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Benefits of Vitamin B Complex

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Vitamin B Complex is composed of eight B vitamins

  • B-1 (thiamine) 
    • Thiamine is important because it plays a role in metabolism, helping convert nutrients to energy– it is naturally found in pork, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ.
  • B-2 (riboflavin)
    • Riboflavin helps convert food into energy and also acts as an antioxidant in the body, and foods high in it include organ meats, beef and mushrooms. 
  • B-3 (niacin)
    • Niacin plays a role in cellular signaling, metabolism, and DNA maintenance and creation– foods that are high in vitamin B3, or niacin, include chicken, tuna, and lentils. 
  • B-5 (pantothenic acid) 
    • Like the other B vitamins, pantothenic acid assists the body in metabolising nutrients, and is involved in the production of hormones and cholesterol in the body. Liver, fish, yogurt, and avocado are all good sources. 
  • B-6 (pyridoxine) 
    • Pyridoxine is involved in amino acid metabolism, the production of red blood cells and the creation of neurotransmitters, the chemical substances that assist in sending information to, from, and between the brain. 
  • B-7 (biotin) 
    • Biotin is essential for the metabolism of both carbohydrates and fats in the body, and it also regulates gene expression. Yeast, eggs, salmon, cheese, and liver are the readily available sources of biotin. 
  • B-9 (folic acid) 
    • Folate, or folic acid, is needed for cell growth, amino acid metabolism, and the formation and proper division of both red and white blood cells. Commonly, it is found in foods that include leafy greens, liver, or beans. 
  • B-12 (cobalamin) 
    • B-12 is perhaps the most well-known of all of the B vitamins that are consumed by the body, and that may largely be due to the fact that it is vital for proper neurological function, red blood cell development, and the production of DNA. It is naturally found in animal sources like meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy. 

These are all of the water-soluble vitamins that the human body requires to function properly and efficiently, except for Vitamin C. Each of these vitamins plays a role in overall body function, and when consumed in high amounts either organically or through supplements, can lead to an improved feeling of health. These health benefits fall on a broad spectrum, and not everyone needs to take supplements, but we’ve taken special care in compiling all the relevant information that you might need to make an informed decision about B-Complex. 

The Benefits of B-Complex

B Complex an extremely important role in keeping the human body healthy. As some of the most important building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have been shown to directly impact extremely important human faculties: primarily energy levels, brain function, and cellular metabolism. 

Additionally, due to its role in proper cellular health and function, it assists the human body in preventing infections when they might occur, and helps support or promote all of the following: 

  • Cell Health
  • Growth of Red Blood Cells
  • Energy Levels
  • Eyesight 
  • Proper Digestion
  • Healthy Appetite
  • Proper Nerve Function
  • Hormon & Cholesterol Production
  • Heart & Lung Health
  • Muscle Tone

In Women

Although most people can benefit from the effects of proper alimentation when it comes to the many B vitamins, pregnant women benefit far more. A Vitamin B-12 deficiency in pregnant women has been linked to adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes, including developmental anomalies, miscarriages, and low birth weight. 

The demand for B Vitamins, particularly B12 (cobalamin) and B9 (folate), grows in pregnant women because they are consuming for two, as it were. Proper levels of B 12 and B 9 are extremely important to support fetal development.  For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, especially those who do not consume meat (a large source of the required B vitamins for healthy pregnancy), supplementing a diet with B vitamins aid in proper fetal brain development and lowers the risk of birth defects. And for mothers expecting, B-Complex has been known to boost energy levels, ease nausea, and lower the risk of preeclampsia.

In Men 

B Complex is also thought to raise testosterone levels in men, which naturally decrease as they age. Additionally, it may help men build muscle and increase strength– however, this information is largely based on animal studies, and it is as yet not confirmed for humans. 

How Much Vitamin B-Complex Is Needed? 

The recommended daily amount of each B vitamin varies: 

For women, the recommended daily intake is:

  • B-1: 1.1 milligrams (mg)
  • B-2: 1.1 mg
  • B-3: 14 mg
  • B-5: 5 mg (RDA not established)
  • B-6: 1.3 mg
  • biotin: 30 micrograms (mcg) (RDA not established)
  • folic acid: 400 mcg
  • B-12: 2.4 mcg

For men, the recommended daily intake is:

  • B-1: 1.2 mg
  • B-2: 1.3 mg
  • B-3: 16 mg
  • B-5: 5 mg (RDA not established)
  • B-6: 1.3 mg
  • biotin: 30 mcg (RDA not established)
  • folic acid: 400 mcg
  • B-12: 2.4 mcg

Older adults and women who are pregnant require higher amounts of B complex, though for dosage information tailored to your own individual needs you would need to speak to a physician. 

Additionally, those with certain underlying health conditions can prevent the body from properly absorbing nutrients, including Vitamin B. You should talk to your doctor about such an issue with vitamin B intake if you have: 

  • Celiac Disease
  • HIV
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Alcohol Dependence
  • Kidney Conditions
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ulcerative Colitis 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

How Can You Tell if You’re Deficient

For most healthy people, it is possible to get more than enough B vitamin through eating a balanced, healthy diet. However, because of the diseases outlined above, or through some other mechanism, it is still possible to become deficient, and you should be able to identify the signs in order to seek the proper assistance. The following symptoms may be a sign that you’re not getting enough B vitamins:

  • skin rashes
  • cracks around the mouth
  • scaly skin on the lips
  • swollen tongue
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • anemia
  • confusion
  • irritability or depression
  • nausea
  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • numbness or tingling in the feet and hands

If you have begun to experience any of these aforementioned symptoms and are unsure as to the cause, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible– because, although you may have a Vitamin B deficiency, there are also many other underlying conditions that might cause these symptoms. Your doctor will form a diagnosis and advise you on any further steps you may be required to take to get your health back on track. 

Risks of B-Complex Defiicnecy 

If you are deficient in B vitamins, due to the wide nature of their uses within the human body, you may experience a range of symptoms– and these would, of course, correspond to the vitamins that you were lacking in your own body. 

If left untreated, deficiency could increase the risk of developing:

  • anemia
  • digestive issues
  • skin conditions
  • infections
  • peripheral neuropathy

In particular, a deficiency in Vitamin B12 may increase your risk of developing or suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders. Additionally, researchers are also investigating the role of Vitamin B12 in hyperhomocysteinemia and atherosclerosis. 

Babies born to women who were deficient in folic acid were found to be more likely to suffer from birth defects. 

Are Supplements Necessary?

In most cases, no. The large majority of people, especially those in well-developed countries, get more than enough B vitamins through their diet– conveniently, this is the best way for the body to receive them. You should not take a supplement unless your doctor has confirmed that you are deficient in  a specific B vitamin. They would be the ones who would decide whether you need a specific B vitamin supplement, or whether you need to add a VItamin B Complex to your routine. 

You may be more likely to need supplements if you: 

  • Are 50 or older
  • Are pregnant
  • Have certain chronic health conditions, as discussed above
  • Eat a vegetarian or vegan diet

Supplements are largely available over the counter at your local pharmacy or health food store. However, it is possible to overdose if you are taking a supplement without proper instruction from your physician. 

Symptoms of a Vitamin B overdose include: 

  • excessive thirst
  • skin conditions
  • blurry vision
  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • increased urination
  • diarrhea
  • skin flushing

If you believe that you suffer any of these symptoms due to a Vitamin B Complex overdose, you should immediately seek medical attention, and if you have been taking supplements without a proper diagnosis, you should consult your doctor. This is because taking too much Vitamin B Complex long term can lead to nerve damage, and the eventual loss of control over bodily movements. 

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