Top surprising benefits of B-Complex Vitamins you should know about
The B-complex vitamins can be confusing simply because there are so many of them. Some of us get recommendations for one B vitamin, and others are directed to take another. This confusion is natural, but the benefits of B-complex vitamins should not be overlooked.
B-complex vitamins are necessary for so many physiological processes that it is crucial you know about them. Each of the compounds in the B-complex is necessary for crucial functions and therefore there is a long list of benefits of B-complex vitamins.
The complexity of B-complex vitamins is further complicated by the many sources of the various compounds that make up the B-complex. We derive different parts of the B-complex from different dietary sources and keeping up with these can be a challenge. But getting the benefits of B-complex vitamins can be made clearer and simpler.
This guide will introduce you to the various compounds that make up the B-complex vitamins. We will also show you the benefits of B-complex vitamins. And finally, this article will explain how you can get all the components of B-complex vitamins into your daily diet or health program.
What are B-Complex Vitamins?
B-complex vitamins are a collection of complex compounds that play crucial roles in a variety of bodily processes. The common group of compounds in the B-vitamin complex include:
- B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine plays an essential role in metabolism by helping convert nutrients into energy.
- B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin helps convert food into energy and also acts as an antioxidant.
- B3 (Niacin): Niacin plays a role in cellular signaling, metabolism, and DNA production and repair.
- B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Like other B vitamins, pantothenic acid helps your body obtain energy from food and is also involved in hormone and cholesterol production.
- B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine is involved in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and the creation of neurotransmitters.
- B7 (Biotin): Biotin is essential for carbohydrate and fat metabolism and regulates gene expression.
- B9 (Folate): Folate is needed for cell growth, amino acid metabolism, the formation of red and white blood cells, and proper cell division.
- B12 (Cobalamin): Perhaps the most well-known of all the B vitamins, B12 is vital for neurological function, DNA production, and red blood cell development.
Although these vitamins share some characteristics, they all have unique functions and are needed in different amounts.
Who Should Take B-Complex Vitamins?
Since B-complex vitamins are involved with such a wide range of necessary biological functions, that the need for one B vitamin over another can be difficult to call. But some groups are frequently in need of careful attention to B vitamins.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Pregnancy creates a high demand for B vitamins. For pregnant women, B-12 is particularly important. For pregnant women who are also vegetarians, the full B-complex will likely become necessary.
B-12, or folate deficiency during pregnancy or while breastfeeding can lead to neurological damage in infants and birth defects. Pregnant or breastfeeding women must get a healthy supply of B-12. This is why many doctors prescribe B-complex prenatal vitamins.
As we age, we can experience a decrease in our ability to absorb vitamin B-12. This is partially due to lower appetites in older adults. In addition, the amount of B-12 we can absorb depends on the levels of natural acids in our stomachs. These acids also decline as we get older.
It is currently estimated that as many as 30 percent of people over the age of 50 do not produce enough stomach acid to facilitate the proper absorption of vitamin B-12. Low levels of vitamin B-12 in older adults are linked to an increased risk of depression and mood disturbances.
Another common B vitamin deficiency in older adults is vitamin B-6 or folate. For these reasons, it is frequently recommended that older adults take a B-complex supplement to make sure they are consuming and absorbing proper amounts of all B vitamins.
People with certain medical conditions
Certain medical conditions may require added B-vitamins. These can include celiac disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, and anorexia.
There is also a genetic mutation that can affect the way the body metabolizes folate. This can lead to a folate deficiency. People with any of these conditions may need to take a B-complex supplement.
Vegetarians and vegans
Since the main source of vitamin B-12 is animal products like meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood, it stands to reason that vegetarians and vegans likely do not get enough B-12 in their diets.
Most people who adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet will benefit from taking a B complex supplement.
Health benefits of B-Complex Vitamins
The entire B complex of vitamins plays a critical role in maintaining good health. Since the basic functions of the body rely in some way on B complex vitamins, they impact virtually the entire body.
Some of the benefits of B complex vitamins include:
- cell health
- growth of red blood cells
- energy levels
- good eyesight
- healthy brain function
- good digestion
- healthy appetite
- proper nerve function
- hormones and cholesterol production
- cardiovascular health
- muscle tone
B complex vitamins are especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. B-complex vitamins are important for fetal brain development. They also help reduce the risk of certain birth defects. B-complex vitamins may also reduce the risk of preeclampsia in pregnancy.
B-complex vitamins are believed to increase testosterone production, especially as men age. This can help maintain strength in older men. The effect of B-complex on testosterone levels in healthy men is not entirely known. The scientific consensus indicates that B-complex vitamins do not significantly increase testosterone levels in healthy men. B-complex vitamins appear to primarily benefit older men whose testosterone production has begun to slow down.
