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.
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
B Vitamins Are Tied To Lower Stroke Risk
In addition to their role in metabolism and in maintaining healthy skin and hair, B vitamins have been linked to a lower incidence of stroke, a condition in which a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, or a blood vessel bursts in the brain. A review of randomized clinical trials that lasted six months or longer revealed that vitamin B supplements lowered risk of stroke by 7 percent for a large group of more than 50,000 participants. The study was authored by Xu Yuming and colleagues from Zhengzhou, China, and published in the September 2013 issue of the clinical journal Neurology. But before you begin taking vitamin B complex or any B vitamin supplement, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.
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Healthy Foods High In B Vitamins
There are eight B vitamins collectively called B complex vitamins.
They are thiamine , riboflavin , niacin , pantothenic acid , pyridoxine , biotin , folate and cobalamin .
Though each of these vitamins has unique functions, they generally help your body produce energy and make important molecules in your cells .
Aside from B12, your body cannot store these vitamins for long periods, so you have to replenish them regularly through food .
Many foods provide B vitamins, but to be considered high in a vitamin, a food must contain at least 20% of the Reference Daily Intake per serving. Alternatively, a food that contains 1019% of the RDI is considered a good source .
Here are 15 healthy foods high in one or more B vitamins.
Do I Need Vitamin B Supplements
Lots of people take vitamin supplements, but there is no good evidence that they help unless you have a vitamin deficiency, which is very unlikely in a healthy person. Australias best guide to how to eat healthily the Australian Dietary Guidelines doesnt recommend them.
Vitamin supplements are expensive. They are best taken only on a doctors advice.
Most people get the vitamins they need from a healthy diet, which has a wide variety of foods, including:
- plenty of vegetables, of different types and colours, and legumes/beans
- grain foods, mostly wholegrain, and/or high cereal fibre varieties such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
- lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds
- milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat
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Whats All The Buzz About Vitamin B12 Shots
In the more recent months, youve probably heard of adding things to your diet like kombucha and vinegarsand lets not forget how hot avocados are right now. There are also vitamins and supplements that are getting their time to shine, too, like probiotics, collagen, and turmeric. One of the newest star vitamins currently is vitamin Bspecifically vitamin B12, in the form of an injection.
Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. The amount of vitamin B12 your body needs depends on your age. Most people can get enough vitamin B12 in foods they eat already, such as fish, meat poultry, eggs, dairy products, and foods that are fortified with B12 . However, according to the National Institutes of Health, upwards of 15% of people are deficient in vitamin B12and some studies indicate that number may be higher. People may be deficient in vitamin B12 if they dont eat animal products, or if their body does not absorb it well naturally.
- Increase energy levels and combat fatigue
- Speed up metabolism
Riboflavin Boosts The Immune System
A diet rich in vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is needed to avoid riboflavin deficiency. Recommended daily allowances of B2 are 1.3 mg a day for men and 1.1 mg a day for women. Pregnant women need 1.4 mg daily, and breast-feeding mothers should have 1.6 mg each day. You can get this B vitamin from natural sources such as nuts, green vegetables, meat, and dairy products.
Riboflavin helps your body break down and use the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet and helps metabolize food into energy. This type of B vitamin also functions to keep your skin, the lining of your gut, and your blood cells healthy. Getting enough riboflavin may be preventive for migraine headaches and cataracts, according to the National Institutes of Health. Riboflavin may also increase energy levels, boost the immune system, and treat acne, muscle cramps, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
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Best Time To Take Vitamin B Complex
If you are going to start taking a vitamin B complex supplement, you will want to make sure you choose the right one and that you take it at the right time of the day. Most vitamin supplements require that you take them just once per day, so when is the right time to take a vitamin B complex supplement?
Technically speaking, your body will digest, store, and then use the vitamin as it is needed no matter what time of the day you take it. From that perspective, you should take it at whatever time is most convenient for you. Vitamin B, however, is used by your body to help make energy available for use by your muscles and other parts of the body. This is why it is a common ingredient in many energy drinks. For this reason, most people who take these supplements choose to take them first thing in the morning so they can take full advantage of the extra energy.
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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The Best Vitamin B Foods For Vegans & Omnivores Alike
Whether you’ve recently gone vegan or are looking to optimize your nutrition as an omnivore, B vitamins are essential for overall health. As a cluster of eight vitamins, they’re responsible for everything from muscle to cognitive function, says dietitian Elana Natker, M.S., R.D.
Here’s the thing about B vitamins: Because they’re water-soluble and not stored by the body, vitamin B complex supplements are often unfairly dubbed “expensive pee” because they tend to turn our urine fluorescent yellow when consumed in excess, according to Valerie Goldberg Libraty, RDN, owner of No Diet Dietitian. But they’re so much more than that, she says, noting that they’re essential in numerous metabolic reactions and red blood cell, DNA, and brain health. “I like to think of water-soluble vitamins like a pinball machine,” says Goldberg Libraty. “They bounce around and do their thing before they’re excreted.”
