taking B6 and B12 in conjunction with each other may contribute to improving cognition and depression in adults (Moorthy et al. 2012). While studies have not been conclusive on the cognitive benefits these vitamins may provide, there has been an established understanding through such studies that a B6 and B12 deficiency can result in decreased mood and depression.

Vitamins to make you shine

A healthy body and a healthy mind are the keys to success and happiness, and that's why we’ve chosen to include Vitamins B6 and B12 in shine+. A meta-analysis conducted on B-vitamins in relation to mood suggested that over 28 days there were significant positive effects in the everyday mood of those taking B6 and B12 (Long & Benton 2013). Positive mood can correlate to more energy and focus, which is what shine+ sets out to achieve.

 Forgetting your daily intake of vitamins? Try shine+ - helping you reach your daily intake, while providing you with the focus and energy you need to survive the day!


Words by Hayden Fitzgerald 

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