Sources of B-Complex Vitamins
Many compounds make up the B vitamin complex. The good news for this is that these vitamins are found in a wide array of foods. Simply by eating a balanced diet, you are likely to get all the B-complex vitamins you need.
You can find vitamin B in:
- liver and kidney
- meat, such as chicken and red meat
- fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- shellfish, such as oysters and clams
- dark green vegetables, such as spinach and kale
- vegetables, such as beets, avocados, and potatoes
- whole grains and cereals
- beans, such as kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas
- nuts and seeds
- fruits, such as citrus, banana, and watermelon
- soy products, such as soy milk and tempeh
- blackstrap molasses
- wheat germ
- yeast and nutritional yeast
Deficiency of B-Complex Vitamins
As we pointed out above, any B-complex vitamins play roles in almost every part of the body. There are so many interrelated physiological functions that depend on one or more of the B-complex that deficiencies inevitably impact the entire body.
Since so many of the dietary sources are animal products, it is not uncommon for vegetarians and vegans to take in too little of the B vitamins. However, you can see from this list that there are several great vegetable-based sources of B-complex vitamins. The key is to pay close attention to how many of these items you include in your diet if you decide to abstain from meat and animal products.
Some of the symptoms that may indicate a B-complex deficiency include:
- skin rashes
- cracks around the mouth
- scaly skin on the lips
- swollen tongue
- irritability or depression
- abdominal cramps
- numbness or tingling in the feet and hands
Many of these symptoms can indicate things that are more serious than B-complex deficiencies. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor for further testing to determine if the problem stems from a deficiency of a B vitamin or another, a more serious condition.
B-Complex Vitamins dosage
The recommended dosage of B-complex vitamins varies according to many variables. Some people need more of one vitamin than another. People who have specific medical conditions may require more of something like vitamin B-12, for example.
Dosages of B-complex vitamins are also different for men and women.
The daily recommended intake of B vitamins for Women is:
- B-1: 1.1 milligrams (mg)
- B-2: 1.1 mg
- B-3: 14 mg
- B-5: 5 mg (RDA not established)
- B-6: 1.3 mg
- biotin: 30 micrograms (mcg) (RDA not established)
- folic acid: 400 mcg
- B-12: 2.4 mcg
For men, the recommended daily intake is:
- B-1: 1.2 mg
- B-2: 1.3 mg
- B-3: 16 mg
- B-5: 5 mg (RDA not established)
- B-6: 1.3 mg
- biotin: 30 mcg (RDA not established)
- folic acid: 400 mcg
- B-12: 2.4 mcg
Older adults and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require higher amounts of B vitamins. It is best to consult your doctor to find out how much of any vitamin you should be taking according to your individual needs.
B-Complex Vitamins side effects
It is unlikely that you would ingest too much of any B vitamins from dietary sources. The B-complex vitamins are water-soluble and are not stored in the body. This means as you ingest B vitamins, your body uses what you need and the rest is eliminated in urine.
It is also unlikely that you could take too much a B vitamin even in the form of a supplement as long as you take the supplements as directed.
All this said it is possible to get too much of the B-complex vitamins. An overdose of B-vitamins can produce a toxic condition in the body.
Symptoms that would indicate that you have taken too much of the B-complex vitamins include:
- excessive thirst
- skin conditions
- blurry vision
- abdominal cramps
- increased urination
- skin flushing
If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. An overdose from B-complex vitamins can be serious.
You should always discuss your supplements with your doctor to make sure there are no interactions with anything else you might be taking. Take particular care with B-complex vitamins since the long-term damage from too much B-vitamin complex can lead to permanent nerve damage that could cause you to lose control of your bodily movements.
Spartan Detox Vitamins
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Because the B-complex of vitamins contains so many compounds it can be difficult to understand. Each of the vitamins in the B-complex performs specific functions in the body, and each is needed in specific amounts.
What are more, B-complex vitamins come from a variety of sources? Keeping track of the things you need to eat to get all your B vitamins is equally daunting. Even those of us who pay attention to how and what we eat can find the B vitamins sources to be a challenge.
The good news is that B vitamins are plentiful. A healthy balanced diet will generally provide you with all of the compounds in the B-complex of vitamins. In short, simply by eating healthy, you will likely consume all the B vitamins you need.
For people who may be lacking in B-complex vitamins, or for people who need extra B-complex vitamins, there are plenty of health supplements available. Spartan Detox provides vitamins, juices, and smoothies that are loaded with vitamins and minerals. For B-complex supplements, detox systems, or for just general good health, Spartan Detox has what you need.