B vitamins are essential for healthy energy levels, red blood cell production, and good neurological functioning. They also support the immune system, heart health and metabolism. The eight different types of Vitamin B include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folate, and cobalamin. Collectively, they are known as the B complex.
Thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin that helps your body convert food into energy. It also supports nerve function and muscle contraction. You can get a healthy amount of thiamine by eating a balanced diet, including plenty of whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, and beans. You can also get thiamine by fortifying foods or taking supplements. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is absorbed into the blood from the gastrointestinal tract. It then circulates in the blood and ultimately gets excreted in the urine. Small amounts are stored in the liver, heart, and kidney, but only for a short time.
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is important for red blood cell production and the release of energy from proteins. It also helps prevent cataracts, acne, and rheumatoid arthritis. This water-soluble vitamin is found naturally in many foods, including meat, fish, milk, yeast extract, eggs, enriched grains, and vegetables. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for riboflavin is 1.3 mg daily for adults 19 years and older, 1.1 mg for pregnant women and 1.6 mg for lactating mothers. This dose has not been linked with any adverse effects from consumption of food sources or longer-term intakes of supplements.
Niacin comes in two forms, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide. It is a major component of cell membranes and plays a role in energy production, immune function, and the regulation of cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also helps to lower the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that causes weight gain, irregular periods, and infertility. It may also reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and its related conditions, such as hypertension and high cholesterol.
It is important to eat a variety of foods to get enough niacin. For example, meat, fish, nuts, eggs, legumes, and whole grains are all good sources of this vitamin. Consuming niacin in high doses can cause side effects such as flushing, itching and diarrhea. However, these effects are temporary and disappear when the body eliminates excess niacin.
B5 or Pantothenic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for energy production. It helps to form the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and plays a role in fat metabolism, skin health, eyesight, and heart and neurological function. The vitamin is found in many foods, especially fresh meats, and vegetables. However, this vitamin can be lost during processing so it is important to eat a variety of foods to get the proper amount.
Deficiency in this vitamin can lead to tiredness, exhaustion, numbness, tingling, paraesthesia, irritability, gastrointestinal disorders, poor coordination, and muscle weakness. It can also lower your blood sugar levels, which is bad for people who are diabetic.
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is a water-soluble vitamin that your body needs for energy, protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and the formation of red blood cells. It also affects your immune system and brain functions. It’s found in many foods, including pork, fish and poultry, vegetables, and grains. It is also found in some dairy products. This vitamin is used by your body to produce neurotransmitters that help control your mood, such as serotonin and dopamine. It also plays a vital role in the production of hemoglobin and reduces inflammation throughout your body.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that’s essential for your health. It supports many different processes in your body, including energy production, amino acid metabolism, and fat synthesis. It’s also important for blood sugar control and your thyroid function. It’s a cofactor for five carboxylases (propionyl-CoA carboxylase, pyruvate carboxylase, methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase, and acetyl-CoA carboxylase) that help your body break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy. The water-soluble B vitamin biotin is often found in foods such as meats, nuts, and legumes. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement.
One of the most well-known B vitamins is folate (also called folic acid) which plays a key role in cell growth and DNA formation. Folate also helps to break down homocysteine, an amino acid that can contribute to heart disease. It is most commonly found naturally in foods such as green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts, and citrus fruits. However, some manufacturers fortify foods with folic acid to ensure that consumers get enough folate in their diets.
B12, also known as cobalamin, is a vitamin that is found naturally in animal foods. It is needed for healthy blood cells, DNA, and brain development. Like all vitamins, it is essential to the body’s normal functions. It helps your body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates to make energy (glucose) that your body needs for everything from breathing to thinking. Despite its complexity, cobalamin is a vitamin that can be found naturally in animal foods.
Categorised in: Vitamins