Saturday, April 28, 2007

B-Complex Vitamins and Vision (Visual Acuity)

I have been taking B-complex vitamin supplements for over 10 years. My primary objective has been to reduce the frequency and duration of colds. I have finally been successful. As a result, I’ve been experimenting with dramatic reductions in vitamin doses. Recently, I nearly quit taking B-complex vitamin supplements altogether. As expected based on the vitamin literature, nothing bad happened. Then, about two months after I quit, I noticed that I was having a harder and harder time getting by at work without my glasses. Ten years ago, just before I started taking B-complex vitamins, I had started to wear my glasses at work. Shortly after I started B-complex vitamins my vision improved and I stopped wearing glasses. I subsequently reviewed the scientific literature on B-complex vitamins. During the course of reading hundreds of papers, I read only one or two reports by researchers stating that subjects/patients had reported improved visual acuity upon taking B-complex vitamins. As time passed, I convinced myself that I was probably mistaken.

So here I was again experiencing rapidly deteriorating vision. I was alarmed enough to schedule an eye exam, and to try to analyze why this might be happening to me. What was I doing different? It took several days before the idea struck me that I had quit B-complex vitamins. My view was that if B-complex supplements were the problem, my vision should restore itself rapidly upon re-supplementation. I took the time to test my vision by backing away from my computer monitor to find the distance at which the large print on a PowerPoint file became blurred. The next day I took a B-complex supplement, waited about 2 hours, and then retested my vision. My vision was not so different, yet obviously improved. I saw clearly from the same distance using less concentration. My eyes were seeing about the same, but feeling less strained. I noticed later in the day that I wasn’t getting a headache from watching a screen across the conference room. This may not seem like much, but for me it is the difference between needing and not needing glasses.

A large region of the brain is devoted to the highly complex task of image processing. The brain is known to employ parallel processing strategies. Multiple metabolic pathways are involved, a number of which are dependent upon B-complex vitamins. The assertion that the brain could make use of elevated doses of B-complex vitamins to improve visual acuity is plausible.

My improved vision is a small thing, and by itself not a reason to advocate for B-complex vitamin supplements. This observation motivates me to keep taking B-complex supplements because I believe that aging is caused by a multitude of small things, many of them imperceptible. For example I can’t feel the elasticity of my arteries, my liver regulating my blood sugar, or my bone marrow renewing my red blood cells. If B-complex vitamins can improve the performance of my image processing circuitry, perhaps they are improving other aspects of the functioning of my brain, that, when added together may result in a meaningful improvement in my quality of life as I get older.

What motivates me the most is the belief that if B-complex vitamin supplements are required to optimize the performance of my visual processing, then they are required to optimize the task of the growth and development of a child’s brain. I believe that a series of minor improvements in brain functioning during a child’s many years of brain growth and development can lead to substantial improvements in health and intelligence by the time adulthood is reached. I believe every parent should assess the evidence and consider regular use of multivitamins, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin C.


At 5:11 PM, Blogger Susana said...

Important Vitamin and Nutrition Facts

Nutritional supplements have their greatest benefit by preserving health and preventing future illness. Complete vitamin mineral supplementation is the only effective way to get the full vitamin benefits and ensure that all the essential interactions take place, and this is why a high-quality multi vitamin / mineral supplement is necessary.

Your body is a complex machine that requires a ton of minerals and vitamins in order to operate. Only in recent years, and with a lot of resistance, has the conservative medical community has finally admitted that the vitamin benefits through vitamin supplementation is necessary for long-term health.
You need vitamins, it’s simple!
Read link below for some great vitamin and nutrition facts.

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At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I recently started taking a b complex supplement, along with severaly other supplements and minerals. I was not sure which supplement was helpling improve my vision. So, I did a search for some of the other supplements and came to this when I searched for b complex and vision.
I can now read small print (as the print on vitimin bottles) although I have to squint and need light. Attempting to read small print or even normal print without reading glasses would have caused eye strain & pain a month ago...interesting!

Still not positive what has helped my vision. It may be a combination, but I'm please with this and think it may be the B complex based on what I found so far.

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