Vitamin B complex is a big family of diverse vitamins with a specific number attached to it. Each vitamin belonging to this family has its own behavior, action and function but they are clubbed together to form a complete solution to all the body requirements.
B complex family consist of Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B7, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12 and four supplements. The numbers attached to the names of these vitamins are based on the order when they were discovered.
Richest among all the vitamin B complex foods are milk, yeast, liver, whole-grain cereals, nuts, eggs, yogurt, fruits, meats and leafy vegetables.
Vitamin B1 is an essential vitamin that aids in conversion of carbohydrates into energy. It also helps regulate normal functioning of heart, muscles and nervous system. Rich food sources are whole and enriched grains, potato, dairy products, sunflower seeds, pork and dried beans.
Riboflavin plays a vital role in forming the red blood cells. Good sources of Riboflavin are liver, milk, dairy products, yeast extracts, meat, eggs, spinach, enriched noodles and mushrooms.
Niacin is another B group vitamin that is essential for normal functioning of the digestive system, skin and nerves. It is richly found in dairy products, bread, yeast, fish, legumes, enriched bread, lean meats, nuts, poultry, fish and eggs.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of antibodies and functioning of immune system. Good sources of Vitamin B-6 are sunflower seeds, bananas, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, meats, fish, eggs and fortified breads and cereals.
Folic acid is required for healthy growth and development as this vitamin acts a co-enzyme for producing energy. Rich food sources of folic acid are beans, legumes, kidneys, whole grains, peas, citrus fruits, fruit juices wheat bran, dark green leafy vegetables, poultry, pork and shellfish liver. These enriched sources enable the vitamin to function as a co-enzyme in the breakdown of fats and proteins to produce energy.
Vitamin B12 aids in regulating metabolism and promotes a healthy nervous system. B12 is mainly found in all animal food sources like poultry, certain algae, shellfish, yeast extract, eggs, meat and milk and milk products.
In case of any deficiency of B complex, take a supplement of vitamin B complex with food and fill the nutritional gap in the body. Whole food vitamin B complex is the best supplement made from naturally rich food sources without any use of synthetics or preservatives.
Vitamin B Complex Benefits:
Vitamin B complex benefits cover a wide range when it comes to the health of an individual. Vitamin B complex consists of 8 soluble water vitamins and these work together to encourage cell growth and division, enhance the immune system and nervous system, boost metabolism among other benefits.
Vitamin B complex benefits for women are many and these include more stable moods, increased energy, healthier skin, hair and eyes. The folic acid or B9 in vitamin B complex helps the body to form hemoglobin. Folic acid is important in pregnancy as it helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns.
Women who are pregnant and or planning pregnancy should consume 600 micrograms a day. Vitamin B and weight loss are connected but this is only when all forms of vitamin B are taken together.
Vitamin B Complex Supplements:
Vitamin B is a water soluble vitamin which is essential for the body to perform its natural functions. It is actually a group of 8 different vitamins that are chemically distinct from each other. Vitamin B complex is the term used for all vitamin B supplements and there are many health benefits of this supplement. Vitamin B can be taken as a preventive measure against lung and pancreatic cancer. This vitamin also helps to prevent the development of heart disease. Other Vitamin B complex benefits include maintaining good skin tone, increased energy, stronger muscles, and a healthy nervous system and so on. However, there are also side effects of taking vitamin B complex supplements, particularly if they are taken excessively and not as prescribed. These Vitamin B complex side effects are headaches, joint pain, fatigue, anemia, insomnia, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting among others.
Vitamin B Complex Side Effects:
Vitamin B complex side effects generally occur if the vitamin is taken in excess and not according to the doctor's orders. If too much Vitamin B is taken (if the dose is high) or if there is an allergy present, it could lead to serious side effects. Too much vitamin B12 will result in anxiety and numbness in the face. Anemia, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting could also occur due to an overdose of B2. Too much folic acid can cause kidney damage, abdominal bloating and loss of appetite. Other side effects of this vitamin B complex include chest pain, breathing problems, hives, skin rash or an itchy swollen skin, insomnia, panic attacks. Side effects may also be experienced by people who are sensitive to or have an allergy to cobalt or cobalamin.
Vitamin B Complex Foods:
Vitamin B complex is made up of 8 water soluble vitamins that take care of several functions in the body. A deficiency in any of these 8 vitamins that make up Vitamin B complex can cause serious health problems. It is for this reason that one should include vitamin B complex foods in one's diet. Here is a list of vitamin B complex foods.
