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B Vitamin Supplements
Niagen for Blood Sugar Control? -- (7/10/2018) Niagen, a brand of nicotinamide riboside (a form of niacin), was recently tested in a clinical trial to control blood sugar levels. Get the results in the Niacin section of the B Vitamins Review. (Also see our Top Picks among niacin supplements.)
Methylfolate vs. Folic Acid -- (6/12/2018) Methylfolate (L-5-methylfolate, sold as Metafolin and Quatrefolic) is a form of folate promoted for use by people with common genetic mutations that affect the MTHFR enzyme. But is it really better than folic acid? A study recently tested them head-to-head. Get the results in the Folate section of the B Vitamins Review. Also see our Top Picks among methylfolate and folic acid products.
Hair & Nail Supplements Can Skew Lab Tests -- (5/22/2018) There are reports of high-dose biotin (common in "hair and nail" supplements) causing false readings on blood tests. Be sure to tell your doctor if you’re taking high-dose biotin. Get the details in the Biotin section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review.
Too Much Vitamin B6 -- (5/15/2018) Be aware that you can get too much vitamin B6 from supplements and energy drinks. This can result in nerve damage and other adverse effects, as has been recently reported. For details, see the B6 section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review.
What Niagen Does -- (4/3/2018) Niagen (nicotinamide riboside) has been promoted as an anti-aging supplement. Find out what's been shown in clinical studies, including one published recently, in the Niacin section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review.
B12 Dosage -- (3/7/2018) A study compared the effects of a high weekly dose of vitamin B12 versus a much lower dose given daily. Both worked equally well. Find out why and get more details about B12 dosing in the B-12 section of B Vitamin Supplements Review.
Folic Acid, Multis & Autism Risk -- (2/25/2018) The use of a folic acid or multivitamin supplement during pregnancy was associated a reduced risk of autism spectrum disorder in children according to a recently published study. Be aware, however, that high-dose folic acid during pregnancy may have negative effects. For details, see the Folic Acid section of the B Vitamins Review.
B12 for Cognition -- (1/13/2018) Numerous studies show that getting adequate intake of B vitamins, such as B12, and, perhaps, omega-3 fatty acids from fish, may slow age-related declines in memory and cognition. But not everyone should expect a benefit, as shown in a recent study. For details, see the Memory, Cognition, and Alzheimer's Disease section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks among products.)
Folic Acid & Risk of Autism -- (12/26/2017) Supplementing with adequate (and not excessive) folic acid around the time of conception is associated with a lower risk of autism in offspring, and a recent study suggests this may be particularly important for women who take antiepileptic medication. For details, see the "Folate" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> (Also see information about getting folic acid from prenatal vitamins in the "Prenatal" section of the Multivitamin Review.)
Folic Acid for Cognition -- (12/23/2017) Giving folic acid to older people with relatively low levels of blood folate resulted in improved cognitive performance, according to a recent study. For details, see the "Memory, Cognition, and Alzheimer's Disease" section in the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> (Also see our Top Picks for folate and other B vitamin supplements.)
Danger from Too Much Vitamin B6 -- (12/14/2017) A women who was consuming large amounts of an energy drink as well as a B-vitamin complex developed symptoms of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) toxicity (which may not be reversible), according to a recent report. Get the details in the "B6" section of B Vitamin Supplements Review >>

CL has long warned that energy drinks and shots often contain large amounts of B6 and other B vitamins.
