Vitamins, Minerals and The Nervous System

The health and performance nervous system is essential to that of the body, and the daily intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients affects the ability of the nervous system to perform its many necessary functions. There are several vitamins and minerals that directly influence nervous system functioning and health, and it is important to see to it that these are consumed at adequate levels.

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The Vitamin B complex is one of the most important of the vitamins that influence the health and performance of the nervous system, as it is members of this powerful group that are responsible for the creation of some of the most basic structures within the nervous system. Vitamin B12, also referred to as cobalamin because of its cobalt content, has a significant role in both the formation of the nervous system and in the maintenance of its efficient and healthy operation. It helps in the formation of the nerve cells themselves, the most basic of the nervous system structures. In fact, deficiencies in vitamin B12 can lead to irreversible spinal cord degeneration. Adults need 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 per day, with pregnant and breastfeeding women increasing their intake to between 2.6 and 2.8 micrograms daily. Children, depending on age and size, should have between .9 micrograms and 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 per day.

The other B complex vitamins important to the nervous system include B9, also called folate or folic acid, which, in addition to its role in the upkeep of the adult nervous system, is involved in the production of neurotransmitters. Adults should have at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, with pregnant women increasing their daily intake to 600 micrograms and breastfeeding women increasing their daily intake to 500 micrograms. Children should have, depending on size and weight, between 150 micrograms and 300 micrograms of folic acid each day.

Among the minerals that serve to enhance nervous system function is calcium. In addition to its other functions, it also has a role in the health of nerves and their ability to communicate. Magnesium is a mineral that helps the body to use calcium effectively, giving it a role in nervous system function as well. Deficiencies in magnesium contribute to nervousness and confusion. A lack of potassium can lead to nervous disorders.

Proper nourishment affects every aspect of the body’s efficiency and function, and thus affects quality of life as well. The body functions on a delicately balance system of chemical reactions. The nutrients we consume make up a large part of these essential chemicals, and it is important to do the best we can to achieve the standard recommended daily intake levels of the vitamins, mineral and other nutrients that our body needs. Nutritional supplements can offer a safe and effective means of achieving those daily intake levels. If you are unsure of the best dietary supplements for you, or are inexperienced in using then, a consultation with a licensed nutritionist can help you to devise a personalized nutritional supplement plan that is best suited to your individual dietary needs and health goals.

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