Breaking Down B Vitamins
The B-complex vitamins are a family of eight related nutrients. This group of water-soluble vitamins are essential for healthy metabolism and other key components of health. A deficiency in any of the B vitamins can cause serious illness. There are a few different vitamins in the B family that serve different health functions.
B1 to keep the heart beating
Thiamine was the first B vitamin to be discovered. This vitamin’s role is to help with the breakdown of carbohydrates for energy. B1 also helps to keep the heart, nervous system, and brain healthy.
B2 for boosting energy and muscles
Riboflavin helps with the breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. B2 plays a key role in keeping up the body’s energy level. Along with vitamin A, riboflavin also keeps the nerves, eyes, muscles, and skin healthy.
B3 for beautiful skin and bowel health
As well as turning food into energy, niacin helps to keep the digestive system, nervous system, and skin healthy. Niacin can also be used to treat high cholesterol.
B5 for blood cells
Vitamin B5 helps to convert food to energy and make healthy red blood cells. This vitamin is also responsible for healthy liver functioning and healthy skin, hair, and eyes. In addition, B5 keeps the digestive tract working properly.
B6 for blood cells
The vitamin pyridoxine plays a role in turning food into energy. B6 is also important for the production of red blood cells and proper nerve functioning.
B7 for boosting metabolism
Biotin is involved in the metabolism of leucine, fatty acids, and glucose. B7 also keeps the nervous system healthy. Biotin deficiency is rare.
B9 for blood and baby development
Folic acid is needed for the proper formation of blood cells. This vitamin helps with the synthesis of RNA and DNA. B9 is also crucial for pregnant women because folic acid prevents the fetus from developing congenital deformities such as spina bifida.
B12 for blood formation
Vitamin B12 is important for the proper formation of blood cells. This vitamin also plays a role in healthy neurological functions and DNA synthesis. A B12 deficiency can cause anemia, fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite.
The best B-complex for your buck
People who want to take a daily B-complex should make sure that the supplement contains all of the B vitamins. Supplements containing fillers and artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors should be avoided.
Getting the right supplement
Because B-complex is a mixture of different vitamins, dosage can vary. People should make sure that the supplement contains at least 100% for the RDA for each vitamin complex. Patients who are interested in B vitamin supplements should consult with a physician or pharmacist about what supplements are best.