B Vitamins (as found in AquaSource AFA Algae)

AFA algae capsules and powder

AFA algae

Ideally, all of us would get all of the nutrients we need for optimal health from fresh, healthful foods. In reality, this is difficult. In our chemically polluted and stress-filled world, our nutritional requirements have been increasing, but the number of calories we require has been decreasing, as our general level of physical activity has declined.

This means we are faced with needing somehow to get more nutrients from less food.

At the same time, due to overfarming, and the cooking and processing of foods, which destroy most vitamins, getting even the RDAs of vitamins from today’s diet has become virtually impossible. This means that to obtain the optimal amount of many nutrients, it is necessary to take them in supplement form.

Vitamin supplements can be divided into two groups:

Synthetic and natural.

Synthetic vitamins are vitamins produced in laboratories from isolated chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature. Natural vitamins are derived from food sources.

The natural vitamins will always be superior, because they will always contain other nutrients not yet discovered. Therefore you will always get more benefits from the vitamins derived from whole foods.

The late Dr Abram Hoffer, one of the founding fathers of orthomolecular medicine, explained:

“Components (of food) do not exist free in nature; nature does not lay down pure protein, pure fat, or pure carbohydrates. Their molecules are interlaced in a very complex three-dimensional structure which even now has not been fully described. Intermingled are the essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, again not free, but combined in complex molecules.”

The B vitamins found in AquaSource AFA Algae, are particularly easy to absorb and assimilate because they are organically chelated, or bonded, within various enzyme systems.

This allows a small amount to have powerful effects, like improving mental clarity.

The B Vitamins have a wide variety of functions, and are crucial for the health of:

  • nerves
  • brain
  • muscles
  • hormones
  • skin
  • eyes
  •  liver
  • hair
  • mouth


B Complex vitamins are co-enzymes involved in energy production.

They are necessary for the health of nerves and hormones, and can alleviate depression and anxiety.

Elderly people, and anyone whose digestion is below optimum, or who is under severe stress, or who is very active, is likely to be deficient in at least one, probably more, of the B vitamins.

Elderly people are particularly prone to vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as other B vitamins, which contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.

B Vitamins should always be taken together, although sometimes taking a particular single B Vitamin can be useful (for example vitamin B5 for adrenal function).

So, although they all work together, you can read more about the individual B vitamins here:

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – Champion of the Nervous System

The ‘nerve and energy’ vitamin. Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is required for carbohydrate metabolism – it helps to convert blood glucose into energy. That’s why a deficiency of B1 produces fatigue and mental confusion. It’s needed to make hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) which is required for protein digestion. B1 is needed for good circulation and to help produce blood. B1, or thiamine, is involved in brain function and learning. Muscle tone of the intestines, stomach and heart also rely on thiamine. As an antioxidant, thiamine protects us from degenerative effects of ageing, and also helps protect against the damage caused by smoking and alcohol consumption.

Deficiency symptoms include constipation, oedema, enlarged liver, forgetfulness, digestive problems, irritability, loss of appetite, muscle atrophy, nervousness, numbness of hands and feet, pain and sensitivity, poor coordination, tingling sensations, weak and sore muscles, general weakness and severe weight loss. Beriberi is caused by severe B vitamin deficiency, especially B1, and is seen mainly in the Far East, where the diet is high in white rice which is devoid of thiamine. When beriberi is seen in the West, it’s often as a result of alcoholism, infections, stress or underactive thyroid.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Antioxidant and helps Enzymes

Riboflavin helps enzymes instigate numerous functions, such as creating glutathione, an important antioxidant. It’s involved in DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation and growth. Our immune system requires B2, as do the mucous membranes in our digestive tracts. Skin, hair and nails require vitamin B2. We need it for prevention of cataracts and general eye health. Metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. We need B2 to help absorb iron and vitamin B6 from our food. Riboflavin is very important during pregnancy for the developing foetus.

Deficiency of B2, riboflavin, is very common, especially in the elderly and in alcoholics. Signs of deficiency include cracks in the corner of the mouth or on lips, migraine headaches, eye disorders, inflammation of mouth and tongue, skin lesions, dermatitis, dizziness, hair loss, insomnia, light sensitivity, poor digestion, retarted growth and slowed mental response. Oral contraceptives and strenuous exercise increase the need for this vitamin, and alcohol and antibiotics easily destroy it.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – The Great Stress Reducer

B3 is needed for good circulation and healthy skin. It’s needed by the nervous system, and for metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It’s needed to make hydrochloric acid for the digestion of protein. It’s used in the making of sex hormones. B3 lowers cholesterol. It helps with memory. Helpful for certain schizophrenia’s and other mental illnesses.

