Thorne Basic vs Stress B Complex

I was looking online and noticed that there is the normal Thorne B-Complex but also the Thorne Stress B Complex which has more Vitamin B5 for adrenal support. Is there much of a difference between the two? The Stress one is cheaper and I probably could use some extra adrenal support. I'm not sure which one is recommended on this forum. I'll be complementing it with a B12 1000 sublingual of methylcobalamin.

The main differences that stood out for the Stress B Complex, besides 250 mg of B5 as opposed to 110mg, is 200mcg of folate rather than 400mcg, and 80mcg of Biotin rather than 400mcg.

thorneresearch.ca/thorne-b-...

thorneresearch.ca/stress-b-...

Thanks! I've been supplementing with B12 alone for months now. I look forward to feeling the effects of adding in a B-Complex.

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13 Replies

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  • Both good; if I wasn't having much dairy I'd go for the latter one as it contains more riboflavin which supports the methylation cycle and thyroid. Going for less folate may be alright provided that your levels aren't low and you eat plenty of fresh orange juice, leafy greens etc... The additional B6 should work more effectively at combatting stress; but it's worth noting that B6 requires good magnesium and zinc levels to work. I notice that there's less B3 (niacinamide) in the 'stress' option, but B3 can be obtained from B6. I sometimes take niacin in the evening with a late evening snack to help wind down and stop a racing mind at bedtime. The problem is, I can then wake up in the night and need a top-up dose! Therefore, I'll be trying a low dose of 5-HTP instead as it supposedly delivers niacin in a more on-demand way as niacin is such a short-lived vitamin.... I can't vouch for 5-HTP properly yet as I've literally just learned about it in the last couple of days...

  • I have been using 5-HTP and find I really do get a good nights sleep and wake refreshed.

  • 5-HTP won't help supply niacin at all. For that you need tryptophan. If you live in the UK you can only get tryptophan online as far as I know - I've never bought it.

    See this diagram from wikipedia :

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trypt...

    It shows what turns into what. 5-HTP is in the second row on the left. Niacin is on the bottom row on the right.

    The reason 5-HTP helps with sleep is because it is eventually turned into melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body when people need to go to sleep.

    I take 5-HTP in a low dose - 50mg per day and have done for about 6 years. It does make a difference for me, but I've learned that it has no effect on some people at all.

  • You're right. Tryptophan can convert to melatonin AND to niacin, but 5-HTP is just part of one branch off tryptophan which results in melatonin...Clearly I was misinformed when I read that 5-HTP amounts to the same thing as tryptophan! I'll proceed with caution, thank you.

  • I think one reason why 5-HTP works well as an anti-depressant and helps sleep is because it has no choice but to convert into serotonin and eventually melatonin.

    With tryptophan I can't see how someone could control whether some gets converted and goes down each branch of the conversion chain, or mostly goes down the left branch, or mostly goes down the right branch.

    I'm sure what I've said here would have any biochemist laughing their socks off.

  • Someone's gone to some effort over this and written about their experience here...so your thinking is good and validated :-)

    accidentalscientist.com/200...

    I think that the reason that niacin was working for me is that my body was saying, 'Hey you've got plenty of that; I'll convert this back to tryptophan...which will then become melatonin.' It's complicated. I agree with the link that niacinamide does not help with sleep as it won't convert back (I've tried it - completely useless for that purpose anyway). The author likes nicotinamide which is in my multi - but I take that in the morning. The author is not a fan of 5-HTP - I think taking it on an empty stomach is probably essential. I may try what they suggest if it doesn't work (combination of tryptophan and nicotinamide).

  • Finally got it...I was rushing and I think my reading comprehension is ridiculous today (mild brain fog) - sorry.

    I meant that available tryptophan won't bother making more niacin - not that niacin will convert back to tryptophan!!! Niacinamide won't stop tryptophan making more niacin..so that's why it doesn't make you sleepy. All these feedback loops are tricky...I've only just got my head around methylation!

  • That article you linked is brilliant, thank you!

    With the tryptophan/what happens to it question, I hadn't gone beyond

    "How does it decide which branch to go down? I don't know. Do I care? No. Give up."

    What I should have done is what you did, and found out.

    I have been thinking about my use of 5-HTP for quite a while. I've been using it for such a long time now, and wasn't sure whether such long-term use was a good idea.

    I may try and get hold of some tryptophan and the other things the man mentions in that article.

    Thanks again. :)

  • Just needed a bit of prompting! I love a bit of research..

    It's made me think twice about niacinamide, because it won't help tryptophan 'change it's mind' into making serotonin.

  • Anyone with an interest in serotonin and what it does may find this article to be of interest :

    sci-hub.cc/10.1136/bmj.h1771

  • In my previous reply I linked to an article from the BMJ about serotonin and depression and how a connection has never been proved between the two.

    But in one of my earlier replies I wrote this :

    I think one reason why 5-HTP works well as an anti-depressant and helps sleep is because it has no choice but to convert into serotonin and eventually melatonin.

    I think my thoughts on this whole subject are terribly muddled and I don't know what I'm talking about. :(

  • You're not the only one ... I'm doubly confused because a 'trusted source' (a very good doctor) also assumed that niacinamide can convert back to tryptophan and make serotonin .... From my own experience, I don't actually believe this to be true....

    I agree with the author of the link I found that, for the sake of everyone with anxiety / sleep issues more research into niacin needs to be done!! Anyone out there who wants to do a thesis or masters in biochemistry - here's your subject!! ;-)

  • Have you had a look at Holland & Barrett's 'Busy B's' formulation. I've been using it for about 3 years now & i think it's fantastic!

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