Understanding Vitamin B Complex

Of all the different vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body, only Vitamin B is assigned with several names and subscript numbers. They can be taken individually but they can also be taken in combination. However, they seem to work more effectively when taken in combination rather than individually.

Vitamin B Complex is the name given to a supplement that combines the different B vitamins into one. Vitamin B Complex consists of eight different vitamins that work together for optimized health benefits in the body. They are water soluble which means they need to be replenished daily. Each one of the B Vitamins has its own benefits.

Vitamin B Complex plays an important role in converting food into energy. It helps in breaking down carbohydrates and fats in the body, hence it helps boost metabolism. Metabolism is responsible for the body’s energy levels and the body’s capability to burn calories. It also helps improve the immune system and keep the skin and the muscles healthy. It aids in the maintenance of a healthy nervous system.

Vitamin B Complex helps maintain proper brain function and the nerves. It aids in keeping a good circulation in the body and helps in stress reduction. Some other benefits include increased energy and less anxiety.

The B complex vitamins are grouped together because they are often found together in foods and depend on one another to perform better, so for optimized health benefits, it is best to take in a Vitamin B Complex rather than taking a single Vitamin B only.

A deficiency in Vitamin B Complex can result in different kinds of health problems such as anaemia, numbness, muscle cramps, muscle twitching, and respiratory problems.

The following is a list of the eight Vitamin B Complex, the subscript numbers assigned to them, their individual names, the benefits you get from them, and the risks associated with them when taken in excess or when they are deficient in the body.


Vitamin B1 = Thiamine

Uses and Benefits of Vitamin B1:

Its central role is to generate energy from carbohydrates.

It serves as a catalyst in carbohydrate metabolism and helps synthesize nerve regulating substances.

It helps convert the carbohydrates we eat into glucose.

It is involved in the RNA and DNA production.

It is essential in the regulation of the correct functioning of the nervous system including brain function. It is essential for good digestion.

It ensures good health to skin, hair, and nails.

It supports nerve tissues and nerve functions.

It is necessary for healthy muscle function, especially the heart.

It may also help alleviate insomnia.


Benefits for Ailments:

It may be a helpful supplement for people with neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, Bell’s palsy and other neurological problems.


Deficiency of Vitamin B1 can cause:

Beriberi

Emotional disturbances, weakness and pain in the limbs, and irregular heartbeat

Impaired digestion and deficiency of essential nutrients

Dry skin, grey hair, wrinkles, acne, rashes, falling hair, and weak nails

Heart swelling, leg cramps, and muscle weakness


Risks Associated with Excessive intake:

Excessive intake of Vitamin B1 has no known side effects so far.


Vitamin B2 = Riboflavin

Uses and Benefits of Vitamin B2:

It is involved in the energy production of the body.

It helps metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

It is a nutrient that is essential for good digestion.

It ensures good health to skin, hair, and nails.

It provides protection for the eyes and prevents cataract.

It may help alleviate migraine.


Deficiency of Vitamin B2 can lead to:

Decreased energy, lethargy, and fatigue

Impaired digestion and deficiency of essential nutrients

Dry skin, grey hair, wrinkles, acne, rashes, falling hair, and weak nails

Depression

Cracks in the lips, high sensitivity to sunlight, skin lesions, and inflammation of the tongue


Risks Associated with Excessive Intake:

Excessive intake of Vitamin B2 has no known side effects so far.


Vitamin B3 = Niacin

Uses and Benefits of Vitamin B3:

Vitamin B3 plays an important role in the metabolism of glucose and fats which in turn convert them into energy.

It is essential for good digestion.

It ensures good health to skin, hair, and nails.

Vitamin B3 may lower high blood pressure and effectively lowers elevated LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while simultaneously raising levels of the HDL (good cholesterol).

It can help maintain proper blood sugar levels.


Benefits for Ailments:

Vitamin B3 has been used to treat a number of complications arising from diabetes.

It may help reduce cataracts.


Deficiency of Vitamin B3 can lead to:

Aggression, insomnia, confusion, and diarrhoea

Decreased energy, lethargy, and fatigue

Impaired digestion and deficiency of essential nutrients

Dry skin, grey hair, wrinkles, acne, rashes, falling hair, and weak nails

Extreme deficiency in Vitamin B3 can lead to dementia.


Risks Associated with Excessive Intake:

An over dosage of niacin can cause vomiting, nausea, liver toxicity, and glucose intolerance. They may also include flushing, redness of the skin accompanied by itching, tingling, mild burning sensation, and headaches. Other side effects can include loss of vision, stomach ulcers and irregular heartbeat. An over dosage of vitamin B3 can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Too much vitamin B3 can result in liver damage.


