What Are The B Vitamins And What Do They Do
The B vitamins share similar names but are actually chemically distinct from one another. Each of the vitamins has a number as well as a chemical name . All of these vitamins are water soluble, meaning that excess amounts that are ingested may be excreted by the body. Following are the eight compounds that make up the B-complex vitamins as well as their primary activities in the human body:
All of the B vitamins work together to support health. For example, getting enough thiamine is associated with lower levels of depression, better immune system activity, and reduced risk of cataracts . Vitamin B6 appears to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, age-related cognitive decline, and cancer . Vitamin B9, or folic acid, is particularly important for pregnant women. Failure to get enough folic acid before and during critical stages of pregnancy can result in neural tube defects such as spina bifida or anencephaly . Collectively, getting these important B vitamins can protect you against a range of chronic health conditions.
The recommended daily intake of B vitamins differs between the eight different vitamins in this complex. The recommendations are as follows :
Zenwise Health Vitamin B12
Zenwise Healths Vitamin B12 supplement provides a strong but not outrageously high dosage.
Its got 1000 mcg of Vitamin B12 per serving, but it doesnt exactly distinguish itself from the crowd. It doesnt have the independent lab testing that other supplements have, and its delivery mechanism is nothing special either).
A Balanced Diet And Vitamin B
After reading this information you should be familiar with the various types of food that contain vitamin B. Youll also be aware of the wide range of products where you can find the vitamins you need.
Therefore, we recommend that you maintain a balanced diet so you can obtain all the vitamin B that your body requires, as well as other vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body.
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Should You Take A Multivitamin
Foods with B12 are always the first choice, but if you have trouble eating B12-rich foods, or have problems absorbing B12, another potential vitamin B12 source is a multivitamin. In fact, the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that people older than age 50 take a multivitamin supplement as a way to ensure adequate B12 intake.
Many store multivitamins contain high amounts of B12. An average brand may contain about 25 mcg, which is more than 400% of the recommended daily value. Check with your doctor to determine if multivitamins is right for you. There is little risk from taking too much B12, however, high amounts may interact with certain medications.
Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic acid is responsible for breaking down fats and carbs for energy, as well as producing red blood cells and cholesterol. It also assists the body in using other vitamins, such as riboflavin.
Food high in pantothenic acid: The best dietary sources of pantothenic acid include beef, poultry, seafood, organ meats, eggs, milk, shiitake mushrooms, avocados, potatoes, broccoli, whole grains , peanuts, sunflower seeds, and chickpeas.
Symptoms of deficiency: Fortunately, pantothenic acid deficiency is rare. Those who do suffer from it may experience numb or burning hands and feet, extreme fatigue, headache, irritability, restlessness, sleeping problems, digestive problems, and loss of appetite.
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What Is Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1, otherwise known as thiamine, is a nutrient thats part of the B-family of vitamins. It is found naturally in some foods, including yeast, beans, nuts, and meat. Its also commonly found in vitamin blends, such as multivitamins and B-vitamin complexes. You can also find thiamine supplements on their own, in individual formulations.
Thiamine has a number of important effects on the body, as outlined in the uses section below.
Fruit Contains Varying Amounts Of Vitamin B
When it comes to vitamin B complex and fruit, it really just depends on your preference. This is because there is such a wide array of B vitamins available in many different kinds of fruit, according to Hartley. For example, avocados contain B vitamins like folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin, whereas bananas contain 35% of your recommended daily intake of B6.
“Different fruits may be higher in certain B vitamins, but pretty much all of your fruits and vitamins are going to have a pretty nice dose of B vitamins inside of them,” Hartley noted.
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Which Is The Best Source Of B12 Vitamin
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B Vitamin Food Sources
You can find most B vitamins in animal products, like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. But some of the best are plant-based and include whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, fortified foods, bananas, mushrooms, avocado, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
More specifically, below are some of the best places to find each of the 8 B-complex vitamins from plant-based foods:
- Vitamin B-1: beans, peas, lentils, and sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin B-2: almonds, tofu, mushrooms, avocado, and spinach.
- Vitamin B-3: brown rice, nuts, seeds, legumes, and bananas.
- Vitamin B-5: mushrooms, avocado, nuts, seeds, potatoes, brown rice, oats, and broccoli.
