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The Benefits of B Complex Vitamins. Help For More Than Just Stress

Updated on February 9, 2020

Excerpt from Pub Med, Published 2003

Micronutrient status can affect cognitive function at all ages. Vitamin deficiencies could influence memory function and might contribute to age-associated cognitive impairment and dementia. Vitamin B6, comprising three chemically distinct compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxine, is involved in the regulation of mental function and mood. Vitamin B6 is also an essential homocysteine re-methylation cofactor, and deficiency is associated with increase in blood homocysteine levels. (increase in the risk of heart attack)

Dr Oz on Supplements

The B Complex Vitamins-Help for weight loss, memory, depression, anxiety, and many other conditions.

The B complex vitamins, are a vital nutrient, meaning necessary, and essential for maintaining life. A co-factor for many physical, and neurological processes in our brains, and bodies. It is necessary to produce serotonin, hormones, to utilize the foods we eat, to transport fats to the brain, as well as the health of our skin, hair, eyes, and mouth. They are the co-factor in utilizing omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, flax seed, and the krill oil, we have all heard of lately. You will not utilize the omegas, without the B's. They are best taken in a complex formula, if you are deficient in one, there is usually a deficiency, in another. Most are water soluble, meaning they are not stored in the body. You cannot overdose. They must be supplied through our diet, or supplementation. Due to our over processed food supply, most of us are deficient in this vital nutrient. Stress, is also a factor in deficiency. Meaning, the higher the stress level, the more you may need. The B vitamins are found mainly in eggs, rice bran, and whole grains. The recommended maintenance amount is 5-10mg of each, with 400 mcg of folic acid, included.

Here are the main uses for B vitamins in the body. Along with symptoms of deficiency, and the maximum amounts. This is just an overview of the importance of B vitamins. You may take a complex, then add extra for a certain condition. You don't want them to become unbalanced, it's sort of like a see saw. The B's work in concert, they are all necessary.

Vitamin B1

Thiamine enhances circulation, assists in blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism, and aides in proper digestion.

Symptoms of deficiency include: constipation, edema, fatigue, mental confusion, decreased learning ability, inability to concentrate, memory loss, headaches, and severe weight loss.

Found in: brown rice, egg yolk's, fish, wheat germ, and whole grains.

Recommended dosage: 1mg to 1.5mg, maximum amount for adults, 300mg

Vitamin B2

Riboflavin is necessary for red blood cell formation, and growth. Prevention and treatment for cataracts. Helpful for skin, hair, nails, and eyes.

Symptoms of deficiency include: red tongue, cracks at the corners of the mouth, grinding of the teeth, dizziness, hair loss, depression, and mental sluggishness.

Found in: dairy products, poultry, fish, eggs, peanuts.

Recommended dosage: 10mg, maximum dosage for adults, 100mg.

Vitamin B3

Niacin is needed for proper circulation, and healthy skin. It aides in the function of the nervous system, synthesis of hormones, and the function of the digestive tract. It is also involved in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. So, I would think it would aide in weight loss, as a complex supplement.

Symptoms of deficiency: canker sores, fatigue, insomnia, low blood sugar, skin eruptions, fear, suspicion, sore mouth, dermatitis, excessive gas.

Symptoms of toxicity: large doses of niacin should not be taken by those with liver disease, may cause a drop in blood pressure, raises blood sugar, can irritate ulcers, raises uric levels and so can trigger gout.

Found in: lean meat, peanuts, wheat germ, fish, poultry.

Recommended dosage: 18mg for men daily, 13mg for women daily, maximum amount for adults is 100 to 3,000mg.


Pantothenic Acid is required by all cells in the body. Helps to convert fats, carbohydrates, and protein into energy. It is required for the production of adrenal hormones, so therefore known as "the" anti stress vitamin. It is also involved in the production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. It is helpful in the treatment of anxiety, adrenal exhaustion, and sleep disturbances, along with other co nutrients.

Symptoms of deficiency: fatigue, insomnia, depression,recurrent respiratory illness, constipation,low blood pressure, burning feet, dizziness, and being quarrelsome.

Found in: bran, peanuts, brewers yeast, avocados, beef, eggs, fresh vegetables, and whole wheat.

Recommended dosage: 2.2mg a day, maximum dosage, is 100mg to 1,000mg a day for adults.


Pyridoxine is involved in more bodily functions than any other nutrient. It is "the" B vitamin for energy, and the most helpful, with fatigue, and low energy syndromes. It is required for normal brain function, the functioning of the nervous system, and the synthesis of DNA. It is required for normal function of the immune system, so therefore would be helpful for autoimmune diseases of any origin. An autoimmune disease is characterized by the immune systems inappropriate attack of body organs, including muscles, tendons, skin, and eyes. Examples of an autoimmune reaction include Lupus, RA, diabetes, and thyroid disease, among many others. Pyridoxine, B6, is also essential for the metabolism of all the amino acids, to convert them into neurotransmitters. So, therefore an ongoing deficiency of this vital nutrient, would result in depression, anxiety, and a wealth of other diseases, including chronic fatigue, and low energy syndromes.

