You’ve probably heard about how important B-Complex or the B Vitamins are to our overall health and functioning(if you follow our socials you probably hear it on an almost daily basis- apologies). In case you haven’t heard enough though, there’s also our recent blog article on it.
You know what the B vitamins are- B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12.
We know most of you are too old and too busy to think about stuff like this, but have you ever wondered where the missing numbers went? Where are B4, B8, B10, and B11?
It’s not difficult to guess. They were ousted from the official list because they didn’t qualify as vitamins as per the official definition anymore. Kind of the same story as Pluto and the Solar System.
The current official list:
B5 (pantothenic acid)
B9 (folic acid)
The ousted members:
Vitamin B4 (also known as adenine)
Vitamin B8 (also known as inositol)
Vitamin B10 (para amino benzoic acid – PABA)
Vitamin B11 (salicylic acid)
Initially, there was a single B vitamin. Later it was found that the vitamin existed in multiple forms with multiple functions, and hence the numeral suffixes were added.
Now, as per the definition of a vitamin, it has to be essential i.e., must be obtained externally and is necessary for the normal functioning and growth of the body. It was later discovered that some of the B vitamins could be produced by the body itself thus rendering them non-essential. That is largely why the aforementioned B vitamins got excluded.
Whether or not any particular nutrient is “essential” is a common point of debate in the scientific community. There is not always a clear answer and there are many factors at play-variations at a bio-individual level, variation between different environments and different parts of the world etc. Often nutrients are classified as “conditionally essential" meaning they are essential depending on the condition of the individual- certain conditions like being injured or sick may make external intake of the nutrient essential.
If you follow our work, you know very well that we almost never follow the official public health rules and guidelines blindly without doing our own research first. That is why we have an extensive R&D team. In fact, much of our work revolves around exposing and educating people about myths and bad practices in conventional healthcare. So obviously, we couldn't care less about how a nutrient is officially classified and always try to do what we find to be most effective based on our research (while having to skirt around some very bothersome government regulations like RDA limits of course).
We’re not saying that the re-classifiaction of the B vitamins was incorrect. But, based on our research, we do think that the addition of inositol, choline and TMG to our new Enhanced B-Complex Supplement is a good idea. Let us tell you why.
Inositol- The Ousted Vitamin B8
Previously classified as vitamin B8, Inositol is a sugar that plays multiple important roles in the body. It is a major component of cell membranes, influencing insulin action and affecting chemical messengers in the brain like serotonin and dopamine. While the typical diet contains about 1 gram of inositol per day, supplemental doses can be higher, with studies showing benefits and minimal side effects at doses up to 18 grams per day.
Balancing neurotransmitters and improving mental health
Inositol shows potential in benefiting mental health conditions. It may help balance brain chemicals associated with mood and has been found to be lower in individuals with depression, anxiety, and compulsive disorders. Inositol supplementation has shown promise in treating panic disorder, reducing panic attacks compared to anxiety medications. Preliminary studies suggest that inositol, along with omega-3 fatty acids, may alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder.
PCOS and metabolic syndrome
Inositol may also improve symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) when combined with folic acid. It has been found to reduce triglyceride levels, improve insulin function, lower blood pressure, and promote ovulation in women with PCOS. Furthermore, inositol supplements have shown potential in controlling metabolic syndrome risk factors, such as high blood triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.  
Additionally, there is limited evidence suggesting that inositol, in combination with folic acid, may help prevent gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Animal studies have linked inositol to insulin function, and preliminary human studies support its potential preventive effect on gestational diabetes.
Inositol may have additional benefits in treating respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants, aiding blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes.
Choline- The 9th B Vitamin?
Choline is often referred to as B13 or the 9th B vitamin, as it shares many functions with the B vitamins, particularly in supporting methylation processes. In 1998, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine grouped choline along with the B vitamins when establishing recommended daily allowances (RDA).
Choline and methylation
Choline plays a crucial role in methylation, just like B12 and folate. This process involves clearing homocysteine, minimizing histamine, preventing "sticky brain" syndrome to support various bodily functions.