Deficiency symptoms include dementia, depression, diarrhoea, insomnia, leg and arm pains, loss of appetite, indigestion, bad breath, low blood sugar, muscular weakness, skin eruptions and inflammation. A long-term B vitamin deficiency, particularly B3, can cause Pellagra – usually seen in countries where B3 is deficient in the diet (e.g. corn based), or where individuals have chronic gastrointestinal disturbances, or alcoholism. Weight loss, some mental illnesses, hyperactive behaviour in children, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, sore red tongue, and itchy rashes on hands and the neck are indicative of niacin deficiency, and possibly pellagra.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – Stress and Fatigue Fighter

B5, or pantothenic acid, is vital for the adrenal gland hormones. Plays a part in making antibodies, making use of other vitamins, converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy. Vitamin B5 is necessary for digestion. May help in treating depression and anxiety. It’s involved in the production of neurotransmitters and is a part of co-enzyme A, which is required in metabolism. It’s required for energy production, stamina, and is required to prevent certain types of anaemia.

Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, nausea, headaches, tingling in hands and inflammation.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal) – Immune System Booster and generally for everything!

B6 is involved in over 60 enzyme systems. B6 affects both physical and mental health. Needed for the nervous system and normal brain function, and for the synthesis of RNA and DNA which contain genetic instructions for reproduction of all cells and normal cellular growth. Aids in absorption of B12, in immune system function, and antibody production. Plays a role in cancer immunity. Inhibits formation of homocysteine, which attacks heart muscle and allows cholesterol deposition around the heart. B6 is a mild diuretic, reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, Carpal tunnel syndrome and water retention. May be helpful in preventing kidney stones, and in treatment of allergies, asthma and arthritis.

A deficiency of Vitamin B6 can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting, sore tongue, flaky skin and anaemia. Deficiency may also contribute towards arthritis, depression, dizziness, fatigue, weak memory, learning difficulties, stunted growth, tingling sensations, conjunctivitis, hair loss, anorexia, acne, cracks at the corner of mouth, hyperirritability and slow wound healing. Anti-depressants and oral contraceptives may increase the need for B6, whilst diuretics and cortisone drugs block the absorption of B6 by the body.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) – Brain Food

Probably the most common vitamin deficiency in the world, because it’s easily destroyed by cooking. It’s found in AFA algae, fresh kale and spinach. It’s needed for growth and repair of our intestinal lining, and for our good intestinal bacteria. It controls the blood levels of homocysteine, a molecule that’s heavily implicated in a major cause of heart disease, strokes and even dementia. Oral contraceptives can contribute towards folic acid deficiency. Pregnant women are officially advised to take Folic Acid Supplementation to regulate embryonic and foetal nerve cell formation, and prevent spina bifida. This supplementation should begin BEFORE conception, so all women of child bearing age need folic acid as a matter of course. Best when combined with Vitamin B12 and C.

Deficiency symptoms include forgetfulness, insomnia, anaemia, irritability, gout, restless legs and even dementia. Also apathy, fatigue, graying hair, slow growth, weakness. Cooking destroys folic acid. Alcohol can hinder its absorption.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamine) – Energy Provider and Rejuvenator

Helps create red blood cells, together with folic acid. Interestingly, although it is mostly found in animal tissue, AFA algae actually contains more of this vitamin than any other food source. Vegetarians (especially vegetarian children) could easily be B12 deficient, because B12 is not available from plants. Vegetarians would normally benefit hugely from taking AFA algae for its B12 content. B12 is needed for proper digestion, absorption of foods, synthesis of protein, and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. B12 helps maintain myelin sheath around nerves (which are damaged in Multiple Sclerosis for example) and prevent nerve damage. B12 is required for fertility. It’s required for the production of acetyl-choline, which is a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by malabsorption, which is particularly common in elderly people and in those with digestive disorders. People with Alzheimer’s Disease are usually deficient in Vitamin B12 and this deficiency can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system. Deficiency in B12 is associated with chronic fatigue, pernicious anaemia, constipation, digestive disorders, enlargement of the liver, depression, dizziness, ringing in the ears, drowsiness, headaches, irritability, moodiness, memory loss, palpitations, and degeneration of spinal cord. Strict vegetarians and those suffering from poor digestion and absorption, and the elderly, are particularly prone to B12 deficiency, and although deficiency symptoms may not be evident for some time (the body may have several years’ storage of B12 if animal protein had previously been eaten) signs will eventually develop, and in some cases are irreversible. Vegetarian sources of B12 are sea vegetables such as kelp, dulse and nori. The highest amounts are found in AFA algae.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin) – Skin and Hair

If you’re looking to improve your skin and hair, this is the vitamin for you. Sufficient biotin may help prevent hair loss in some men. You only need small amounts, which you’ll find in the AFA algae. Biotin helps relieve muscle pain. Also required for healthy bone marrow, nerve tissue and sweat glands. Biotin is also required by our good intestinal bacteria and to help balance blood glucose levels. Biotin helps with cell growth, and metabolism of all the main food groups (carbohydrates, fat and protein). Biotin is required in the utilisation of other B vitamins. Some say it improves athletic performance by helping to metabolize BCAAs (branched chain amino acids).

Deficiency can cause cradle cap in infants. Deficiency in adults is not common so long as the bacterial balance in the gut is healthy. Otherwise, deficiency can cause depression, hair loss, inflammation, muscular pain, sore tongue, anaemia, loss of appetite and nausea. Eating raw egg whites, which contain avidin, will deplete the body of biotin.