Recently I introduced my new detox shake Hepataclear. HepataClear is a liver detoxification powder which uses vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to help support optimal liver function. This uses the naturopathic medicine technique of supporting body’s already present detoxing pathways. Something that separates Hepataclear from other protein powders is the presence of activated B vitamins . Over the last few days patients keep asking me what does it mean to have activated b vitamins? So I thought I would take some time to explain the difference and why anything other than activated B vitamins may be a waste of your money.
Not all B vitamins are made equally, normally in cheaper/lower quality vitamins you have forms of B vitamins that need to be converted to their active/biological/usable forms. This means that they are not in the ready to use form. Instead your body must convert them through biochemical reactions. How well your body converts these vitamins may very drastically from person to person. Things like genetics, medications, gut health, and nutrient status all can impact how efficiently different vitamins are converted.
The main three that I focus on are vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and Folate. In supplements these can come in many forms and the three that I try to avoid are pyridoxine hcl (vitamin B6), cyanocobalamin (vitamin b12), and folic acid (folate). These vitamins are often shelf stable for longer periods of time and easier to produce so it makes sense for companies to use them.
Unfortunately, you might not be converting them very well so your efforts to supplement are in vain. Please take some time to go look in your cabinet at your supplements to see what you are taking. The vitamins are also used in processed foods to help fortify them. Therefore things like rice, bread, cereals, and etc. all potentially have inactive vitamins.
As far as scientist are concerned they are equal because under ideal conditions they are converted by specialized enzymes in your body to their active forms; Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate (activated vitamin B6), methylcobalamin/hydroxycobalamin/adenosylcobalamin (activated vitamin B12), and methyltetrahydrofolate (activated folate). The latest research is finding that a large portion of the population does not convert these cheaper vitamins as well as we thought and even worse they can cause health issues. The inactive B vitamin most often associated with health issues is folic acid which shows up in the blood as un-metabolized folic acid.
To avoid unconverted vitamins I just avoid the cheap ones all together and focus on providing my patients with quality B vitamins. Something else you can also do is avoid processed foods and try to eat a whole food diet. This way your body is actually getting what it can readily use without having to go through multiple step conversions. Protein powders just about always have folic acid and cyanocobalamin so I am glad to be able to provide patients with a healthy alternative. If you have a protein powder with these un-natural forms of B vitamins and want better option then consider Hepataclear.