What vitamin B complex is good for | B complex vitamins
B complex vitamins and health benefits
B complex vitamins consist of eight kinds of vitamin B. This water-soluble group of vitamins is gregarious in nature and thus we need them frequently to fulfill the daily requirements.
Almost all B complex vitamins help break the food components into the required components that the body can easily consume.
All vitamin B complex plays an essential role in converting one or more components into energy directly used by our systems. Thus, we should ensure a proper supply of these vitamins to absorb our food’s nutrition.
Let’s get to what B complex vitamins are good for:
1. Thiamin (vitamin B-1)
Thiamin serves our digestive system that takes the nutrients and converts them into required energy.
It helps turn carbs into energy and is essential for proper blood level in the body.
The daily requirement of thiamin for over eighteen teens/adults is
- Men – 1-to-1.2 mg/day
- Women – 0.8-to-1.1 mg/day
However, for children, the daily requirements are quite low (0.5 to 0.9 mg/day).
Food intake affects the absorption of vitamin b complex as they are directly welcomed into our blood through the gastrointestinal tract when taken with food.
Vitamin B-1 food sources: whole grain, nuts, soybeans, brown rice, peas, and cereals, black beans, mussels, fruits like banana, orange.
Pregnant women who lack vitamin B-1 should include sources or supplements of thiamin for 1.4 mg/day.
2. Riboflavin (vitamin B-2)
Riboflavin is an antioxidant that helps in the fabrication of energy, red blood cells and improves eyesight.
It assists energy production from protein and body growth. Further, it may serve your immunity to avert diseases like migraine, hyperglycemia, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, anemia, and certain cancer.
The recommended dose of riboflavin (vitamin B-2) on an everyday basis for adults is:
- Men – 1.3mg
- Women – 1.1mg
For infants of 1-3 years, the dose of vitamin b2 should be 0.4 – 0.5 mg/day approx. However, consulting a doctor before jumping to a conclusion is a sensible act.
Food sources of vitamin B-2: almonds, eggs, soybeans, mushrooms, spinach, yogurt, sprouts, dark green veggies, milk, and dairy products.
3. Niacin (vitamin B-3)
Niacin aids our nervous system and digestive system well to keep us fit. Several multivitamins include vitamin b3 as its main components to provide its healthful contribution.
Its supplement serves you best when taken with food reducing the side effects and serving their best to the system.
B complex vitamins should be taken in the morning with food to grant greater absorption of nutrients to the body.
In fact, niacin helps adrenal glands to relieve stress and assists in proper sleep support. Thus, the vitamin is good enough to serve you sound sleep.
Food sources of vitamin B-3: yeast, cereal, milk, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains.
What doses should we have to fulfill our daily body requirements?
The daily requirements for Niacin for a healthy person will be:
- Men – 16 mg/day
- Women – 14 mg/day
- Children – varies between 2-16 mg/day
4. Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B-5)
Among vitamin b complex, this vitamin is responsible for converting food into glucose and handling dietary deficiencies.
The primary function of pantothenic acid is to synthesize the coenzyme A and acyl carrier. It catalyzes the reactions required in the intermediary phases of the food to energy conversion.
Further, vitamin B-5 is considered helpful in resolving or preventing problems like acne, asthma, baldness, autism, yeast infection, eyesight issues, infections or allergies, low blood pressure, and other acute problems like cramps, headaches, etc chronic illness.
However, proper studies and researches are still required to confirm the working and effect of this vitamin on our health.
Since pantothenic acid is available in most food products, it is hard to find its deficiencies.
The food sources contain pantothenic acid: Whole grains, soybeans, legumes, mushrooms, sprouts, and dairy products including milk, egg yolk.
The adequate requirement of pantothenic acid on daily basis:
- Men – 5.5 mg/day
- Women – 4 mg/day
- Children – 1 to 4 mg/day (as per age and requirements)
5. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6)
Vitamin B-6 assists our nervous system and brain functioning.
It ensures the food, we eat nurtures the body and avert possible diseases due to nutritional deficiency.
Food sources of vitamin B-6 (Pyroxidine): peanuts, soybeans, oats, banana, wheat germ, cereals, beans, milk, vegetables, eggs.
The daily requirement of vitamin B-6 for adults:
- Men – 1.4 mg/day
- Women – 1.2 mg/day
You can easily fulfill the daily requirement for the vitamin through a regular and balanced diet.
6. Biotin (vitamin B-7)
It supports the enzymes that can break down our food components like fat, carbohydrates, protein into energy.
Vitamin B-7 or Biotin serves us in multiple ways providing energy from food, hair and skin health, regular blood sugar level, and also healthy pregnancy.
Moreover, this vitamin B component helps produce a defensive covering of nerve fibers in our brain, spinal cord, and eyes called myelin.
Food sources of biotin: eggs, milk, cheese, legumes, soybeans, peanut, groundnuts, banana, seeds, nuts, fish, veggies like cauliflower, mushroom.
Biotin served in food may help you improve your hair and nails growth rather than using a shampoo that contains biotin itself.
Additionally, the gut bacteria in our body can also synthesize vitamin B-7.
However, it is not common to have a side effect from the high dose of this vitamin but you should always consider a healthy recommended measure of the vitamin – 30mcg (micrograms) – for adults on an everyday basis.
Similarly, its deficiency is also rare to find or can say there are collective symptoms to these B complex vitamins which is surely sometimes hard to diagnose.
Thus, consulting a doctor could help you with nutrients you actually need than just cramming things to some extent.
7. Folate (vitamin B-9)
Folate or folic acid is essential to develop new cells including RCB (red blood cells).
