1. Chronic issues
Suffering and long-term problems are known to reduce serotonin and GABA in your body, which lead to more discomfort, inability to sleep, nerve pain, irritability and confusion. Vitamin B12 has a direct influence on melatonin, your primary sleep hormone,* which is often suppressed with chronic illness. B2 and pantethene support adrenal function.
2. Stress and Adrenal Function
The more stress you deal with, the more cortisol you produce, which then uses up all your B complex vitamins, causing multiple deficiencies. The more stress, the lower your Bs! Vitamin B5 (pantethene) helps prevent over-secretion of cortisol and Vitamin B3 (niacin) helps break down cortisol.*
Certainly the way you eat will determine the amount of B vitamins you’re consuming. That’s why vegans are often deficient in vitamin B12, which is found abundantly in meats. If you don’t like to eat leafy greens, or if you follow the Paleo diet, then it’s possible you’ll become deficient in folate. And individuals with Celiac and intestinal permeability problems (or high zonulin levels) are sometimes deficient in vitamin B12 and iron.
Drinking wine with dinner can increase your homocysteine level, and thus a greater need for vitamin B12 and folate (as 5-MTHF). Alcohol consumption also causes a well-known deficiency of vitamin B12 (thiamine), which can lead to a set of symptoms that cause you to feel and look as if you always have a hangover.
5. Your Gut
Did you know that your gut microbiome produces biotin and vitamin B12? So, if your digestive system isn’t working at its optimal level, then you’re not making as much of these two B vitamins as you should be.
6. Acid-blocking Meds
Taking acid blockers can cause a deficiency of ALL the B vitamins. And taking a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for more than two years is associated with a 65-percent increased risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. The most popular PPIs are Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec, but all antacids and all acid-controlling medications deplete the B vitamins.
7. Genetic Polymorphisms
Some of us (just under half the population) has a genetic SNP in the gene that controls the production of biologically active folate. It's called a methylation SNP and you can check your genes to see if you are +/- or +/+ in either of these variants: A1298 or C677T. A result of -/- means you do not have the genetic polymorphism. But if you are +/- or +/+ then you need some B vitamins to support this detox pathway.
8. Pernicious Anemia
This is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks your gastrointestinal tract and lowers Intrinsic Factor, a protein required for B12 absorption. If you're anemic, you'll need vitamin B support.