Interactions with B12 and folate
Unlike B12 and folate, which are interdependent for proper methylation, choline works independently and can substitute for both B vitamins. Thus, the more choline one consumes, the less folate and B12 they may need, and vice versa.
Choline and MTHFR
The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase which enables a key process known as methylation. Low MTHFR activity increases the need for choline. Since choline is part of Team B, it becomes essential when one of the players in Team A (folate/B12) is injured. Choline can't replace folate's role in preventing anemia or B12's role in preventing nervous system degeneration, but it still plays a crucial role in overall methylation.
Fatty liver, fat digestion, strength, brain power, rest and digest
Choline offers unique benefits not provided by B12 and folate. It contributes to healthy liver function by helping create phosphatidylcholine, a major component of cell membranes that aids in fat digestion. Additionally, choline is used to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for muscle contraction, rest and digest mode, focused attention, learning, memory formation, and REM sleep. 
Choline in foods
Liver and egg yolks are excellent sources of choline. Other sources include nuts, seeds, meat, fish, vegetables, spices, dairy products, beans, and grains.
Betaine in foods
Betaine can serve as an alternative source of choline for methylation, but it cannot produce phosphatidylcholine or acetylcholine directly. It is recommended to obtain up to half of the daily choline intake as betaine.
Choline intake for men, women, and genetics
Estrogen increases the need for choline in women, suggesting that they may require as much as men. Low MTHFR activity can significantly increase choline needs.
Supplements like alpha-GPC and phosphatidylcholine can be used to meet choline requirements. Alpha-GPC is especially effective in supporting brain power, muscle strength, and rest and digest mode. Properly managing choline intake can minimize the risk of choline conversion into TMAO, a compound potentially associated with heart disease.
Incorporating choline-rich foods into the diet is the best way to ensure adequate intake, but supplements can be considered for specific purposes.
TMG or Trimethylglycine- The Key to Effective Methylation
TMG, or trimethylglycine, is a compound composed of glycine and three attached methyl groups. It is naturally produced by the body and can be found in foods like beetroot. TMG is involved in a process called methylation, which is crucial for DNA production. Additionally, it plays a role in converting the amino acid homocysteine into methionine. Elevated levels of homocysteine can be detrimental to cardiovascular health.
Reduced homocysteine and improved heart health
Research suggests that TMG lower homocysteine levels in the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that consuming at least 4 grams of TMG per day for 6 weeks can effectively decrease homocysteine levels in healthy adults without negatively affecting other heart health parameters.  
Enhanced athletic performance
TMG supplements are frequently used by athletes to potentially improve exercise performance. Some evidence suggests that TMG can reduce fatigue, boost protein production, and enhance the synthesis of creatine, a compound that provides energy to muscle cells. Studies have reported improvements in body composition, muscle strength, and power among individuals using TMG supplements. 
Prevention of insulin resistance
Research indicates that TMG supplements may help improve insulin resistance, a condition that hampers the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels using insulin. Studies have shown that higher intake of choline and betaine, components of TMG, is associated with decreased insulin resistance. In animal studies, TMG supplementation improved fat metabolism and decreased insulin resistance.
Potential for improving depression
TMG supplements have shown promise in improving the effectiveness of certain antidepressant medications. TMG may also alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, as elevated homocysteine levels are associated with these conditions and TMG can help reduce them. 
Update on Our Upcoming B-complex Product- 3x Strength(!) But Minus The TMG
Upcoming? But didn’t we only just launch our new and “Enhanced” B-complex? Well, you know our tagline- Never Settle(us or OnePlus, we’re not sure. Either way, that’s not the point).
The big news is we finally managed to circumvent government regulations to increase our serving size- to three times! Thanks to the FSDU(Food For Special Dietary Use) classification we have now acquired.
There’s also a bit of bad news- the TMG will be going away. While the main reason behind that is manufacturing concerns- it’s also true that most people who do require TMG supplementation, require it at a much higher dose than what can be included in a B-Complex supplement meant for general use. So a targeted TMG supplement would be required anyway.
Keep following our blog as we bring you quality stories in the world of nutrients and supplements and also keep you posted on what’s happening in our supplement kitchen!