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Vitamin B Complex: Benefits and Side Effects

Updated on March 28, 2018

Having a healthy body and a strong immune system can help reduce the risk of infections or other illnesses. Taking the recommended amount of vitamins given to you by the doctor plays a vital role in our nutrition, and B vitamins help in preventing illnesses or diseases.

Vitamin B complex is a group of water-soluble substances. It can deliver all the eight B vitamins, which are: Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Biotin (B7), Folic Acid (B9), Cobalamin (B12). Energy can be generated from the food you intake because of these vitamins. Each B vitamin has their own benefits but can also have side effects.



Here are the benefits of each B vitamin:

B1 (Thiamine)

B1 vitamins break down carbohydrates to produce energy. It can also protect the immune system and is often called the anti-stress vitamin because of this. It is fundamental to the production, growth, and function of cells in our body and also it contributes to the health of our muscles, brain, and nervous system. You may get it from whole grains, spinach, beans, and peanuts.


B2 (Riboflavin)

One of the main functions of riboflavin is to act as an antioxidant to help fight particles in the body that damage cells. It can also prevent the development of heart diseases and early aging. It is healthy for our skin, nervous system, and eyes. Riboflavin is also important for the production of red blood cells, which help transport oxygen and nutrients all over our body. Also, it aids in niacin production and converts B6 to a usable form. You may get it from almonds, milk, soybeans, yogurts, and eggs.


B3 (Niacin)

Niacin boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol also known as the good cholesterol, which means it can lessen the bad cholesterol since higher HDL means lower LDL (bad cholesterol). It is also helpful for the production and restoration of DNA. Niacin helps the body to utilize other B vitamins. Through this, it helps enzymes to make the body function properly. It helps keep the digestive system, nervous system, and the skin to work properly. Niacin is needed for hormone production, like growth and stress hormones. Acne can also be treated with niacin whether it is ingested or topically used. You may get it from yeast, beans, eggs, milk, and red meat.


B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

“Pantothen” is a Greek word which means “from everywhere” which is where the word pantothenic is derived from. In almost every food group, there are small amounts of vitamin B5 present in them. It plays a vital role in maintaining cardiovascular health and breaks down fats and carbs to produce energy. It is also responsible for the production of sex and stress hormones (including testosterone) and needed in red blood cell and cholesterol production. B5 can also cut the signs of skin aging. You may get it from avocados, legumes, meat, and eggs.


B6 (Pyridoxine)

This B vitamin plays a very vital role to protect our immune system. Vitamin B6 keeps the nervous system healthy, regulates brain function, and helps produce hemoglobin, which is a substance that carries the oxygen in red blood cells. Like other vitamins, it helps break down the food we eat into energy. It helps in the production of neurotransmitters, which send messages from the brain to the rest of the body. This can regulate healthy moods, therefore; it puts us in a good mood. Aside from that, it is also studied that it can reduce the inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. You may get it from salmon, chicken, tuna, and turkey.


B7 (Biotin)

Biotin is also called “the beauty vitamin” because its benefits are associated with healthy skin, nails, and hair. It improves metabolism, weight loss, and helps in maintaining blood glucose levels. It is beneficial for the growth and helps maintain muscle tissues. It also helpful for pregnant women since it helps in the proper growth of the baby. B7 is needed to produce fatty acids. This vitamin is good for ensuring the proper function of the heart. You may get it from nuts, chicken, pork, and cauliflower.


B9 (Folic Acid)

This vitamin, like biotin, can help pregnant women for the neurological growth of the baby. Aside from preventing a growth defect, it may also prevent stroke, cancer, and heart disorders. It improves the function of the heart by removing homocysteine, which is one of the reasons for heart attacks at an early age. Folate is also helpful for anxiety and depression, improves levels of hemoglobin, aids in building and repairing skin cells, and may prevent memory loss. You may get it from asparagus, beets, dark leafy greens, and other root vegetables.


B12 (Cobalamin)

B12 is essential, and helps B9, for the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. This allows the body to synthesize nutrients that aid in normal neurological function. You may get it from fish, dairy, beef, and pork. Since you can only find this in animal products, vegetarians or vegans are most likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiency.


Side Effects

Side effects are possible if you intake a higher dosage of vitamin B. If you stick to the recommended amount, you may not experience the following side effects.

These are the side effects if you exceed the recommended intake:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea- which also may cause vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Black stools
  • Redness of the skin
  • Itching
  • Kidney damage
  • Acne
  • Nerve damage
  • Skin Lesions


Wong, C. (2018, February 23). The Benefits of B Complex Vitmains. Retrieved from

"Vitamin B Complex." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. . Retrieved March 28, 2018 from

McDermott, N. (2017, August 16). The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex, Plus Top Food Sources. Retrieved from

Livingstone, M. (2018, March 29). Side Effects From Taking Vitamin B-Complex. Retrieved from

Axe, J. Vitamin B6 Benefits, Deficiency & Sources. Retrieved from

(2018, February 14). 8 Incredible Benefits Of Biotin (Vitamin B7). Retrieved from

(2018, February 14). 9 Impressive Benefits Of Folic Acid (Vitamin B9). Retrieved from

Axe, J. Vitamin B12 Benefits That You’re Probably Missing. Retrieved from


This article is for educational purposes only and is NOT intended to replace sessions with the doctor.


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