Considering taking a vitamin to treat or alleviate benzo withdrawal symptoms? Please be aware before adding anything to research its actions thoroughly and to make sure, through medical testing, that you do have a deficiency in that vitamin. 

When in Benzo withdrawal or tolerance to the drugs the body is unlikely to tolerate any substance added that is merely an isolated chemical such as a synthetic vitamin substance. It may treat it as interference and cause an unwanted reaction.

If you feel adding a vitamin can be beneficial for you after research and testing then start slowly and build up to the maximum daily dose over time. Always be wary of any reactions and stop immediately if necessary. We stress that your doctor should be aware and support your use of any vitamins as overdosing of some can be dangerous.

‘Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in small quantities to sustain life. Most vitamins need to come from food. This is because the human body either does not produce enough of them, or it does not produce any at all. Each organism has different vitamin requirements.’

 

From Medical News Today....

 

FAST FACTS ON VITAMINS

Here are some key points about vitamins. More detail of each and any known interaction with Benzos is under the individual vitamin discussion.

  • There are 13 known vitamins.
  • Vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble.
  • Fat-soluble vitamins are easier for the body to store than water-soluble.
  • Vitamins always contain carbon, so they are described as "organic."
  • Food is the best source of vitamins, but some people may be advised by a physician to use supplements.

 

WHAT ARE VITAMINS?

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of a range of vitamins.

A vitamin is one of a group of organic substances that is present in minute amounts in natural foodstuffs. Vitamins are essential to normal metabolism. If we do not take enough of any kind of vitamin, certain medical conditions can result.

A vitamin is both:

  • an organic compound, which means it contains carbon
  • an essential nutrient that body cannot produce enough of and which it needs to get from food. There are currently 13 recognized vitamins...

 

FAT SOLUBLE AND WATER SOLUBLE

Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble.

Fat-soluble vitamins....

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and the liver. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. These are easier to store than water-soluble vitamins, and they can stay in the body as reserves for days, and sometimes months.

Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of fats, or lipids.

Water-soluble vitamins....

Water-soluble vitamins do not stay in the body for long. The body cannot store them, and they are soon excreted in urine. Because of this, water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble ones.

Vitamin C and all the B vitamins are water soluble.

 

TYPES

 

Here are the different types of vitamins.

 

Vitamin A

Chemical names: Retinol, retinal, and four carotenoids, including beta carotene.

  • It is fat soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause night-blindness and keratomalacia, an eye disorder that results in a dry cornea.
  • Good sources include: Liver, cod liver oil, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, butter, kale, spinach, pumpkin, collard greens, some cheeses, egg, apricot, cantaloupe melon, and milk.

 

Vitamin B

Chemical name: Thiamine

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
  • Good sources include: yeast, pork, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole-grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver, and eggs.

 

Vitamin B2

Chemical name: Riboflavin

  • It is water soluble
  • Deficiency may cause ariboflavinosis
  • Good sources include: asparagus, bananas, persimmons, okra, chard, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish, and green beans

 

Vitamin B3

Chemical names: Niacin, niacinamide

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause pellagra, with symptoms of diarrhoe, dermatitis, and mental disturbance.
  • Good sources include: liver, heart, kidney, chicken, beef, fish (tuna, salmon), milk, eggs, avocados, dates, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, nuts, whole-grains, legumes, mushrooms, and brewer's yeast.

 

Vitamin B5

Chemical name: Pantothenic acid

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause paresthesia, or "pins and needles."
  • Good sources include: meats, whole-grains (milling may remove it), broccoli, avocados, royal jelly, and fish ovaries.

 

Vitamin B6

Chemical names: Pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause anaemia, peripheral neuropathy, or damage to parts of the nervous system other than the brain and spinal cord.
  • Good sources include: meats, bananas, whole-grains, vegetables, and nuts. When milk is dried, it loses about half of its B6. Freezing and canning can also reduce content.

 

Vitamin B7

Chemical name: Biotin

  • it is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause dermatitis or enteritis, or inflammation of the intestine.
  • Good sources include: egg yolk, liver, some vegetables.

 

Vitamin B9

Chemical names: Folic acid, folinic acid

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency during pregnancy is linked to birth defects. Pregnant women are encouraged to supplement folic acid for the entire year before becoming pregnant.
  • Good sources include: leafy vegetables, legumes, liver, baker's yeast, some fortified grain products, and sunflower seeds. Several fruits have moderate amounts, as does beer.

 

 Vitamin B12

Chemical names: Cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, methylcobalamin

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause megaloblastic anaemia, a condition where bone marrow produces unusually large, abnormal, immature red blood cells.
  • Good sources include: fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products, some fortified cereals and soy products, as well as fortified nutritional yeast.