Pork, berries, legumes, lean meats. Nuts, soy milk ( Vitamin B1)
Eggs, dark green vegetables, fish, grains, lean meat, mushrooms ( B2)
Sunflower seeds, tuna, poultry, potato, cottage cheese, liver (B3)
Organ meats, avocados, broccoli, mushrooms( B5)
Green beans, whole grains, spinach, fish, bananas( B6)
Soy products, egg yolks, fish, organ meats, cheese, sweet potatoes( B7)
Green leafy vegetables, citrus juice, legumes, tofu, tomato juice ( B9)
Milk, fish, fortified breakfast cereal, eggs, shellfish ( B12)
Vitamin B Complex Deficiency:
Deficiencies of any of the 8 vitamins that make up vitamin B complex causes several health problems and give rise to symptoms depending on the problems. These health problems include beriberi, amnesia, emotional disturbances, memory loss, high blood pressure, dermatitis, mental confusion, pellagra, inflammation of the tongue and so on. A deficiency of folic acid or B9 during pregnancy can lead to premature births, birth defects, miscarriages, depression among other problems. Nervous systems disorders may result due to a deficiency in vitamin B12, as this vitamin maintains the health of the nervous system. Migraine, insomnia, irritability are some of the symptoms one may exhibit when there is less Vitamin B6 being ingested.
Natural Vitamin B Complex:
Vitamin B complex comprises of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B7, Vitamin B9, and Vitamin B12. Many people turn to supplements in order to benefit from this vitamin but there are several natural sources of vitamin B complex as well. These are pork, liver, whole grains, legumes, all dairy products, leafy green vegetables, fish, poultry products, lean meats, sunflower seeds, mushroom, salmon, beet roots, oranges, and so on. It is best to incorporate the above foods in your diet so that you can lead a healthier life.
Foods High in Vitamin B:
Vitamin B complex boosts the immune system, promotes cellular metabolism, growth and division, helps with skin and muscle tone and boosts metabolic function as well. In order to reap these many benefits, you must follow a diet that is rich in vitamin B complex. Sources of Vitamin B complex are bananas, meats like turkey, tuna, liver, eggs, dairy products, lentils, green vegetables, chili peppers. Deactivated forms of yeast are also an excellent source of this vitamin. Different foods and beverages can have nutritional yeast added to them. Other sources which are rich in this vitamin are clams, oysters, mussels, caviar, fish, crab and lobster. Foods which are rich in folic acid (Vitamin B9) are kidney, egg yolks, almonds, wholegrain breads, peaches, oranges, brussel sprouts, spinach and beetroot among others.
Vitamin B Complex Stress:
There are many causes of stress and stress can cause many problems like depression, heart attacks, strokes, gastrointestinal distress and so on. Many people feel that taking Vitamin B complex can help combat stress. It is also believed that a deficiency of Vitamin B leads to certain stress related symptoms like anxiety and depression. Keep in mind that vitamin B complex is made up of 8 water soluble vitamins. Vitamin B 5 or pantothenic acid plays an important role in alleviating stress. It is essential to the manufacture of stress related hormones which are produced in the adrenal glands. Research has shown that B complex vitamins can help to restore the adrenal glands from stress. The Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 are helpful in dealing with physical stress.
Meat, Eggs and Dairy
Eggs and meat, including fish, shellfish and poultry, are good sources of biotin, thiamine, or vitamin B-1, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12. Milk and other dairy products like cheese and butter provide riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12. Liver, clams and trout are all especially rich in vitamin B-12. Because animal products are the most common sources of vitamin B-12, vegans may be a risk for deficiency. Eating fortified foods or nutritional yeast, or taking dietary supplements, may reduce this risk.
B Vitamin Function
All B vitamins help your body turn carbohydrates into glucose, a sugar that your body requires for energy. Beyond this, though, the B vitamins have various functions in your body. Vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate promote healthy red blood cell formation. Thiamine and vitamin B-12 support the nervous system and niacin helps keep nerves healthy. Riboflavin and niacin promote skin health. Thiamine and niacin are important for normal appetite.
Signs of Deficiency
Not eating enough foods rich in B vitamins may lead to deficiency. Because different B vitamins take on different roles in your body, symptoms of deficiency may vary depending on which vitamin you are lacking. A deficiency of riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B-6 can lead to skin problems such as dermatitis. Not enough thiamine and niacin can cause muscle weakness and mental confusion. A vitamin B-12 deficiency may lead to neurological problems, while a deficiency of vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6 or folate can cause anemia.