Vitamin B Complex Guide
The complex part of a vitamin B complex supplement is the fact that it actually includes eight different B vitamins including B1 thiamin, B2 riboflavin, B3 niacin, B5 pantothenic acid, B6, B7 biotin, B9 folic acid, and B12.
When working in unison, these nutrients help our body convert the food that we eat into energy to sustain us throughout the day. However, they each have their own role to play in the process and each B vitamin specializes in supporting one or more functions in the body.
While it is possible to get enough B vitamins from eating a well-balanced diet, some populations, like the elderly, are at greater risk for vitamin B deficiency.
In fact, according to Harvard Health Publications, the Institute of Medicine and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that people 50 and older eat a B-12-fortified diet or take a supplement.
How Much Is Enough
Men and women need roughly the same amounts, but age, medical conditions, pregnancy, and diet can also affect how much you need.
This chart outlines the Recommended Daily Allowance for each of the B vitamins according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.
Reap The Health Benefits Of B Vitamins
Good nutrition is tied to good health, as well as to the prevention and treatment of many conditions. Getting the recommended amounts of vitamins each day is an important part of the nutrition equation, and B vitamins are essential for preventive care. Abundant in green vegetables, whole or enriched grains, dairy, and meats, B vitamins help promote a healthy metabolism and are also linked to a reduced risk of stroke, research shows.
Take vitamin B12, for example. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, plays a significant role in nerve function, the formation of red blood cells, and the production of DNA. While most people get plenty of vitamin B12 benefits in a varied, balanced diet, if you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, you are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. Also, elderly adults and people with GI disorders lack adequate B12.
- Weakened immune system
Its been known that some people with B vitamin deficiencies experience depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Folate is in the forefront of mood management. Findings show that many people with depression have lower levels of folate in the blood. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts, and other legumes, and citrus fruits. The Food and Drug Administration began requiring manufacturers to add folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours, cornmeal, pasta, rice, and other grain products in 1998.
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Benefits Of Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B comes in many different forms with each having its own role in our body metabolism. Vitamin B Complex supplement helps and supports all of these different functions, delivering the B Vitamins as a whole. To sum up, briefly, Vitamin B nutrients help the body make energy from the food that we eat, forms red blood cells and play various essential roles in many bodily functions.
What Are Symptoms Of Vitamin B Deficiency
Vitamin B deficiency is rare because B vitamins are found in a wide variety of foods. Not getting enough vitamin B can lead to certain conditions such as anemia, muscle weakness, heart problems, and hair loss. If you are concerned that you may not be consuming enough vitamin B, speak with your healthcare provider about supplementation.
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Choosing The Right Supplement
Look for vitamin B supplements that have been tested and approved by an independent third party.
Look for certifications from:
- The National Sanitation Foundation
- The United States Pharmacopeial Convention
Keep in mind that these certifications dont guarantee safety or effectiveness for everyone. Thats why you should always ask your doctor before adding a supplement to your daily routine.
Can Anyone Recommend A Low
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For example, Doctor’s Best Fully Active B-Complex has all the preferred forms but each of the the dosages are around 2000% to 5000%, with B12 being the highest at 41,670%. .
This goes for Life Extension’s BioActive B-complex, Jarrow’s B-right, and most others.
Has anyone found a B-complex with more moderate doses? If recommending a brand is against the forum rules, maybe you can send me a private message instead?
On a side note: There is a school of thought that RDA’s and DV’s are wildly underestimated and that they are only designed to prevent symptoms of severe vitamin deficiencies. This may have some truth to it, but is that really the logic behind providing these IMO absurd amounts?? Or is it more likely because supplement manufacturers find it easier to weigh out B-vitamins in discrete milligram amounts and think we’ll just pee out the rest? For example, 1.3mg of Riboflavin is 100% RDA but 10mg, which is 769.23%, is easier to weigh and encapsulate. The trend seems to be that the weights are usually “simple” numbers rather than the DV’s which tend to be “irregular” looking numbers .
I had to scour the countryside to find a low dose B-Complex.
Rite Aid has a “B-Complex with Vitamin B-12” that may be just what you’re looking for.
3mg B-1 , 3mg B-2 , 20mg Niacin & 10mg Pantothenic acid .
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Side Effects And Risks
B vitamins are water-soluble. This means that, most of the time, the body excretes extra B vitamins in the urine.