Vitamin B5 = Pantothenic Acid

Uses and Benefits of Vitamin B5:

It is needed to convert glucose into energy.

It helps in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

It ensures good health to skin, hair, and nails.

It is involved in the oxidation of fatty acids and carbohydrates.

It supports the production of healthy red blood cells.

It may also support health in people with allergies while speeding wound healing and recovery from surgery.


Deficiency of Vitamin B5 can lead to:

Decreased energy, lethargy, and fatigue

Dry skin, grey hair, wrinkles, acne, rashes, falling hair, allergies, nausea, abdominal pain, and weak nails


Risks Associated with Excessive Intake:

Taking vitamin B5 may raise blood pressure so an over dosage may lead to high blood pressure. An over dosage of it can make bleeding hard to control.


Vitamin B6 = Pyridoxine

Uses and Benefits of Vitamin B6

It helps the body to absorb and metabolize amino acids, to use fats, and to form red blood cells.

It is needed to convert glucose into energy.

It is essential in the regulation of the correct functioning of the nervous system including brain function.

It is essential for good digestion.

It is effective in enhancing cognitive performance.


Deficiency of Vitamin B6 can lead to:

Depression, dermatitis, high blood pressure (hypertension), and water retention

Decreased energy, lethargy, and fatigue

Impaired digestion and deficiency of essential nutrients

Smooth tongue, skin disorders, dizziness, nausea, anaemia, convulsions, and kidney stones


Risks Associated with Excessive Intake:

An over dosage of Vitamin B6 can cause peripheral sensory neuropathy.


Vitamin B7 = Biotin

Uses and Benefits of Vitamin B7:

Vitamin B7 is needed to convert glucose into energy.

It helps form fatty acids and assists in the release of energy from carbohydrates.

It is also involved in the metabolism of energy, amino acids, and cholesterol.

It ensures good health to skin, hair, and nails.


Deficiency of Vitamin B7 can result in:

Stunted growth among infants and children

Decreased energy, lethargy, and fatigue

Dry skin, grey hair, wrinkles, acne, rashes, falling hair, and weak nails


Risks Associated with Excessive Intake:

Excessive intake of Vitamin B7 has no known side effects so far.


Vitamin B9 = Folic Acid

Uses and Benefits of Vitamin B9:

It is involved in the division of normal cells that is why it is very important for pregnant women and for infants.

Taking an adequate amount of folic acid during pregnancy helps prevent birth defects.

It ensures good health to skin, hair, and nails.

It enables the body to form haemoglobin.

It helps treat anaemia and sprue.


Deficiency of Vitamin B9 can lead to:

Birth defects in pregnant women

Dry skin, grey hair, wrinkles, acne, rashes, falling hair, and weak nails


Risks Associated with Excessive Intake:

An over dosage of Vitamin B9 masks Vitamin B12 deficiency which can cause neurological damage.


Vitamin B12 = Cobalamin or Cyanocobalamin

Uses and Benefits of Vitamin B12:

It is involved in the cellular metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.

It is essential in the production of blood cells in bone marrow, nerve sheaths, and proteins.

It is essential in the regulation of the correct functioning of the nervous system including brain function.

It ensures good health to skin, hair, and nails.

It plays an important role in the replication of DNA while supporting growth of the body’s cells.

It is vital for the function and maintenance of the nervous system and red blood cells.

It enhances cognitive performance.


Benefits for Ailments:

Since Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient for the nervous system and the nerves, it can help reduce the risk of developing neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.


Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can result in:

Peripheral neuropathy, memory loss, and loss of cognitive skills

Dry skin, grey hair, wrinkles, acne, rashes, falling hair, and weak nails

Pernicious anaemia


Risks Associated with Excessive Intake:

An over dosage of Vitamin B12 can cause rashes.


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Comments 2 comments

quicksand profile image

quicksand 3 years ago

Hi Beats, I remember vitamin B as the vitamin that is swallowed along with antibiotics. :)


BeatsMe profile image

BeatsMe 3 years ago Author

Hi Quicksand, thanks for giving that info. I know that sometimes doctors prescribe vitamins along with medicine. It's probably because the patient need those vitamins to ensure better health. Besides, taking the right kind of vitamin may help the patient get better faster.

Simply taking Vitamin B complex while you're still healthy is a good way to maintain your health and to use as a preventive measure for possible ailments.

Thanks for dropping by, friend. :)

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