Symptoms Of Vitamin B1 Or B2 Deficiency
Vitamin B1 deficiency is
- green vegetables, including broccoli and spinach
- fortified cereals, grains, and bread
Get your daily servings of green vegetables with this green smoothie.
Vitamin B1 and B2 deficiencies are rare in the United States. Symptoms include confusion and cracks along the sides of the mouth.
Vitamin B3, also called niacin, helps convert food into energy. It also aids in proper digestion and healthy appetite, and is important for cell development.
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Nutritional And Brewers Yeast
Nutritional yeast and brewers yeast are inactive, meaning you cant use them to make bread. Rather, people use them to boost the flavor and nutrient profile of dishes.
These yeasts naturally contain B vitamins and are often fortified with them as well particularly nutritional yeast. If nutrients are added, youll see them listed in the ingredients on the label.
Heres how the two yeasts compare based on a 2-tablespoon serving, though these values vary by brand :
Vegetarians and vegans commonly use nutritional yeast, as its fortified with B12, which is challenging to obtain if you dont eat animal products .
The nutty-cheesy flavor of nutritional yeast also makes it popular as a seasoning. Brewers yeast, however, can taste bitter and may be better mixed into foods like smoothies, salad dressing or soup.
Summary Nutritional yeast and brewers yeast pack a high amount of B vitamins but a significant portion of the vitamins in nutritional yeast, including B12, are added. These products can be used to add flavor or nutrients to other foods.
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Symptoms Of Vitamin B9 Deficiency
Vitamin B9 deficiency is in the United States, but it does occur.
Low levels of vitamin B9 can result in the following symptoms:
- megaloblastic anemia, which causes weakness
Foods fortified with folic acid include:
- enriched bread, flour, pasta, and rice
- fortified breakfast cereals
Make this spicy roasted beet hummus as a snack or appetizer.
Vitamin B9 deficiency is rare in the United States, but it does occur. Its especially important for pregnant women to get enough of this vitamin.
Can I Really Give Myself B12 Injections Or Do I Need To See A Doctor
Whether you see a medical professional for your injections or handle them yourself at home will all depend on your physicians recommendation, but many people end up taking on the task themselves after getting a prescription.
Generally, most of my patients learn to do it themselves or have a family member who helps, Moliterno says. Some physicians, like Dr. Ko, recommend getting the injections within a medical office.
If self-administering, Levine says you should be trained in your doctors office to learn proper injection techniques before making any attempts to start treatment at home. Besides learning to inject the B12, youll be taught to sterilize the area, dispose of needles properly, and never use the same needle more than once, Levine said.
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Vitamin B Supplement Features
Form: Most vitamin B supplements are either capsules or tablets. Some say that capsules are easier for the body to digest than tablets, but this isnt always the case. Choose the form that you prefer. There are also some liquid vitamin B supplements available for those who have trouble swallowing pills.
Serving size: Vitamin B supplements are usually not large, and most only have a single tablet or capsule per serving. However, you might need to take two or more pills per serving if the supplement you choose has a number of extras like probiotics, enzymes, and other vitamins or minerals.
If you dont like taking pills, check the label to determine how large the pills are and how many you will need to take in order to get a full serving. Go with a supplement that offers the ingredients you want in the smallest serving size.
Daily values: Many B vitamins are small and affordable, so its not uncommon for manufacturers to put 200%, 500%, or even 1,000% of your daily value in each vitamin. This might seem like its beneficial, but its usually unnecessary. Your body cant use all of those extra vitamins, so your body excretes them. B vitamins are water-soluble, so you dont have to worry about them building up in your system if you take too much, but it usually isnt necessary to exceed the recommended daily value by that much. Youll also get some B vitamins through food, and that coupled with a vitamin B supplement should be more than enough.
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 Included In The B12 Methylcobalamin Self
The self injection kit comes complete with premium B12 Methlycobalamin, sharps box and the highest quality syringes & needles for the safe, comfortable injection of B12. Detailed written instructions to demonstrate self injection technique are also included in your pack. If you have any questions, queries or concerns, our dedicated account manager will be on hand to discuss and advise.
Methylcobalamin B12 is classed as a nutritional supplement. As this form of B12 is not a licensed Prescription Only Medicine , this supplement can be purchased online without prescription.
Our clients have the choice of either 1000mcg or 5000mcg of Methylcobalamin B12 with a full self injection kit to be self-administered in the comfort of your own home.
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- Manage Daily Stress & Nervous System & Brain: Men, Women and Children can benefit from supplementing their B Vitamin intake. Studies have shown B Vitamin supplementation can help to counter symptoms of deficiency. Also sometimes called Super B, Stress B Complex, or B-100, it can also be taken as powder, tablets, pills, soft gel caps, or organic and vegan forms.
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