B vitamins are a group of nutrients that play many important roles in your body.
Most people get the recommended amounts of these vitamins through diet alone since they are found in a wide variety of foods.
However, factors like age, pregnancy, dietary choices, medical conditions, genetics, medication, and alcohol use increase the body’s demand for B vitamins.
In these circumstances, supplementing with B vitamins may be necessary.
Nutritional supplements that contain all eight B vitamins are referred to as B-complex vitamins.
Here are the health benefits of B-complex vitamins as well as dosage recommendations and potential side effects.
What are B-Complex Vitamins?
Why Is Vitamin B Complex Important, and Where Do I Get It?
Vitamin B complex should be enriched with all the essential B vitamins. If you are taking any source of vitamin B complex, then it should contain these eight essential vitamins packed in one pill that have beneficial effects on your health.
Vitamin B complex helps prevent infections and helps support or promote:
- Cell health
- Growth of red blood cells
- Energy levels
- Good eyesight
- Healthy brain function
- Good digestion
- Healthy appetite
- Proper nerve function
- Hormones and cholesterol production
- Cardiovascular health
- Muscle tone
Being a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin B is not stored by your body which makes it necessary to be supplied daily.
B-complex vitamins usually contain the following:
- B1 (thiamine): Pork, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ are essential; sources of vitamin B. it is remarkable in building metabolism by converting these nutrients into energy.
- B2 (riboflavin): Riboflavin is gr4eat as an antioxidant and converts food into energy. Food sources rich in riboflavin are organ meats, beef, and mushrooms.
- B3 (niacin): our body requires cellular signaling, metabolism, and DNA production and repair which is acquired with the help of niacin. Food sources are chicken, tuna, and lentils.
- B5 (pantothenic acid): It plays a vital role in acquiring energy from food and producing hormone and cholesterol production. Some foods like liver, fish, yogurt, and avocado are proven effective.
- B6 (pyridoxine): Pyridoxine works as an agent of amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and the creation of neurotransmitters. Food sources rich in pyridoxine are chickpeas, salmon, and potatoes.
- B7 (biotin): Biotin is necessary for carbohydrate and fat metabolism and regulates gene expression. Yeast, eggs, salmon, cheese, and liver are enriched with biotin.
- B9 (folate): Folate vitamin is an integral part required by our body cell growth, amino acid metabolism, the formation of red and white blood cells, and proper cell division depends on it. food sources enriched in folate are leafy greens, liver, and beans or in supplements as folic acid.
- B12 (cobalamin): Cobalamin, commonly known as B12 is the most recognized vitamin among the all-B vitamin’s clan. The efficiency of the B12 vitamin lies in neurological function, DNA production, and red blood cell development. Cobalamin is enriched in animal sources like meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy.
How can you tell if you’re deficient?
You can source B vitamins from what you eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, you might still need some more B vitamins in your life as it is possible to be deficient.
If you see these potential symptoms, then you might consider taking more B vitamins.
- Skin rashes
- Cracks around the mouth
- Scaly skin on the lips
- Swollen tongue
- Irritability or depression
- Abdominal cramps
- Numbness or tingling in the feet and hands
Who Should Take a B-Complex Vitamin?
Since vitamin B is found in many foods, you are most likely not at risk of developing a deficiency as long as you follow a well-rounded diet.
However, certain circumstances increase the need for B vitamins, making supplements necessary.
- Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women
- Older Adults
- Those with Certain Medical Conditions
- People with certain medical conditions, such as celiac disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, and anorexia, are more susceptible to developing nutrient deficiencies, including B.
- Weight loss surgery people
- Vegetarians and Vegans
- Birth control pills.
People Taking Certain Medications
Commonly prescribed medications can lead to a deficiency in B vitamins.
For example, proton pump inhibitors, which are medications that lower stomach acid, can decrease the absorption of B12, while metformin, a popular diabetes drug, can decrease levels of both B12 and folate.
Health Benefits of Taking B-Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B-complex supplements have several beneficial qualities that let our body acquire all the necessary nutrients. Some are listed below.
May Reduce Stress and Boost Mood
B-complex vitamins play a vital role in reducing fatigue and boosting mood, lift your spirits improving your cognitive performance. According to some study conducted for 33 days reflect improvement in general mental health and stress enhancing performance on cognitive tests among 215 healthy men aged 30-55. ( 1Trusted Source)
Another study revealed a high level of B vitamins present in multivitamin supplements highlighted reduced stress and mental fatigue in young adults who took it for 90 days.
May Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety or Depression
According to some studies conducted on 60 people, the result reflected a 60-day treatment significantly improved depression and anxiety symptoms, compared to a placebo.
It is also known to enhance when combined with antidepressant medication.
As per a study person consuming B12, B6, and folic acid provides a sustained antidepressant response over one year, compared to a placebo.
There is a risk of depression when B vitamins like B12, B6, and folate are low blood levels.
B vitamin is considered proficient in preventing migraines with aura.
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin B-9
- Vitamin B-12
According to the research vitamin, B 2 acquired the necessary scope to prevent migraine by influencing mitochondrial dysfunction, which occurs at the cellular level.
It has healing properties that let your skin heal properly. According to one study applying vitamins heals wound efficiently and B 12 can be treated to heal the wound in mice with diabetes.
Canker sores or oral ulcers can be treated with the help of vitamin B-12. As per some studies, B 12 ointment provides an efficient result, better than placebo.
According to some studies, a combination of supplement B 6 and calcium was considered effective for the improvement in premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
As per some analysis, vitamin B6 can be considered beneficial in controlling physical and psychological PMS symptoms.
Each B vitamin has a specific recommended daily amount that varies depending on gender, age, and other variables like pregnancy.
For women and men, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for B vitamins is as follows:
B5 (Pantothenic acid)
5 mg (RDI not established; Adequate Intake, or AI, provided)
5 mg (AI)
30 mcg (AI)
30 mcg (AI)
Pregnant and lactating women need higher amounts of B vitamins, while infants and children need less (2).
Consult with your doctor regarding the B-complex supplement that depends on an individual’s requirement, basically their age, nutrient demands, gender, and health status.
Side Effects and Risks
B vitamins are water-soluble. This means that most of the time, the body excretes extra B vitamins in the urine.
While a standard dosage does not seem to cause harm, excessively high doses of certain B vitamins can be dangerous. Speak with a clinician before taking very high doses of B-complex supplements.
Possible side effects of B-complex vitamins:
- High blood sugar: If taken a high dose of nicotinic acid, a synthetic form of vitamin B-3, then it can lead to a rise in blood sugar levels. This can create complications with diabetes medications. People with diabetes or high blood sugar should not take high doses of nicotinic acid (measuring 1,000 mg or more).
- Excess nicotinic acid: Too much nicotinic acid can also cause low blood pressure, fatigue, headaches, rashes, and liver damage.
- Excess nicotinamide: High doses of nicotinamide, another form of vitamin B-3, can cause diarrhea and increased bleeding. This can occur in doses of 500 mg per day. Doses higher than 3,000 mg can cause vomiting and liver damage.
- Excess folic acid: Taking more than 1,000 mcg of folic acid a day can mask a type of anemia caused by vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Taking a high-dose B-complex supplement can also turn the urine bright yellow. This effect is temporary and harmless. Once the kidneys get rid of the extra vitamins, the color will return to normal.
Foods Vitamin B Complex
Some of the best food sources of vitamin B include:
- Organ meats
- Leafy greens
- Enriched and fortified bread and cereals
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