Vegans are advised to take B12 supplements.

 

Vitamin C

Chemical name: Ascorbic acid

  • It is water soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause megaloblastic anemia.
  • Good sources include: fruit and vegetables. The Kakadu plum and the camu camu fruit have the highest vitamin C contents of all foods. Liver also has high levels. Cooking destroys vitamin C.

 

Vitamin D

Chemical names: Ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol.

  • It is fat soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause rickets and osteomalacia, or softening of the bones.
  • Good sources: Exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) through sunlight or other sources causes vitamin D to be produced in the skin. Also found in fatty fish, eggs, beef liver, and mushrooms.

 

Vitamin E

Chemical names: Tocopherols, tocotrienols

  • It is fat soluble.
  • Deficiency is uncommon, but it may cause hemolytic anemia in newborns. This is a condition where blood cells are destroyed and removed from the blood too early.
  • Good sources include: Kiwi fruit, almonds, avocado, eggs, milk, nuts, leafy green vegetables, unheated vegetable oils, wheat germ, and whole-grains.

 

Vitamin K

Chemical names: Phylloquinone, menaquinones

  • It is fat soluble.
  • Deficiency may cause bleeding diathesis, an unusual susceptibility to bleeding.
  • Good sources include: leafy green vegetables, avocado, kiwi fruit. Parsley contains a lot of vitamin K.

  

DIETARY SOURCES

The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines focus on the overall diet as the best way to get enough nutrients for good health. Vitamins should come firstly from a balanced and varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

However, in some cases, fortified foods and supplements may be appropriate.

A health professional may recommend vitamin supplements for people with certain conditions, during pregnancy, or for those on a restricted diet.

Those taking supplements should take care not to exceed the stated maximum dose, as health problems can result. Some medications can interact with vitamin supplements, too, so it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before using supplements.

 

VITAMINS IN BENZO WITHDRAWAL

 

Heather Ashton, 2012

‘There is no evidence that nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc. are helpful in benzodiazepine withdrawal. Excessive doses of some can be toxic and others may even contain benzo-like substances that have the same adverse effects as benzodiazepines themselves. Nor is there any evidence that suggests benzodiazepine withdrawal causes vitamin, mineral or other deficiencies. No-one should take supplements without clear evidence of a specific deficiency. Those who advocate multiple supplements should first show evidence of any deficiency and then conduct proper controlled trials’.

 

....Multivitamins may contain citrus bioflavonoids which interact with Benzos and increase the effects of the drugs. In withdrawal these may therefore increase symptoms. The same can be said for grapefruit juice.

 

....Vit D is a hormone and helps control the level of calcium in your body and as such can have wide effects on the body. It appears to be an excitotoxin for some people and will therefore cause an increase in the intensity of any symptoms during benzo recovery. The actions by which vit d causes problems may also involve its importance in this absorption of calcium into the body but there is no research to be found to date as to why it can be problematic in withdrawal. Often it is found to be deficient in withdrawal but getting it from the relevant foods is the safe option while recovering.

 

....Vit Bs are another common excitatory substance in benzo withdrawal. They are important in influencing the nervous system but in withdrawal this can cause adverse reactions.

B6..An energising vitamin which increases nervous energy, something those recovering don’t need.

B1..Supposed to have a calming effect on the nerves but can cause a paradoxical reaction in withdrawal.

B3..Helps in the production of certain brain chemicals but again it’s these effects on the fragile brain that may cause a reaction.

B5..Needed for making healthy blood cells.

B12..Helps prevent a type of anaemia called megaloblastic anaemia that makes people tired and weak. This vitamin has many reactions in the body and is better researched individually as it can cause setbacks in withdrawal but it’s methods of action are detailed. It should only be added on prescription from your doctor so levels can be monitored.

The reasons for the common bad reactions to B vitamins are probably due to their interaction with the fragile Central Nervous System in benzo withdrawal and best obtained from a good, healthy natural diet.

 

Vit C..May help control cortisol levels but there are many different forms so really best to obtain naturally as far as possible. Again avoid supplements containing citrus bioflavonoids. There’s no evidence to show that taking megadoses of Vitamin C is beneficial even when not in withdrawal as extra is excreted quickly.

 

The various other vitamins may cause a setback for some people but there is little known of how they may influence benzo withdrawal symptoms for better or worse. Always take any supplements with medical support while very fragile in your recovery and remember your response to one vitamin won’t be the same as that of another person’s. Just be vigilant and careful so setbacks are avoided. With a good diet there should be no need for these chemical ‘extras’.