Symptoms of deficiency include: anemia, convulsions, headaches, flaky skin, acne, arthritis, mental confusion, anxiety, cramping in the hands, and feet, insomnia, nausea in the morning, PMS, water retention, impaired wound healing, oily facial skin. Others include numbness, and tingling sensations. Carpel tunnel has been linked to this vitamin deficiency. It has also been linked to pyroluria, along with zinc picolinate, cures this disease. Marked by fair skin, elevated copper levels, skin tears instead of stretching, retracting gums, and are vulnerable to infection, motion sickness is common. Researchers, have also linked B6, and zinc picolinate deficiencies, with bulimia, and anorexia. As zinc levels lower, copper levels raise. Kind of a see saw effect. PMS has also been linked to copper overload.

Symptoms of toxicity: extended use of levels over 1,000mg has resulted in numbness of extremities.

Found in: meats, fish, peanuts, soybeans, bananas, whole grains, spinach and broccoli.

Recommended dosage: 2.2mg per day for an adult, maximum dosage is 100 to 1000mg per day for an adult.


Methylcobalamin is active in the growth, and protection of the nervous system, and protects against brain deterioration as we age. It is helpful in preventing Parkinson's disease, Bell's palsy, and in nerve regeneration. It helps to prevent, and treat pernicious anemia. Converts homocysteine, into methionine, thereby reducing the clotting factor of the blood.

Symptoms of deficiency include: anemia, numbness, poor reflexes, poor concentration, poor memory, paranoia, abnormal gait, bone loss, headaches, including migraines, heart palpitations, and ringing in the ears.

Found in: meat, clams, eggs, milk, and dairy products.

Recommended dosage is 6mcg daily, maximum adult dosage is 1mg. Sublingual, or injections may be recommended. As we age, we are not able to utilize this nutrient, therefore we percieve it to be ineffective, when in actuality, we just aren't absorbing it.

Folic Acid

Folate is involved in many bodily functions, including energy, brain function, DNA synthesis, and strengthens immunity. It is also valuable in the lowering of homocysteine levels, along with B6 and B12. A daily intake of 400mcg, in early pregnancy, has been found effective against spina bifida.

Symptoms of deficiency include the following anemia, poor memory, constipation, diarrhea, sore red tongue, paranoia, weakness, and birth defects.

Found in: green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, dried beans and peas.

Recommended dosage: 400mcg a day for adults, maximum doseage is 800 to 3,000mcg per day for adults. Do not take high doses for extended periods of time if you have cancer or a seizure disorder.


Inositol is vital for hair growth, reduces cholesterol, and prevents hardening of the arteries. Research has shown that inositol, in high doses, has helped in the treatment of depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorder, without the side effects. At doses up to 18g a day, divided into 3 doses with meals. Helps to alleviate panic attacks. Obtain a good powder form, at these dosage amounts a contaminate would pose a problem. Per Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, Md, Phd. Depression Free: If you have been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive disorder, avoid B complex vitamins with folic acid, and B12, they are known to raise histamine levels, common in obsessive compulsive disorder.

Symptoms of deficiency include poor sleep, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.

Symptoms of toxicity are unknown.

Found in whole grains, liver, and brewers yeast.

Recommended daily allowance: none established, maximum dosage is 20 grams daily (20,000mg).


Biotin is necessary for healthy skin, nails, and hair, and is involved in cell growth. Cradle cap in infants has been linked to a biotin deficiency.

Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, depression, skin disorders, and muscle pain.

Found in yeast, pork, egg yolk, and nuts.

Recommended daily allowance, none established, maximum daily allowance, none established.

If you are taking the following over the counter medications, or prescription drugs, they are depleting your stores of B vitamins.

Acid Blockers such as Tagamet, Pepcid, Prilosec, and Zantac.

Antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, and Tums.


Anti inflammatory Drugs such as Ibuprofen, or Celebrex

Cholesterol Drugs

Blood Pressure Drugs


Hormone Replacement Therapy- Synthetic- such as Premarin, Estradiol, as well as oral contraceptives.

So, as you see, the B vitamins are a necessary nutrient, involved in just about every aspect of bodily function. Valuable to all, regardless of age, status of health, or condition.

The proceeding information was found in the following books:

Depression Free, By Joan Mathews Larson,

and Nutritional Healing, by Phyllis Bach.

Drug Muggers, Suzy Cohen, RPH.

As well as the following websites:

The Vitamin, Health Guides

Dr. Richard Becker


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    • artist101 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherrie Gill 

      6 years ago from Hobart,In

      Thank you Wabash Annie for the kind comments. The b complex vitamins really do help in many different situations, and completely necessary.

    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 

      6 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      I just found this article. There's so much excellent information. Thanks much!

    • artist101 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherrie Gill 

      8 years ago from Hobart,In

      Thank you. About 8 years of compiled research.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      8 years ago from Peru, South America

      Wow the deficiency symptoms are frightening! We definitely need B Vitamins for a healthy body. I take the B12 sublingual by Twinlabs for my brain and stress levels. Seems to help! Thanks for all this usel information.

    • artist101 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherrie Gill 

      8 years ago from Hobart,In

      Thank you, I am hoping to help people with their health conditions, starting with the basics.

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 

      8 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear artist101

      Thank you a well written and researched article concerning this very important group of vitamins. It is a pity that many people are pill poppers without knowing the important function each of the vitamins perform. This will help them to make a more informed choice.

      Kind regards Peter

    • artist101 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherrie Gill 

      8 years ago from Hobart,In

      Thank you!!!

    • Squeesh profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Great information and fantastic article!!


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