While a standard dosage does not seem to cause harm, excessively high doses of certain B vitamins can be dangerous. Speak with a clinician before taking very high doses of B-complex supplements.
Possible side effects of B-complex vitamins:
- High blood sugar. High doses of nicotinic acid, a synthetic form of vitamin B-3, can raise blood sugar levels. This can interfere with diabetes medications. People with diabetes or high blood sugar should not take high doses of nicotinic acid .
- Excess nicotinic acid. Too much nicotinic acid can also cause low blood pressure, fatigue, headaches, rashes, and liver damage.
- Excess nicotinamide. High doses of nicotinamide, another form of vitamin B-3, can cause diarrhea and increased bleeding. This can occur in doses of 500 mg per day. Doses higher than 3,000 mg can cause vomiting and liver damage.
- Excess folic acid. Taking more than 1,000 mcg of folic acid a day can mask a type of anemia caused by vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Taking a high-dose B-complex supplement can also turn the urine bright yellow. This effect is temporary and harmless. Once the kidneys get rid of the extra vitamins, the color will return to normal.
Country Life Coenzyme B Complex
Country Life Coenzyme B Complex is a supplement containing B vitamins in coenzymated form. Coenzymated vitamins are active and ready for the body to absorb. There is 50 mg of vitamin B1, 50 mg of vitamin B2, 100 mg of niacin, 80 mg of vitamin B6, 800 mcg of folate, 500 mcg of vitamin B12, 200 mcg of biotin and 50 mg of pantothenic acid in each serving of two capsules of Country Life Coenzyme B Complex.
- Product does not contain yeast, wheat, milk, sugar, preservatives, artificial color, or magnesium stearate
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How Much Vitamin B12 Do I Need
Adults need about 1.5 micrograms a day of vitamin B12.
If you eat meat, fish or dairy foods, you should be able to get enough vitamin B12 from your diet.
But as vitamin B12 is not found naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables and grains, vegans may not get enough of it.
Read about the vegan diet for nutrition information and advice.
Folic Acid Is Essential For A Healthy Baby
Vitamin B9, also called folic acid or folate, is a nutrient that’s necessary for the body’s growth and development. The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults get 400 micrograms daily, while breast-feeding mothers need 500 mcg a day, and pregnant teens and women should get 600 mcg a day. Naturally occurring folate is found in many sources, including dark-green leafy vegetables, asparagus, brussels sprouts, oranges, nuts, beans, and peas. In addition, folic acid is added to many fortified foods such as cereals and breads.
Teens and women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant may find it difficult to get enough folate, but this B vitamin is vital to a baby’s health and development. Getting enough folate prevents neural tube birth defects in babies and promotes healthy growth.
The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health recommends talking with your healthcare providers about any dietary supplements you take.
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Produces Red Blood Cells
Some B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, play an essential role in red blood cell formation. Healthy red blood cells are needed to transport oxygen to every part of the body. When there is a vitamin B12 deficiency, the body cannot produce enough red blood cells and anemia can occur.
Vitamin B2 is also needed for red blood cell production and growth, as is vitamin B9. 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
Dietary Sources Of B Vitamins
B vitamins are found primarily in animal food sources and fortified cereals. But many vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes contain some amount of B vitamins as well. Here’s a look at the common food sources. You’ll note that many of the foods overlap with other B vitamins.
- 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
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Here’s How To Get More Of All Eight Common B
Contrary to its name, Vitamin B Complex is actually pretty simple. Its a combination of eight common B-Vitamins into one product. These different compounds include Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. While most folks get enough B Vitamins from eating a well-balanced diet, some may benefit from supplementation, including pregnant women and those who follow a strict vegan or vegetarian diets as well as paleo diets. In general, its wise to consult with a medical professional about the specifics of vitamin supplementation.
The various nutrients in Vitamin B Complexes contribute to a number of bodily functions, including cellular health, energy levels, and digestion, to name a few. With a seemingly endless amount of Vitamin B supplements available on the market, its important to know how to distinguish one from another. We looked at some of the best Vitamin B Complex supplements on the market to choose our top picks.
What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin B
Vitamin B has many benefits for our bodies. Some B vitamins help produce DNA, get energy from our food, and promote the growth and development of cells in our bodies. Not getting enough vitamin B can lead to diseases or conditions such as anemia, or leave us feeling lethargic and low energy. Research is ongoing into additional benefits of vitamin B.
