Essential Vitamins We Need To Live
The vitamins our bodies need can be broken down into two groups: fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins. Our bodies need both types to function properly.
Fat soluble vitamins need body fat to be absorbed and used by our organs. Vitamin A, vitamin E, and carotenoids are all fat soluble vitamins. Because these vitamins rely on fats to be used, we must eat a diet full of healthy fats. A lack of healthy fats in the diet can lead to fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies, leading further into disease and malnutrition, nutritionist Amanda Henham of Vaga Nutrition tells us. They can also become toxic, as they are stored in fatty tissue.
The other class of vitamins, water soluble vitamins, cannot be stored in our tissues like fat soluble ones. They are found in food, and once our bodies have used them, they excrete the excess in the urine. Because our bodies cant hang on to these vitamins, we need to take them in, either from food or supplements. Common water soluble vitamins include folate, vitamin C, and the B vitamins. According to Henham, everyone needs these vitamins in their diets everyday, and the requirements increase in certain conditions such as immune disorders, poor kidney and liver health, chronic stress, and medication use.
Excessive Folic Acid Intake
Although folic acid is generally considered non-toxic, excessive intakes above 1,000mcg per day over a period of time can lead to malaise, irritability and intestinal dysfunction. The main risk with excessive folate intake is that it can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, so its best to consume these 2 vitamins within the recommended amounts.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Overdose Of B
B vitamins are water-soluble. The vitamins are not stored in your body but are excreted daily. Hence, it is highly unlikely you may overdose on B-complex vitamins.
However, it is important to know the symptoms of an overdose. These may include the following:
- Increased urination
- Excessive thirst
The benefits of vitamin B-complex are widely researched, and this group of eight vitamins is proven to aid in cognitive and cardiovascular health and nerve regeneration. Also, from helping improve energy levels and boosting the disease-fighting capacity to aiding pregnancy, these vitamins have numerous benefits. The best thing about them is that you can get these vitamins through your diet, especially salmon, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, spinach, meat, brown rice, etc.
If you often experience symptoms like fatigue, confusion, nausea, anemia, and abdominal cramps, you may be deficient in vitamin B-complex. Consult a doctor immediately who can prescribe you certain supplements.
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Vitamin B: Top 6 Benefits And How To Get More In Your Diet
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, only a fraction of U.S. adults currently gets the recommended daily intake of all B vitamins from their diets alone. What does vitamin B do to your body, and why is it risky to be deficient in one or more of them?
Vitamin B actually refers to more than one vitamin, since there are eight different B vitamins in total. If you take a supplement that contains all eight of the B vitamins, this is referred to as a vitamin B complex or B complex formula.
B vitamins are most valued for their ability to help turn other nutrients into energy, maintain a healthy metabolism, and for supporting nerve function, liver function, skin health, eye health and fetal growth/development during pregnancy.
What puts someone at risk for vitamin B deficiency? Youre more likely to lack B vitamins in your diet if you avoid eating foods that are high in protein , leafy green vegetables, seeds and legumes/beans. If this sounds like you, its essential to up your vitamin B intake in order to prevent health problems, such as chronic fatigue, anemia, mood disorders, weakness, poor memory and more.
The Benefits Of Vitamin B
In the second of a five-part series focusing on vitamins, we speak with Sheah Rarback about the benefits of vitamin B vitamins. Sheah is a registered dietitian nutritionist with the University of Miami Health System.
There are eight forms of this vitamin: B-6, B-12, biotin, folate/folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine.
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What To Look For
In the United States, dietary supplements are not held to the same rigorous testing standards as pharmaceutical drugs. This means that the quality of supplements, like vitamin B complex, may vary from one brand to the next and you can find many different brands of vitamin B supplements at drug stores, grocery stores, health food shops, and online.
When shopping for B vitamins, look for brands that have been tested by an independent certification organization, such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia , ConsumerLab, or NSF International. This can help to ensure quality.
Vitamin B supplements should be stored in a cool, dry place and out of reach of children.
The Benefits Of B Vitamins
B vitamins are critical to our health and well-beingand most of us dont get enough of them.
Understanding B Vitamins
There are actually eight B vitamins and you may know them by number or by name.
- B9 or folic acid
- B12 or cobalamin
Together, the group of B vitamins is referred to as vitamin B complex. These water-soluble vitamins are critical to cell metabolism. The B vitamins play several important roles in the body, including:
- Promoting cell growth and division
- Maintaining healthy skin and muscle tone
- Supporting and increasing the rate of metabolism
- Enhancing immune and nervous system function
How B Vitamins Work
The B vitamins work together as a team. Some of them help cells burn fats and glucose for energy, while others help with the production of serotonin. These eight vitamins work intricately together behind the scenes with amazing results. Some of the benefits of B vitamins include:
- Loss of appetite
- Numbness and tingling in arms and legs
Deficiencies in folic acid, B12, and B6 are most common. If youre feeling moody, anxious, or depressed, this could be an indicator that you are running low on B vitamins.
