B-Complex Vitamins during Opiate Withdrawal
Unlike Vitamin C or D, Vitamin B is not a single vitamin but a group of water soluble
vitamins. They are 8 in number and together they are known as Vitamin B complex. B
vitamins are necessary and required by the body for maintaining hair, skin and muscle
tone, for promoting cell division and growth, for improving the immune system, and
supporting the rate of metabolism. For people exhibiting opiate withdrawal symptoms,
B vitamins are very important as they can help treat insomnia, mood swings, and anxiety
among other things.
Since all B vitamins are water soluble, they need to be replenished frequently.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 are all required to
maintain the energy levels in our body and for creating new red blood cells. Vitamin B6
is a very important vitamin for the body, as it promotes the creation of serotonin, which is
a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. Good and healthy levels of serotonin
can reduce depression, anxiety and insomnia. Thiamine or vitamin B1 is a co-enzyme
and it helps in body’s metabolism. B12 vitamin or cobalamine is plays an important part
in making RBCs, maintaining the nervous system and for nucleic acid synthesis.
Since most B vitamins are found in animal products, vegetarians are found to be deficient
in these vitamins. It is very important to treat these deficiencies through supplements if
diet is not enough. Vitamin B1 supplements help people suffering from liver problems.
B12 supplements can treat people suffering from pernicious anemia, depression,
osteoarthritis, and stress. Vitamin B supplements are very commonly available in the
markets as Vitamin B complexes. Since these water soluble vitamins can not be stored in
the body, regular intake of these vitamins is important.
Whole meal wheat flour, bread, nuts, yeast, legumes, oatmeal, fortified breakfast cereals
are all good sources of Vitamin B1. Some dietary sources of riboflavin or B2 vitamin
are liver, kidney, yoghurt, milk, cheese, wheat germ, mushrooms, broccoli, avocados,
fortified breakfast cereals. Meats, fish, whole grains, peas, nuts, bananas, beans, eggs,
fortified breads and cereals are some of the good sources of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B12
is usually found in fortified foods, animal foods like eggs, poultry, fish, meat and dairy
Most substance abuse patients have poor diet habits and generally their bodies are
severely deficient in these useful vitamins. Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to insomnia,
depression, lower sex drive, water retention and many other problems. During opiate
withdrawal, Vitamin B6 can help the patient deal with moods, sleeplessness and
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