Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin B
Vitamin B is different from single vitamins such as vitamin A or C. It is a group of eight chemically distinct vitamins which is referred to as a Vitamin B Complex when combined together. B vitamins have many different functions within the body. They are proven to support the body's conversion of food to energy and so can reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue, and also help to maintain a healthy nervous system and mental function. As a result, they can offer relief from anxiety and depression. Certain B vitamins are also important for the maintenance of healthy hair, skin and nails.
What Does Vitamin B Do?
Vitamin B1 - Thiamine - is essential for the healthy functioning of the nervous system and muscles. It also helps the body to convert carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin - converts food to energy and supports healthy vision. Some people find that B2 can also offer relief from headaches and migraines. Vitamin B3 - Niacin - helps to repair and protect DNA, in addition to energy production. It has also shown potential in reducing high cholesterol and can support the appearance of skin. Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic Acid - helps the body to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It also plays a vital role in mental performance.
Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine - is used in the formation of haemoglobin, which carry oxygen in the blood around the body. B6 also supports hormonal balance in women. Vitamin B7 - Biotin - plays a central role in metabolism. Many people find that it can improve the condition of hair and even reduce hair loss. Vitamin B9 - Folate/Folic Acid - is essential for the healthy formation of red blood cells. It is important for women before and during pregnancy, as it can help to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin - is used in the formation of healthy DNA. B12 also supports the maintenance of the nervous system. This B vitamin is only found in animal products and fortified foods, so people on restricted or vegetarian diets should monitor their B12 levels.
Signs of a Vitamin B Deficiency
Stress and poor diet are leading causes of vitamin B deficiency. The symptoms you experience may vary slightly depending on which B vitamin you are lacking. Common symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue.
- Anxiety or depression.
- Inability to cope.
- Heart palpitations or arrhythmias.
- Poor sleep.
- Tingling in the hands, fingers or toes.
- Skin blemishes.
How Much Should I Take?
B vitamins are water-soluble which means they are not stored in the body - any excess vitamin B which is not needed will be safely excreted from the body. The only B vitamin that is stored in the liver is vitamin B12, however studies have found no adverse effects when taken in high doses. A Vitamin B Complex supplement is formulated to offer the optimal level of B vitamins to maintain good health and can be taken alongside a healthy diet without fear of taking too much.