People typically associate B Vitamins with energy and a major reason for this is the high amounts of B Vitamins found in energy-boosting products like energy drinks and workout supplements. However, B Vitamins don’t necessarily provide the type of energy you might get from something like caffeine. In fact, some B Vitamins play a central role in healthy sleep cycles.

B Vitamins Support Cellular Energy Production

It’s important to distinguish the way that B-Vitamins help energize the body, because it is different than the stimulating effects that you experience with compounds like caffeine.

B-Vitamins function in your body as cofactors and enzymes for thousands of different metabolic processes. B Vitamins are especially important for the reactions that convert the food you eat into the form of energy that your cells can use – a compound called ATP. Look at the image below, but don’t let it scare you – it simply shows a biochemical process that your body uses to convert food into energy. Notice how the B vitamins (color-coded circles) are found throughout this entire process.

The Role of B Vitamins in Converting Food to ATP Cellular Energy ATP via the Citric Acid Krebs Cycle

The Citric Acid Cycle pictured here is just one process your body uses to convert food, especially carbohydrates, to energy. B-Vitamins also play a role in the metabolism and utilization of fats and proteins. If you do not get enough B-vitamins in your diet, it impairs your body’s ability to convert food into usable energy and that can contribute to feelings of fatigue, lethargy, and exhaustion.

Think of it in the context of a car engine: B Vitamins help your engine run smoothly and efficiently whether it’s idling or full throttle. Energy boosting stimulants like caffeine function more like your foot on the gas pedal – speeding up the engine and increasing its demand for fuel (food), B Vitamins, and many other nutrients.  Pinnaclife Energy Support uses a combination of B vitamins, organically sourced caffeine, and other natural ingredients to help support alertness and concentration while combating fatigue.

Vitamin B6 Helps Support Healthy Sleep

Vitamin B6 and Melatonin

Vitamin B6 is also essential for the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Melatonin production increases when it gets dark, telling your brain and body that it’s time to sleep. Your body naturally produces less and less melatonin as you age, and in response to excess light in the bedroom. Research has shown that even small deficiencies in Vitamin B6 can result in sleep disturbances because of the disruption of normal melatonin production.1

Conversion of Tryptophan to Melatonin Requires Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 and GABA

Vitamin B6 is also an essential nutrient for the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) that that has an inhibitory effect on nerves making it important for regulating sleep and mood.1,2 You can find GABA in several supplements promoted for sleep, mood, and anxiety but research on oral supplementation is lacking and conflicted, so GABA is not included in any Pinnaclife supplements.3 Your body naturally produces GABA on its own as long as it has the proper nutrients including adequate Vitamin B6. GABA is also found naturally in the diet, especially in spinach.3

B Vitamins in Olivamine

You’ll notice that Olivamine contains Vitamins B3 and B6 and that is because of the role they have in supporting the metabolic and antioxidant pathways used by hydroxytyrosol and the other supporting nutrients. The research behind Olivamine helped to precisely dial in the amounts of Vitamin B3 and B6 needed for optimizing the desired effects within cells, and the end result is 15 patents granted (more pending) for the biological effects of the Olivamine ingredient.

    1. Kennedy DO. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy--A Review. Nutrients. 2016;8(68):1-29.
    2. Plante DT, Jensen JE, Schoerning L, Winkelman JW. Reduced γ-aminobutyric acid in occipital and anterior cingulate cortices in primary insomnia: a link to major depressive disorder? Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012;37(6):1548-1557.
    3. Boonstra E, de Kleijn R, Colzato LS, Alkemade A, Forstmann BU, Nieuwenhuis S. Neurotransmitters as food supplements: the effects of GABA on brain and behavior. Front Psychol. 2015;6:1520.
  • Pinnaclife - Kyle Hilsabeck - PharmDKyle Hilsabeck, PharmD., is the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Affairs at McCord Holdings and licensed by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. He completed bachelors degrees in biology and biochemistry at Wartburg College before earning his Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation, he completed a community pharmacy practice residency through the University of Iowa where he focused primarily on nutritional aspects of care including the use of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements. He has taught courses for the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy on vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutritional supplements and given many presentations on the subject as well. He has a passion for improving patient care specifically with regards to the safety and quality of the nutritional supplements and health information people use.

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