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Vitamin B and Multiple Sclerosis (B1, B6, B12)

By Daryl H. Bryant (559 words)
Posted in Living with MS on September 19, 2013

There are (2) comments permalink

Vitamin B and Multiple Sclerosis (B1, B6, B12)

Many people supplement diets with over-the-counter vitamin formulations to ensure proper nutrition. When afflicted with multiple sclerosis, some patients combine conventional medicine with alternative therapy, which often includes herb and vitamin supplements. Recent studies suggest that vitamin supplementation may benefit those living with MS. B vitamins are of particular interest because of their association with maintaining nervous system health.


Thiamine plays an important role in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, as it remains necessary for manufacturing fat. The vitamin is also required for nerve tissue communication. Deficiencies can cause a variety of symptoms related to the nervous system that include everything from numbness and tingling in the extremities to depression, memory loss and headaches.

The University of Michigan Health System found that when injecting vitamin B1 into the spinal area of MS patients, individuals experienced symptomatic relief. Thiamine boosts the immune system in those who have immune suppressed disorders. The compound also helps others by enhancing mood, improving mental acuity and increasing energy levels. The vitamin has been known to reduce nerve tissue inflammation.

Common foods containing vitamin B1 include beans, nuts and meat along with whole grain cereals and yeast. Recommended dosages range from 1.1 to 1.5 milligrams daily. However, practitioners may prescribe specific amounts according to the needs of individual patients.


In addition to being necessary for the development of hemoglobin, healthy red blood cells and immune system antibodies, pyridoxine is also necessary for carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Researchers believe that the vitamin functions as a coenzyme in hundreds of chemical processes that occur throughout the body including nerve transmission. Supplements may aid in anxiety, depression or chronic fatigue. However, excessive doses may result in toxicity and cause side effects similar to MS symptoms.

Avocados, bananas, beans and nuts along with whole grains contain vitamin B6. Normal recommended daily dosages range between 1.3 and 1.6 milligrams daily. Before taking more than the recommended amount, patients should consult with a qualified practitioner.


Studies have suggested that many MS patients suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency, though the reason is unclear. Some health care providers believe that all MS patients should undergo testing for a possible deficiency. Like deficits of other B vitamins, a lack of adequate cyanocobalamin levels creates an anemic condition because of the compound's relation to blood component development. The many roles that B12 plays include myelin synthesis and nerve tissue integrity. Evidence suggests that supplementation helps curb depression, fatigue and memory loss in addition to minimizing neuropathic pain.

Organ meats provide the richest source of vitamin B12. Cyanocobalamin is also found in beef, poultry and shellfish in addition to eggs and dairy products. Adults should consume around 2.4 micrograms daily. Elevated doses are not known to cause undesirable effects.

MS creates a wide variety of symptoms in various patients. Those living with multiple sclerosis commonly share information gained from experience and time in hopes of helping others diagnosed with the disease. Learn about other innovative means of managing your symptoms by referring to the MS – Living Symptom Free book.

Comments (2)

Lili posted on: December 21, 2023

Nice read!

Hannah posted on: December 21, 2023

Balancing a busy household with MS challenges requires extra care. The connection between vitamin B1 and nerve health is crucial. From beans to whole grain cereals, I'm rethinking our family meals to ensure we incorporate these foods and consider a B-complex supplement for the entire family's well-being.

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