- Vitamin B-6: chickpeas, dark leafy greens, papayas, bananas, oranges, and cantaloupe.
- Vitamin B-7: sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
- Vitamin B-9: dark leafy greens, beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and oranges.
- Vitamin B-12: fortified nutritional yeast and breakfast cereals, as well as enriched plant-based milks and yogurts.
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B Vitamins Can Be Easy
B vitamins are important to just about every system in your body. And, theyre important for a healthy pregnancy, for hormone production, and for your hair, skin, and nails. While all of the B vitamins are in whole foods, there are a few that some people may struggle to get enough of. However avoiding deficiency is relatively easy with testing when indicated, and the addition of appropriate supplements. Hopefully, this article has helped you to B proactive with your well-being!
Tell us in the comments:
- Do you take B-complex or any individual B vitamin supplements?
- Have you ever experienced a deficiency in any of the B vitamins? What did that look like for you?
- Where do you find B vitamins in your diet?
and receive the Top 10 Foods To Eat And Avoid For Longevity infographic poster!
Who Should Buy Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin thats essential for proper functioning of your central nervous system and your blood. Vitamin B12 can be challenging to get in your diet, especially if you have any dietary restrictions: its found in respectable amounts in just a few foods, which include beef, eggs, chicken, and dairy.
Beyond these natural sources of B12, the only way to get B12 is via fortified foods or a supplement. Vegans, vegetarians, and people on a ketogenic diet can have a particularly hard time getting enough B12, as their standard diet can be low in food sources rich in B12.
Certain populations either have elevated B12 needs or have diminished capabilities to absorb B12: pregnant and nursing women, and people who have had weight loss surgery are a few good examples. Because of its critical importance for infants and children, vitamin B12 is an ingredient in any high-quality prenatal vitamin or multivitamin for kids.
Increasingly, B12 has also been the focus for research into preventing or slowing cognitive decline in older adults, and B12 deficiency is quite common among the elderly, so they should be added to the list of people who can benefit from a vitamin B12 supplement
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Levodopa Interacts With Pyridoxine
Vitamin B6 can increase how quickly the body breaks down and gets rid of levodopa. But this is only a problem if you are taking levodopa alone. Most people take levodopa along with carbidopa. Carbidopa prevents this interaction from occurring. If you are taking levodopa without carbidopa, do not take vitamin B6.
B Vitamins From A To Z: A Beginner’s Guide
Okay, first things first: Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about the possibility of B vitamin deficiency. Through a simple blood test, she’ll be able to pinpoint exactly which nutrients you’re lacking , which will help you get to the root of the problem as quickly and safely as possible.
Armed with that information, you can use this guide to learn more about any B vitamins you need to get more ofagain, whole foods are best for many, but your doctor may recommend supplementing, depending on your unique needs.
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Some Fish Contains More Vitamin B Than Others
Fish, like meat, is especially high in certain B vitamins, but Hartley notes that certain fish, such as trout, are just a bit more nutrient-rich in vitamin B than other kinds.
“I especially encourage people to eat omega-3 fatty fish like trout, salmon, sardines. These ones happen to be a bit higher in complex B vitamins too,” she said. “If someone doesn’t like the fishy taste of those fatty fishes, they can still get B vitamins from more delicate white fish like mahi-mahi and cod.”
Avoid Anemia With Vitamin B12
Adults need only 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12, also called cyanocobalamin, each day. Pregnant or breastfeeding teens and women need more: 2.6 to 2.8 mcg daily. Vitamin B12 is not naturally occurring in plant foods, so vegetarians and vegans may not get enough in their diets and may need to take a B supplement. Natural sources rich in vitamin B12 are dairy products, fish, meat, and in particular beef liver and clams. This type of vitamin B can also be found in fortified items like breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast.
Vitamin B12 is essential for building blood cells and maintaining healthy nerve cells in the body. As many as 15 percent of people in the United States have a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include weakness, fatigue, constipation, weight loss, and loss of appetite. Deficiency is also damaging to the nervous system and can cause depression, confusion, and dementia.
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Bulksupplements Pure Thiamine Mononitrate
BulkSupplements Pure Vitamin B1 is a bulk packaged product offering pure B1, with nothing else in it. Most supplements will have at least some sort of filler or binding agent, but this is just a big bag of pure thiamine mononitrate .