It is important to ensure that your diet contains plenty of B-rich foods, such as dark, leafy greens, animal protein, and whole grains. Some people will find they still need to supplement with a B complex vitaminespecially vegetarians or vegans who consume no animal products, as animal products are the only natural source of B12.
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May Support Bone Health And Prevent Osteoporosis
Maintaining adequate vitamin B12 levels may support your bone health.
One study in more than 2,500 adults showed that people with a vitamin B12 deficiency also had lower than normal bone mineral density .
Bones with decreased mineral density can become delicate and fragile over time, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Other studies have also shown a link between low vitamin B12 levels and poor bone health and osteoporosis, especially in women (
A study involving 5,000 women aged 40 or older concluded that supplementing with vitamin B12, along with folic acid and vitamin B6, may reduce this risk .
The group receiving these supplements for seven years had fewer cases of macular degeneration, compared to the placebo group. The risk of developing any form of the condition was 34% lower, while it was 41% lower for more severe types .
Ultimately, further studies are needed to fully understand vitamin B12s role in promoting vision health and preventing macular degeneration.
Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12 decreases homocysteine levels in your blood. This may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration.
May Benefit Your Brain By Preventing The Loss Of Neurons
Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with memory loss, especially in older adults.
The vitamin may play a role in preventing brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain and often associated with memory loss or dementia.
One study in people with early-stage dementia showed that a combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements slowed mental decline .
Another study found that even vitamin B12 levels on the low side of normal can contribute to poor memory performance. As a result, supplementing with this vitamin may improve memory, even in the absence of a clinically diagnosed deficiency .
More research is needed to make sound conclusions on the effect of vitamin B12 supplements on memory and cognitive function.
Vitamin B12 may help prevent brain atrophy and memory loss. More research is needed to conclude if supplementing with this vitamin can improve memory in those without a deficiency.
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Deficiency Is Still A Risk
Having a riboflavin deficiency can lead to other nutritional deficiencies because riboflavin is involved with processing nutrients. The primary concern associated with other deficiencies is anemia, which happens when you dont get enough iron.
Its especially important to make sure you get enough riboflavin in your diet if youre pregnant. A riboflavin deficiency could endanger your babys growth and increase your chances of preeclampsia, which involves dangerously high blood pressure during pregnancy. This is a serious condition that can be life threatening.
Riboflavin deficiency is rare in places where people have access to fresh foods or supplemental vitamins. Talk to your doctor if youre experiencing the symptoms of riboflavin deficiency. You may actually have a problem absorbing nutrients. Celiac disease and Crohns disease are other possible causes of symptoms associated with riboflavin deficiency.
What Is The Recommended Intake Of Vitamin B Complex
According to the NHS, each individual B vitamin has a different recommended dosage per day, which is different for men and women. When you buy vitamin B complex supplements, its worth reading the ingredients list to make sure the dosages are close to the RDAs outlined below.
There is no specific guidance about daily dosages for B5 or B7 . Instead, the NHS recommends that a daily dosage of B5 should not exceed 200mg, and that a daily dosage of B7 should not exceed 0.9mg.
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May Reduce Blood Pressure
One role of niacin is to release prostaglandins, or chemicals that help your blood vessels widen improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure. For this reason, niacin may play a role in the prevention or treatment of high blood pressure .
In one observational study of over 12,000 adults, researchers found that each 1 mg increase in daily niacin intake was associated with a 2% decrease in high blood pressure risk with the lowest overall high blood pressure risk seen at a daily niacin intake of 14.3 to 16.7 mg per day .
A high quality study also noted that single doses of 100 mg and 500 mg of niacin slightly reduced right ventricular systolic pressure (
However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Vitamin B Complex Benefits For Women
Everyone needs all the B vitamins, but women should pay special attention to folate, B6, and B12. These are particularly important if youre preggo or breastfeeding. Vitamin B complex supports healthy fetus growth and development.
It may also make your monthly cycle more manageable. A 2011 study found that thiamin and riboflavin intake from food could reduce PMS symptoms. Some research also suggests vitamin B6 supplements can help alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms of PMS.
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Dietary Sources Of B Vitamins
B vitamins are found primarily in animal food sources and fortified cereals, although many vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes also contain a certain amount of B vitamins. Here’s a look at common food sources, of which you’ll notice many overlap.
