Vitamin Close-Up: B COMPLEX

A lot of us take a handful of vitamins and supplements daily, but do we really know what each of them is for? Case in point, Vitamin B Complex.

Vitamin B complex is a supplement that usually delivers eight of the B vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin).

Found naturally in meat, leafy greens, dairy, beans, peas, and whole or fortified grains, B vitamins are water-soluble and play essential roles in certain bodily functions, such as helping your body make energy from the food you eat and forming red blood cells.

HEALTH BENEFITS:

Each of the eight vitamins in vitamin B complex supplements has its own unique set of health benefits. For instance, vitamin B1 is critical for the growth, development, and function of cells in the body. Other vitamins, such as B2, work cooperatively in the body with other B vitamins to convert food into energy. B2 converts B6 into a usable form and aids in niacin production, which is mainly obtained from food and is essential in the proper functioning of cells.

Whilst vitamin B5 breaks down fats and carbohydrates for energy and helps the body use other vitamins, such as riboflavin (found in B2), B6 is involved in immune function and is required by the body to use and store protein and carbohydrates from food in the form of glycogen.

B7 helps the body convert fats, carbohydrates, and proteins from the food you eat into energy. It is also needed to make fatty acids (which help to build and sustain overall health) and maintain bone and hair health. Vitamin B9 is required to help cells produce and maintain DNA (the genetic material found in all body cells), while B12 is important for protein metabolism.

Generally, Vitamin B complex is known to:

  1. Convert food into energy
  2. Support brain health
  3. Produce red blood cells
  4. Promote health of nervous system
  5. Support hormone production
  6. Reduce stress
  7. Prevent migraine

SIDE EFFECTS:

Although Vitamin B complex supplements are water-soluble and are not retained in the body for long, large doses in supplement form can cause certain side effects. There is a daily tolerable intake level (UL) for some B vitamins (which is above what most people need).

Before starting any supplement, it is always best to consult your doctor.

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