- Pure thiamine mononitrate powder
Who Makes It?
BulkSupplements, as their name suggests, is a wholesale retailer and manufacturer of supplement products. They sell simple, pure products at rock-bottom prices, typically just packaged in plain bags. This allows them to offer extremely low prices while maintaining excellent product quality.
If you dont mind measuring out your own servings or filling your own capsules, this is a great choice. The price might seem high until you realize how many potential servings you get!
|Where to Get It|
Which Foods Are Good Sources Of Vitamin B
Vitamin B is a compilation of eight different vitamins, known as vitamin B complex, found naturally in high-protein foods. Leafy greens are another natural food source containing lots of B vitamins. Many processed foods and grains, such as cereals and breads, have synthetic versions of this vitamin added into them. It is common for some foods to have more of one type than the others for example, some foods contain more B12 and B6 and less of the others. Most people who eat a balanced diet get enough of each of these vitamins from their food, but they are also available in supplements.
Foods with the most natural vitamin B are typically those that are high in protein. Both wild-caught and farm-raised salmon, trout, catfish, tuna, halibut, cod and many other fish varieties contain large amounts of B-complex vitamins. Lamb is another good source of vitamin B and protein as are beef, poultry, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products. Foods that are high in protein are the only ones containing significant amounts of natural B12.
Vegetable and Plant Sources
Synthetic and Supplemental Sources
Natural vs. Synthetic Sources
What Are The B Vitamins
B vitamins refer to a group of 8 different vitamins that make up whats often called the B-complex. The B vitamins are:
This group of vitamins helps your body convert food into energy also known as the process of metabolism as well as create new blood cells. Theyre also important for the maintenance of healthy skin cells, brain cells, and other body tissues.
Like vitamin C, the B vitamins are water-soluble, which means that they dissolve in water. Unlike the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are best absorbed when ingested alongside dietary fats, the water-soluble vitamins can be taken with water and then used by your body. Bacteria in the intestinal tract of animals produce B vitamins, which is why prevailing wisdom has recommended eating animals to get our daily requirements. This isnt necessary, as many plants also contain these nutrients .
Recently, however, scientists have discovered that bacteria in the human microbiome themselves generate B vitamins. This makes logical sense, given that humans are in fact animals, but there are a couple of reasons that we cant rely on our internal B factories for all we need.
How To Use Vitamin B
If you are taking the over-the-counter product to self-treat, follow all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has directed you to take this medication, take as directed by your doctor.
Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily with or without food or as directed by your doctor or the product package. Use this product regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and laboratory tests. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
There are many brands and forms of cyanocobalamin available. Read the dosing instructions carefully for each product because the amount of cyanocobalamin may be different between products.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Some liquid brands may require you to shake the bottle well before each dose.
If you are taking the extended-release tablets, do not crush or chew them. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
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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.
How B12 Works In The Body
The Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals explains that vitamin B12, like all B vitamins, is water soluble, which means the body expels what it does not use. Its main job is to maintain healthy nerve cells, support proper brain function, and assist in the production of DNA and RNA. B12 also works with other B vitamins to improve certain functions. For instance, B12 and B9 together help to make red blood cells. B12, B6, and B9 team up to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, high levels of which have been associated with possible heart disease.
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How Much Vitamin B Do I Need
Because all B vitamins are water-soluble, our bodies don’t store them as much as we do fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. “With anything water-soluble, you want to eat these foods on a regular basis so your body is constantly replacing what you’re losing,” Stefanski. If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough, talk to your doctor to see if you should get tested for a deficiency.
But don’t believe everything you hear about supplements. “Supplement manufacturers say if you take a lot of B vitamins you’ll have more energy. That’s not necessarily true unless you have a deficiency,” says Stefanski. While it’s hard to overdose on B vitamins, it is possible with a pill. Plus, studies don’t back up claims that biotin supplements can help you grow your hair and nails faster unless you have a deficiency. “People think the more you take the better, but it doesn’t always work that way,” she says.
Looking to boost your B? Food is your best bet, and many are good sources of more than one B vitamin, says Stefanski. Here are 11 of the best food sources of B vitamins, along with ideas to prepare them.