Biotin Interference With Vitamin D Test -- (12/5/2017) Last week we reported that high doses of biotin (found in B complexes and hair and nail supplements) can interfere with certain blood tests. A study recently showed that biotin can also artificially inflate a test for vitamin D. Get the details in the "Biotin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Growing Concern with Biotin Causing False Lab Results -- (11/28/2017) Biotin (a B vitamin found in B-complex and hair and nail supplements) can interfere with laboratory results resulting in the missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cardiovascular and hormonal conditions, such as Graves' disease (a form of hyperthyroidism). Physicians and lab personnel may be unaware of this interference. For details, see the "Biotin" section of the B Vitamins Review >>
Signs of B12 Deficiency -- (11/26/2017) B12 deficiency is not uncommon, most often affecting older people. Symptoms include anemia, fatigue, tingling in the arms and legs and loss of balance -- but a recent case report highlights a lesser-known sign of B12 deficiency. Find out more, plus how much B12 you should get in the "B12" section of the B Vitamins Review >> (Also see our Top Picks for vitamin B12 and other B vitamins.)
B Vitamins for Memory -- (11/4/2017) Many studies suggest that adequate intake of B vitamins slows age-related declines in memory and cognition. This was recently shown again in a study in England. Find out which B vitamins help, and how much you need, in the "What It Does" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Picks for B vitamin supplements in the Review.]
Best form of B12? -- (10/29/2017) It’s important for many older adults and people using medications that reduce stomach acid to take a vitamin B12 supplement. Three different forms of B12 are sold. A recent study suggests that one may be better than another. Get the details in the B12 (cobalamin) section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> [Also see our Top Pick for B12 supplements in the Review.]
Niacinamide for Alzheimer's Disease? -- (9/19/2017) Niacinamide (a form of niacin) has been promoted as a way to protect against memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease — a claim based on studies in mice. A recent study put this to the test in people. See the results in the "Niacin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Lower Cognitive Function in Kids Linked to High Prenatal Folic Acid -- (9/6/2017) Children of mothers who took high amounts of folic acid around the time of pregnancy had lower cognitive and verbal scores when tested at 4 to 5 years of age, according to a new study. Similarly, as we reported last year, pregnant women with higher levels of folate (from folic acid) had offspring with higher rates of autism. While it is important that pregnant women get a moderate amount of folic acid to prevent spinal cord defects, higher amounts should be avoided. See the Folate section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review for details.
High-Dose B Vitamins & Lung Cancer Risk -- (8/29/2017) A recent study found that taking high doses of vitamins B6 and B12 was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer among men, particulary among those who smoke. For details, see the "ConsumerTips" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
High-Dose B Vitamins & Cataract Risk -- (8/26/2017) Taking high doses of B vitamins, including B vitamin complexes, folic acid and B6, was associated with a higher risk of age-related cataracts among middle-aged men and women, according to a new study. For details, see the "ConsumerTips" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
How Vitamin B6 May Backfire -- (7/26/2017) Supplementing with high-dose vitamin B6 can sometimes cause the same nerve toxicity associated with deficiency of B6. New research explains why this may happen and suggests how to avoid it. For details, see the "Vitamin B6" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Warning: Biotin Can Affect Thyroid Tests -- (6/20/2017) Vitamins that contain megadoses of biotin (vitamin B7) can affect thyroid tests, according to recent studies. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and improper treatment. See the "Biotin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
B12 Can Cause Acne -- (6/20/2017) Taking very large doses of vitamin B12 can cause outbreaks of acne -- even in older people, according to a recent report. Learn more in the "B12" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Hip Fracture Risk With Too Much B-6 -- (6/10/2017) A new study found that older men and women who took a high daily dose of vitamin B-6 had a 42% increased risk of hip fracture. Get the details in the "Vitamin B-6" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review. Also, be aware that many supplements on the market contain the amount of B-6 used in this study, or more, in a daily serving! For help choosing a B-Complex or B-6 supplement that suits your needs without providing too much B-6, see our Top Picks among B vitamin supplements.
POTS and Thiamin -- (5/24/2017) A small study among people who suffer from POTS (postural tachycardia syndrome) suggested that supplementing with thiamin (vitamin B-1) may help some. For details, see the Thiamin (B-1) section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Niacin & Skin Cancer -- (4/19/2017) People who don't get enough niacin each day may be able to lower their risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer by getting a bit more niacin from their food or supplements suggests a recent analysis. However, this doesn't mean you should overdo it. For details, see the "Niacin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review. You can also find foods high in niacin using the food table in the report.