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Best Vegan: Garden Of Life Vitamin B Complex
Free of gluten, fillers, and binders
Also contains raw fruit & vegetable blend and probiotic & enzyme blend
May not be suitable for those with grain sensitivities
Meeting the recommended daily intake for all B vitamins from food alone can be challenging for those that follow a vegan diet. Supplementing with a B-complex is recommended for vegansbut finding a product that does not use animal-derived gelatin can be hard. Garden of Lifes Vitamin B Complex – Vitamin Code Raw B Vitamin Whole Food Supplement is composed of all plant-based and vegan ingredients.
Containing all eight B vitamins, this product uses the active form of vitamin B12 , a win for consumers who may have slightly lower levels of vitamin B12. In addition to the B-complex, this product includes a RAW probiotic and enzyme blend for digestive support, as well as a blend of organic fruits and vegetables for additional nutritional support. For consumers with other dietary restrictions, this product is certified kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
Form: Capsule | Type: Methylcobalamin | Dosage: 2 capsules daily, with or without food
Contains vitamin C, B6, B1, B2, B12
Free of sugar, milk, soy, gluten, wheat, fish
May have too strong of a smell for some
As a pro-tip, take water-soluble vitaminssuch as B complex and Cwith non-caffeinated drinks. Caffeinated drinks can cause increased urination, which can decrease the concentration of these vitamins along with fluid loss.
Folate And Folic Acid
Folate is a B vitamin found in many foods. The manmade form of folate is called folic acid.
Folate is also known as folacin and vitamin B9.
- the body form healthy red blood cells
- reduce the risk of birth defects called neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in unborn babies
A lack of folate could lead to folate deficiency anaemia.
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Why Should You Trust Us
Perhaps youve stumbled upon our article because youre looking for some more information about the best vitamin B complex supplements in todays market. Perhaps youve read other websites and reviews but youre still not convinced. I know the feeling all too well! You want some concrete, reliable and evidence-based reviews to help you make a choice which will ultimately affect your health. So why are we different at Supplemania?
We have been running our methodical product research for the past five years, during which time we have gained vast amounts of knowledge about the supplement market. Our sole purpose is to help our readers by choosing the right product for you. Lets face it, everyones needs are different and what one person needs will differ from another consumer. In terms of our research into the best Vitamin B Complex supplements, we have come to our conclusion after over 48 hours of dedicated research, during which time there have been several people involved in the process in order to eliminate any subjective or biased reviews.
We have also made sure to look at many different brands of the products as we are not biased towards any particular brand and we dont look to promote any brands either. Our research is neutral with the aim of helping you choose what it is that you need.
What Is B Complex And How Does It Benefit You
The B-complex vitamins consist of 11 related nutrients. They may not have a lot of flash, but they do play fundamental and far-reaching roles in terms of our health.
The B-complex vitamins include:
- B3 maintains normal cholesterol levels.
- B6 helps calm moods.
- B12 promotes mental sharpness.
- PABA helps to maintain healthy gene activity, and it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, inositol is often considered a B vitamin.
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Take Vitamin B5 For Healthy Hormones
All people age 14 and older should get 5 mg of vitamin B5 each day, according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. You can find vitamin B5 in vegetables of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and kale, as well as in avocado. In addition, whole-grain cereals, potatoes, dairy, and organ meats are good sources. This type of B vitamin is needed for many of the biochemical reactions that go on in our cells each day, including the breakdown of carbohydrates and lipids for energy. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, you need vitamin B5 in your diet every day. Pantothenic acid is necessary for our bodies to produce hormones, and it’s also needed for growth.
Vitamin B1 Is Important For Preventing Beriberi
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B1, also called thiamine, is 1.1 milligram for women over age 18, up to 1.4 mg for those who are pregnant, and 1.5 mg for those who are breast-feeding. For men age 14 and older, 1.2 mg per day is recommended, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Vitamin B1 plays a major role in metabolizing food into energy. B1 is found in whole-grain cereals, yeast, beans, nuts, and meats. Too little vitamin B1 causes beriberi, a disease affecting the heart, digestive system, and the nervous system. Beriberi is found in patients who are malnourished, and in those who are heavy drinkers of alcohol. Symptoms of beriberi include difficulty walking, loss of sensation in the hands and feet, and paralysis of the lower legs and it may even lead to congestive heart failure. People who consume large amounts of alcohol should take a vitamin B complex supplement to be sure they get enough B1. Also, taking any one of the B vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, you may want to take a B-complex vitamin, which includes all the B vitamins.
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