- B1 : Fortified breakfast cereal, enriched and whole-grain products , wheat germ, pork, trout, black beans, mussels, and tuna
- B2 : Milk and dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, clams, portobello mushrooms, almonds, and chicken
- B3 : Eggs, fish, fortified bread and cereal, rice, nuts, milk and dairy, chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, organ meats, peanuts
- B5 :Meat, avocado, broccoli, kale, eggs, milk, mushrooms, fortified cereals, organ meats, poultry, potatoes, and legumes
- B6 :Chickpeas, beef liver, tuna, salmon, chicken breast, fortified breakfast cereal, potatoes, turkey, fruits , and beef
- B7 :Beef liver, egg yolk, wheat germ, pork, beef, sunflower seeds, sweet potato, almonds, whole-grain foods, sardines, spinach, and broccoli
- B9 :Spinach, beef liver, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beans and legumes, asparagus, orange juice, peanuts, avocado, dark leafy greens, fortified cereals, and salmon
- B12 :Beef liver , clams and other shellfish, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk and other dairy products, and some fortified cereals
Where Can I Buy Methylcobalamin B12 In The Uk
Vitamin B12 is an essential part of your diet, but if you follow a low-animal product diet, youll need to supplement your intake to ensure your body is getting the right amount of this vital nutrient so you can feel energised and protect your long-term health, too. Taking B12 with methylcobalamin is by far the best way to ensure your body can make use of the supplement youre taking, which is why we chose to use it for our vitamin B12 supplement.
All our supplements are vegan-friendly, made from the highest-quality ingredients, and come in eco-friendly packaging so you can take care of yourself as you take care of the planet. Get your vitamin B12 supplement here, or get your daily needs as a part of our multivitamin.
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If You’re Pregnant Or Could Get Pregnant
If you’re pregnant, trying for a baby, or could get pregnant, it’s recommended that you take a 400 microgram folic acid supplement daily until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
Folic acid supplements need to be taken before you get pregnant, so start taking them before you stop using contraception or if there’s a chance you might get pregnant.
This is to help prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in your baby.
Some women have an increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect and are advised to take a higher dose of 5mg of folic acid each day until they’re 12 weeks pregnant.
This is important and unlikely to cause harm, as it’s taken on a short-term basis, but speak to your doctor first.
Get more advice about vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, including who should take a higher dose of folic acid.
What Are The Side Effects Of Vitamin B Deficiency
Considering you already know what vitamin B deficiency is, this section would clear all your queries regarding how to know if you have a vitamin b deficiency.
Depending on the particular B vitamin one is deficient in, there are several warning signs. The below-mentioned list is a compilation of the symptoms arising due to the deficiencies of all the B vitamins.
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People Taking Certain Medications
Commonly prescribed medications can lead to a deficiency in B vitamins.
For example, proton pump inhibitors, which are medications that lower stomach acid, can decrease the absorption of B12, whereas metformin, a popular diabetes drug, can decrease levels of both B12 and folate (
Pregnancy, medical conditions, surgeries, genetics, medications, dietary restrictions, and age can all affect how your body absorbs and uses B vitamins.
While certain conditions make it necessary for some people to supplement with B-complex vitamins, research has shown that taking a B vitamin supplement may be helpful even for people who dont have an increased need for these nutrients.
How Much Do You Need
The Recommended Daily Allowance for niacin depends on your age and gender. For ages 7 months and older, it is expressed as mg niacin equivalents . One NE is equal to 1 mg of niacin or 60 mg of tryptophan (
- Pregnant women: 18 mg NE/day
- Breastfeeding women: 17 mg NE/day
The recommended amount of niacin depends on your age and gender. Men need 16 mg NE per day, while women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding need 14 mg NE per day.
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Produces Red Blood Cells
Some B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, play an essential role in the formation of red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells are needed to transport oxygen to every part of the body, and when there’s a vitamin B12 deficiency, the body will struggle to produce enough red blood cells, often leading to anemia.
Vitamins B2 and B9 are also needed for red blood cell production and growth. While vitamin B5 plays a role in red blood cell production, it also helps reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the body. And vitamin B6, which is required for more than 100 different enzyme reactions in the body, aids in the formation of hemoglobin, which also allows red blood cells to carry oxygen through the blood.
B vitamins involved: B2, B5, B6, B9, B12
You Give Your Heart A Boost
Our heart: It keeps beating with each and every passing year, and yet, many people dont have excellent cardiovascular health. Dr. Axe says this organ should be top of mind and high priority since it affects so much of our overall well-being. Of course, eating a heart-healthy diet and following a heart-healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, are primary. But finding a multivitamin that also helps to support heart health can be beneficial, he explains.
When youre deciding on what brand to select, Dr. Axe recommends looking for those that have vitamin D3, vitamin K2, folate, and vitamin B12 since they all support cardiovascular health.
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