While there’s no need to control our hormones we can help support them by making good decisions in terms of what we eat and what supplements we take. One way to do so: Take B vitamins for hormone balancing. These B vitamins in particular play an important role in helping nourish and balance hormones in our body. Keep reading to learn how.
Vitamin B12 (a.k.a. cobalamin) is an essential B vitamin for hormone balancing. It's a water-soluble vitamin found in foods such as poultry, meat, fish, dairy, and fortified food products, as well as in supplement form. This vitamin helps with a variety of functions in our body, such as producing healthy red blood cells, DNA production, and helping nerve function. It also might help to boost your mood and energy levels, especially if you're deficient in this vitamin. (Learn more about essential nutrient HERE.)
This B vitamin is essential for making several important chemicals in our brain, including:
- Serotonin: a “feel-good” neurotransmitter that controls your mood.
- Dopamine: another neurotransmitter which controls motivation and feelings of enjoyment.
- Melatonin: a hormone that is produced at night to help you fall asleep.
Vitamin B12 is also an integral part of methylation, a process your liver uses to break down cellular waste products and excess hormones. If you have low B12, you may not be methylating properly. This can cause a compound called homocysteine can build up in your blood, in effect causing your estrogen levels to get out of balance. Imbalanced estrogen can lead to fatigue, mood swings, inflammation, and cardiovascular health.
As mentioned above, B12 is mostly found in animal products. This means that vegetarians or vegans may be at a higher risk of B12 deficiency. Older adults, people who have had weight loss surgery, and people with conditions that affect the digestive tract, such as celiac or Crohn's disease, are also more prone to a vitamin B12 deficiency.
When taking a B12 supplement make sure you choose a brand like Binto that uses methylcobalamin (also called methyl-B12), which offers better bioavailability than other forms.
Studies have shown Vitamin B6 can help alleviate some of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood changes and irritability. It's been found that taking between 50 to 100 milligrams of B6 daily can help improve your mood and emotions. (Do not exceed more than 100mg per day.)
This vitamin plays a crucial role in metabolism. When you're deficient in vitamin B1, you might experience symptoms such as fatigue, muscle cramps, various pains, and a reduced tolerance to pain, all factors that could be associated with PMS.
Vitamin B3, a.k.a niacin, plays a role in gland and liver function. "Niacin has a role in producing certain hormones in the adrenal glands and helps remove harmful chemicals from the liver," Dr. Sherry Ross, women's health expert, told Live Science.