ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Vitamin B – Types, Sources, Deficient and Excess States

Updated on April 18, 2012

Vitamin B is a part of our everyday diet and play an important role in our body especially in some biochemical reactions. The different types of vitamin B are involved in major reactions in the body and thus are important in our everyday lives. Let us glance at the different type of vitamin B, their sources, and their deficient and excess states.

courtesy of
courtesy of

Types of Vitamin B, Sources, Deficient and Excess States

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – plays a role in the metabolism of amino acids and in peripheral nerve conduction. Sources of Vitamin B1 include yeast, meat, pork, legumes, beef, whole grains and nuts. Tea and coffee contain thiaminases (an enzyme) which could destroy thiamine thus drinking a lot of coffee or tea could reduce stores of vitamin B1. Deficiency with theses vitamin is usually secondary to decrease dietary intake, alcoholism and chronic diseases like cancer. Vitamin B1 deficiency leads to beri-beri. Beri-beriproduces cardiovascular and neurologic symptoms and peripheral neuropathy. Allergic reactions have been reported after high doses of this vitamin.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – this vitamin is important for the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates and in detoxification reactions. Sources of Vitamin B2 include milk, dairy products, breads, cereals, lean meat, eggs and legumes. Deficiency in Riboflavin may manifest as magenta tongue, angular stomatitis, cheilosis, and seborrhea. Anemia and personal changes have also been associated with Vitamin B2 deficiency. Riboflavin toxicity have not been reported.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – Vitamin B3 or Niacin serve as a precursor for two important coenzymes namely nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and NAD phosphate (NADP), which are involve in many oxidation and reduction reactions in the body. Sources of niacin include beans, milk, meats and eggs. Flour is also a rich source of niacin. Niacin deficiency would lead to pellagra which is common among people with corn-based diets and among alcoholics. The syndrome of pellagra includes dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and eventually death. Hepatic toxicity is the most serious effect of niacin and could present with yellowish discoloration of the skin and elevated liver enzymes. Other symptoms of toxicity include glucose intolerance, macular edema and cysts and hyperurimia. Skin flushing have been noted with oral niacin supplements but are not seen from food sources of niacin.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – pantothenic acid is involved in fatty acid and cholesterol metabolism. Liver, yeast, egg yolks, whole grains and vegetables are good sources of this vitamin. Symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency include: depression, muscle cramps, paresthesia and hypoglycemia. Toxicity with this vitamin has not been reported.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – Vitamin B6 is involved in amino acid metabolism, heme and neurotransmitter synthesis, metabolism of glycogen, lipids, steroids, sphingoid bases and of several vitamins. Rich sources of vitamin B6 include legumes, nuts, wheat bran and meat. Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to peripheral neuropathy and personality changes like depression and confusion. Anemia and platelet dysfunction are also manifestations of vitamin B6 deficiency. Toxicity of this vitamin could manifest as severe sensory neuropathy, photosensitivity and dermatitis.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – this vitamin serves as a co-factor for certain important enzymes in the body. Sources of cobalamin come from food of animal origin like meat, fish and dairy products. Deficiency of this vitamin would lead to megaloblastic anemia, abnormal gait, dementia, impotence, and loss of vibratory and position sense.


Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine 18th ed


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)