Cognitive Decline With Too Little B6 -- (2/3/2017) A recent study among men and women in their 60’s found that those getting inadequate amounts of vitamin B6 in their diets had much higher rates of cognitive decline. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>
Side-Effect With B-12 -- (1/20/2017) Certain formulations of vitamin B-12 contain additional ingredients that can cause diarrhea and bloating in some people — particularly if taking more than one pill. An apparent case of this was reported to us this week. To help you avoid this, read the details in the "What CL Found" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>
Potential Risk with High B-12 -- (1/10/2017) Among people who are malnourished, those with elevated vitamin B-12 levels in their blood were twice as likely to die when hospitalized as those with lower B-12 levels, according to a new study. The study authors suggest caution with inappropriate supplementation. For more details about the study, and vitamin B-12, see the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
High-Dose Vitamin D Reduces Respiratory Infections, But With a Risk -- (1/10/2017) A study among older men and women found those who took high-dose vitamin D had fewer acute respiratory infections, but a greater number of falls. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>
Too Much Folate & Nerve Damage -- (10/22/2016) One quarter of American men and women have a gene variation which puts them at higher risk of nerve damage if consuming too much of folate (vitamin B-9) daily, according to a new study. Considering that most older Americans consume more than this amount (largely due to excessive supplement use) this should be a warning to many. For more details, see the "Folate" section of the B Vitamins Review >>
Niagen Form of Niacin May Cause Flushing -- (10/11/2016) Niacin is known to cause flushing (redness) and skin tingling at moderate doses. Other forms of niacin are said cause less flushing. One of these is Niagen. However, results of a recently published study suggest that it can cause flushing and "hotness" after just a single dose. More details are in the "Niacin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Getting Too Much Folic Acid -- (9/16/2016) Researchers recently warned that many people who use supplements may be over-consuming synthetic forms of folate, which carries risks. Current labels are misleading. Get the details in the Folate section of the B Vitamins Review >>
Biotin Caution -- (8/20/2016) Very high-doses of biotin (vitamin B-7) can cause misleading laboratory results and lead to unnecessary antithyroid treatment, according to a new report. For details, see the Biotin section of the B Vitamins Supplements Review >>
Folic Acid Supplementation Mitigates Alzheimer's -- (7/5/2016) A recent study in people with Alzheimer's disease found that folic acid supplementation decreased inflammation and slightly improved mental functioning. However, participants began the study unusually low in folic acid relative to normal U.S. levels. For more details see the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> Also see results of a folate/B-12 study which showed reduced brain shrinkage in Alzheimer’s patients.
B Vitamins & Autism Risk -- (6/12/2016) Excessive blood levels of B-12 and/or folate in pregnant women were found to be associated with an increased risk of autism in their children, according to a new study. While these vitamins are critical, too much may be problematic. Get the details in the B-12 and Folate sections of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Omega-3's May Be Important in Preventing Cognitive Decline -- (1/20/2016) We have reported in the past that a certain combination of B vitamins slowed cognitive decline as well as brain shrinkage in older people. Now, further analyses finds that these benefits only occurred in people having certain blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (as found in fish oil). Get the details in the B Vitamins Supplements Review >>
Niacin Helps Prevent Skin Cancers -- (10/24/2015) A study published this week showed that taking a form of niacin daily significantly lowered the rate of new basal-cell and squamous-cell skin cancers in patients with a history of such cancers. For details about the supplement and dose, see the B Vitamins Review >>