Folic acid is vital for cell formation, proper cell growth, and its functions. It is very crucial at the time of pregnancy to provide the proper nourishment required for brain and spine cells.
Besides, Folate or folic acid has a vital role in the strengthening of the immune system. Along with other vitamins, folic acid not only assists the development of the nervous system but also its function.
Food sources of vitamin B-9: citrus fruits, sprouts, peas, nuts, banana, melon, eggs, mushrooms, legumes, green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, cabbage, spring green.
Since it is water-soluble and does not store in the body for long we require the vitamin daily.
The Daily recommended dose of vitamin B-9 for adults is 400 mcg (micrograms). Though for pregnant women it may differ from 400 – 1,000 mcg (micrograms) as required.
Yet, consulting a doctor is crucial because the medication works distinctly for every person.
8. Cobalamin (vitamin B-12)
Vitamin B-12 benefits our nerve system and the formation of DNA and RNA.
Plus, this nutrient keeps our blood cells and nerve cells healthy and functioning.
Vitamin B 12 is absorbed through stomach acid. Thus, any medication that blocks stomach acid can lead to cobalamin deficiency.
Food sources of vitamin B-12: fish, eggs, dairy products, and cereals.
The dietary supplements of vitamin B-12 needed on regular basis:
- Children – 0.5-to-1.5 mcg/day
- Teenagers – 1.5-to-2.4 mcg/day
- Adults – 2.4 mcg/day
Although vitamin B-12 is beneficial for the regulation of RBC and nerve cells, its intake with other medications or health conditions may not be safe.
For instance, vitamin B-12 intake for people with Leber’s disease can damage your optical nerve cells.
Therefore, it is extremely essential to consult a doctor, especially when you already have any health condition.
Deficiency symptoms for vitamin B complex
B complex vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that do not store in the body. Thus, we require them on daily basis to prevent deficiency.
A great way to fulfill deficiency is to attain a balanced diet that involves each portion required by the body.
However, there may be cases like health conditions, surgery, or age-related decline that may need supplements or medications to absorb the nutrients to their fullest.
Here are some ways to detect the symptoms to identify vitamin deficiency to corresponding vitamin B complex.
When we include too much white flour, white sugar in our diet rather than including other food items like green veggies, eggs, potatoes, and fruits, it can lead to deficiency in thiamin.
Symptoms of thiamin deficiency:
- Diminished reflexes that provide the sense of tingling in arms or legs
- Impact your eyesight too
- Muscles become weak
- Exhaustion or fatigue more often
- Loss of appetite is a common symptom of thiamin deficiency
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe deficiency may lead to breathlessness and heart problems
The deficiency of vitamin B-2 occurs when we do not include enough fortified cereals and dairy products like milk, cheese, eggs.
This deficiency may increase the risk of chronic diseases including diarrhea, liver disorder.
Its deficiency can hinder the absorption of nutrients from food.
Insufficient food supplements can lead to niacin deficiency and can be cured through regular intake of supplements or diet.
Severe niacin deficiency may lead to pellagra that affects your skin, nervous and digestive system.
Some symptoms of vitamin B-3:
- Red or scaly pigments when exposed to sunlight
- Nausea, vomiting, headache are common signs of deficiency
- Memory loss
However, pellagra is reversible but prolong deficiency may lead to critical conditions or even death.
4. Pantothenic acid
Although pantothenic acid food sources are available in abundance and proper servings can remove the deficiency, people with pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration can face problems absorbing the nutrients.
Symptoms of deficiency of pantothenic acid:
- Numbness and burning of hands and feet
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeping difficulty
Lack of nutrition absorption from the intestines, anemia, weak immune system are some of the vitamin B-6 deficiency symptoms. However, these are usually collective symptoms of deficiency with other B complex vitamins.
Vitamin B-7 is also produced in the body but people with biotinidase deficiency or chronic alcohol exposure may find it difficult to get sufficient biotin for the body necessity.
Also, pregnant women require much more biotin to fulfill the development of embryos. Thus, they must take biotin in adequate amounts.
Symptoms of biotin deficiency:
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Red rash on body openings (erythematous dermatitis)
- Health conditions like Hearing and vision problems
- Neurological issues like depression, hallucination
- Seizures, skin infections
The deficiency of vitamin B-9 at the time of pregnancy may even lead to birth defects. Therefore, it is essential to have a proper diet and supplements if required.
Symptoms of vitamin B-9 deficiency:
- Weak muscles
- Weakness or pale skin
- Declined taste(palpitations) and ringing in ears(tinnitus)
- Headaches, Dementia
The deficiency of vitamin B-12 is usually due to either inappropriate diet contents rich in cobalamin or insufficient stomach acid.
The symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency:
- Frequent exhaustion
- Tingling or numbness in fingers and toes
- Dementia (weaken mental capacity)
- Mouth ulcers, sore and red tongue
- Disrupted vision or eyesight
- May even lead to shortness of breath
- Critical deficiency symptoms may include nerve cell damage
B complex vitamin is sure a great supplement to help us with our metabolism, immune system, tissue formation, and skin health, still, it is not safe to have an overdose of any of its components.
Plus, they are almost the same and can even cover the deficiency of other vitamins. That’s why it is essential to consult an expert before heading to alter the diet or medications.
Now, what about the sequential vitamins we missed in the list. The vitamins we missed are termed as:
- Adenine (Vitamin B-4)
- Inositol (Vitamin B-8)
- Para Amino Benzoic Acid – PABA (Vitamin B-10)
- Salicylic Acid (Vitamin B-11)
These are long-lost b vitamins that are no longer considered vitamins as they do not meet the criteria of the vitamin. However, they are still used to some extent as needed in additions.