How Vitamin B-12 Causes Acne -- (6/27/2015) Vitamin B-12 is a critical nutrient and many people, particularly those over 50, should supplement with B-12 to avoid deficiency. However, at doses higher than those used to prevent deficiency, B-12 may occasionally trigger acne. A new study appears to explain the B-12/acne connection. For details, see the "Cobalamin (B-12)" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Niacin Reduces Skin Cancer -- (5/16/2015) A recent study suggests that high-dose niacin (vitamin B-3) may reduce the risk of developing certain types of skin cancer. A closer look at the study, however, raises questions about its relevance to people in North America. Get the details, as well as more information about niacin and our product test results & comparisons, in the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> 
Folic Acid Reduces Risk of Stroke -- (3/15/2015) A large study in people taking blood pressure-lowering medication found that the addition of a daily folic acid (vitamin B-9 or folate) supplement significantly reduced the chance of having a stroke. This benefit is most likely to occur among people whose blood levels of folate are low. More details, including dosage and ConsumerLab.com's test-based quality ratings of folic acid supplements, are found in the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Keep Energy Drinks Away from Kids -- (11/17/2014) It was reported this week that 40% of calls to poison centers for "energy drink exposure" involved children under age 6, many of whom experienced serious side effects. For more about this and other concerns with energy drinks, as well as our test results for popular products, see the B Vitamins & Energy Drinks Review >> 
Do B Vitamins Boost Memory? -- (11/16/2014) This week, a study was reported in the media suggesting that taking vitamin B-12 and folic acid does not help with memory. But a closer look at this and related studies shows a benefit for some people. Get the details, plus our tests and comparisons of B-vitamin supplements, in the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> 
Energy Drinks: Athletic Performance & Side Effects -- (10/8/2014) A recent study found that a caffeinated energy drink improved athletes' self-perceived muscle power, but also increased insomnia and nervousness. Get the details in the update to the B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks Review >> 
High-Dose Niacin with Statins Not Worth It -- (7/19/2014) Further evidence was published this week showing that the addition of high-dose niacin (vitamin B-3) to cholesterol-lowering treatment with statin drugs provides no worthwhile benefit and appears to increase the risk of adverse side events. For details, see the Review of B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks >> 
B-12 Deficiency and Acid Inhibitors -- (12/14/2013) A large, new study found the risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency to be significantly higher among people taking proton pump inhibitors (e.g., Prevacid, Prilosec) or H2-blockers (e.g., Pepcid, Zantac) than among those not taking these medications. The drugs reduce acid production in the stomach, but acid is needed to release B-12 from foods, so deficiency can occur. B-12 supplements can help because acid is not needed for their absorption. For details -- and our reviews of supplements with vitamin B-12 -- see the updated B Vitamin Supplements Review >>   

Other supplements which should or should not be used with these medications are discussed in the Proton Pump Inhibitors article, which is part of the extensive Drug Interactions section of our website (where you can look up interactions for other drugs you may be taking.) 

B Vitamin Supplements for Stroke? -- (9/21/2013) A review of 14 clinical studies suggests that B vitamins may help prevent stroke. However, a deep reading of the report shows the benefit to be slight, at best.  For details about the study, other uses of B vitamins (including B6, B-12, folic acid, niacin and complexes), and tests of these supplements, see the B Vitamin Supplements Review>>  
Alzheimer's Changes Slowed with B Vitamins -- (5/27/2013) A combination of B vitamins was found to slow brain loss in areas of the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. This same combination of vitamins has also been shown to slow cognitive decline. Get the details on who may (or may not) benefit, dosage, plus test results for over 35 B vitamin supplements in the updated B Vitamin Supplements Product Review >>
Concern Over Carnitine Causing Cardiovascular Disease -- (4/14/2013) Intake of L-carnitine from supplements (and from red meat) may foster atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to new research. Once ingested, L-carnitine is converted in some people to a compound which reduces the normal clearing of cholesterol from arteries.

For more details, see the updated reviews of B Vitamin Supplements & Energy Drinks and Protein Powders, as some of these products contain L-carnitine. The Acetyl-L-Carnitine Supplements review has also been updated because acetyl-L-carnitine is chemically similar to L-carnitine, suggesting a potential concern.
Concern Over Niacin -- (3/17/2013) You may have heard that a recent study suggests that supplementing with niacin at high doses does more harm than good. This appears to be true in only certain situations. Get the facts in the update to the B Vitamin Supplements Review >>
Autism and Folic Acid Supplements -- (2/17/2013) A new study found that women who took folic acid supplements around the time of conception had a significantly reduced risk of bearing a child with autistic disorder. Get more details in the recent update to the folic acid section of the B Vitamins Review >>
Higher Vitamin Level May Slow Cognitive Decline -- (12/16/2012) An 8-year study of people in their 70's found that cognitive functioning (memory and other mental skills) declined faster among those with lower blood levels of vitamin B-12 compared to those with higher levels. Particularly surprising was that 40% of the people in the study fell into the lower B-12 group, many of whom had levels which would not normally define them as deficient in B-12. This and other recent studies suggest a role for vitamin B-12 in minimizing cognitive decline in older people. For details, see the updated B Vitamin Supplements Review. More >>
Caution with Energy Drinks -- (11/18/2012) The FDA has released reports showing deaths and other serious adverse events associated with the use of energy drinks like 5-hour Energy. As ConsumerLab.com reported in September, these small "shot" drinks can pack more caffeine than 2 cups of regular coffee. While the caffeine can keep you alert, there are a number of concerns to bear in mind and suggestions on how to more safely use these drinks. Learn more in the update to our B Vitamins and Energy Drinks Review. More >>
B Vitamin May Lower Blood Pressure -- (5/20/2012) According to a new study, approximately 10% of the population is genetically prone to high blood pressure which may respond dramatically to a low dose of riboflavin (vitamin B-2). Read the update to the B Vitamin Supplements Review for details, including the dose used and amount of blood pressure reduction achieved. More >>
B-12 and Folic Acid for Memory -- (1/8/2012) Small but significant improvements in short and long-term memory were found to occur in older people (aged 60 to 74) given modest daily amounts of vitamin B-12 and folic acid. But don't expect immediate results. Improvements were seen only after 2 years of supplementation. See the update in the B Vitamins Review for the dosage used, as well as our ratings of supplements with vitamin B-12 and folic acid.
No Benefit of Niacin with Statins -- (11/20/2011) According to a recently published study, high dose niacin added to statin drug treatment does not further reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke despite improvements in levels of HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. In fact, there was a small increase in strokes among those taking niacin. However, a role remains for high dose niacin in lipid treatment. For details, see the update to the B Vitamin Supplements Review.
B Vitamins May Help Memory -- (10/30/2011) A recently published study of individuals aged 70 years or more with mild cognitive impairment found that a daily dose of three B vitamins (folic acid, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-6) over 2 years appeared to slow cognitive and clinical decline, particularly in those who started with elevated levels of plasma homocysteine. See the B Vitamin Product Review for details including the dosage used.  More >>
Niacin Concern Stops Cardiovascular Study -- (5/31/2011) A clinical trial using high dose niacin (vitamin B3) was recently stopped by the National Institutes of Health due to lack of benefit and a small increase in strokes. Patients in the study had cardiovascular disease and were already taking a statin drug to keep LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels low. The addition of high dose niacin was intended to increase HDL ("good") cholesterol, reduce elevated triglycerides, and, most importantly, reduce the risk of heart attacks and stoke. For more information, including the amount and type of niacin used in the study and additional information about niacin and niacin supplements, see the B Vitamin Supplements ReviewMore >>
Does folic acid affect the risk of colon cancer? -- (5/9/2011) Supplementation with higher amounts of folic acid (vitamin B-9) has been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer, but its effect on the risk of colon cancer has been unclear. A new study found no increase in colon cancer due to folic acid supplementation. But if you supplement with folic acid, be careful. See the B Vitamin Supplements Review for more >>




 
 
 


 

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