The Ultimate Guide To Vitamin B Complex- #VitaminGuide

At pycklepedia, we often talk about food and nutrition. And when we talk about nutrition, we cannot miss the importance of Vitamins. Vitamins are the organic compounds, the essential micronutrients that an organism needs for various activities in our body to function properly and stay healthy. They are required in very small quantities. Despite being essential our body does not produce vitamins naturally, that is why have to be consumed in our diet. A well-balanced diet fulfils the requirements of all the vitamins and nutrients in the body.

What Is Vitamin B Complex?

Vitamin B complex contains 8 water-soluble vitamins that are essentially required in our body in a very minute amount for very crucial reasons. The vitamins that constitute the vitamin B complex are as follows-

  • Thiamine (vitamin B1)
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • Niacin (vitamin B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
  • Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
  • Biotin
  • Folic acid
  • Cobalamin (vitamin B12)

Each of these essential vitamins contributes to your overall body functions in one way or the other. They are found in a wide variety of food which makes their requirement fulfilled in the body just by the diet.

Why Do We Need Vitamin B Complex?

vitamin b

1. The Conversion Of Food Into Energy

Nearly all of the Vitamins in the B complex like B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, and B12 are required for the conversion of food into energy. Some help to metabolize carbohydrates while others aid in breaking down fats or protein present in our food. This helps in the process of digestion and the conversion of food into energy.

2. Produces Red Blood Cells

Vitamin B complex is essential for the production of RBC in the body. Vitamin B12 in particular is of great importance for the formation of red blood cells (RBC) in the body. RBC helps to transport oxygen to different parts of the body. When there isn’t enough production of RBC due to the deficiency of Vitamin B12, it could lead to anaemia.

Vitamins B2, B5 and B9 are also needed for red blood cell production and growth. While vitamin B6 aids in the formation of haemoglobin, which also allows red blood cells to carry oxygen through the blood.

3. Aids In Hormone Production

Apart from RBC production, the vitamins of B-complex also aid in hormone production. Vitamin B3 and B5 are required for the production of the adrenal hormone. Whereas Vitamin B6 has a significant role in the stimulation of neurotransmitters and hormones that regulates moods.

4. Healthy Brain Function

Nearly all the vitamins of Vitamin B-complex are also known for healthy brain functionality. As per a review published in 2016, vitamins B6, B9, and B12 in particular play a role in homocysteine metabolism, which helps reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

5. May Reduce Stress

There are some researches that have concluded that Vitamin B-complex can help reduce stress and elevate mood. The studies have also found that the Vitamin B complex is very beneficial in reducing mental fatigue and improving cognitive health.

Our Body Requirments?

According to The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, below are RDAs for each of the B vitamins, in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg).

MalesFemalesDuring pregnancyDuring breastfeeding
Vitamin B11.2 mg1.1 mg1.4 mg1.4 mg
Vitamin B21.3 mg1.1 mg1.4 mg1.6 mg
Vitamin B3 or dietary equivalents16 mg14 mg18 mg17 mg
Vitamin B55 mg5 mg6 mg7 mg
Vitamin B6 (adults 19-50)1.3 mg*1.3 mg*1.9 mg2.0 mg
Vitamin B730 mcg30 mcg30 mcg35 mcg
Vitamin B9 or dietary equivalents400 mcg400 mcg600 mcg500 mcg
Vitamin B122.4 mcg2.4 mcg2.6 mcg2.8 mcg

*The National Institutes of HealthTrusted Source advises that male adults over 51 require 1.7 mg and female adults over 51 require 1.5 mg.

Sources Of Vitamin B Complex

The requirement of Vitamin B can be fulfilled by your diet alone. The right diet will contain all the types of vitamins of vitamin B-complex in sufficient amounts both in vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian diets.

  • B1 (thiamin): Fortified breakfast cereal, enriched and whole grain products wheat germ, pork, black beans and tuna
  • B2 (riboflavin): Abundantly found in milk and dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, almonds, portobello mushroom, chicken and beef liver.
  • B3 (niacin): fortified bread and cereal, rice, nuts, milk and dairy, eggs, fish, chicken, beef, turkey and lamb.
  • B5 (pantothenic acid): Avocado, broccoli, kale, milk, potatoes, legumes, mushrooms, fortified cereals, eggs, organ meats and poultry.
  • B6 (pyridoxine): Chickpeas, potatoes, salmon, tuna, chicken breast, turkey and beef
  • B7 (biotin): Sunflower seeds, sweet potato, almonds, whole-grain foods, sardines, spinach, broccoli, egg, beef, pork and sardines.
  • B9 (folate): Spinach, broccoli,┬áBrussel sprouts, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, legumes, asparagus, orange juice, peanuts, avocado, beef liver and salmon.
  • B12 (cobalamin): Milk and other dairy products, eggs, beef liver, clams and other shellfish, beef, chicken and fish.

Related Read: The Ultimate Guide To Vitamin A #VitaminGuide

Deficiency Of Vitamin B Complex

Since there are many types of Vitamin B complex, if there is a deficiency of Vitamin B complex, you may suffer from symptoms depending on the type of Vitamin B that is lacking in the body. Some common symptoms are fatigue, confusion, nausea, skin rashes, diarrhoea, constipation, numbness or tingles in the hands and feet.

If these symptoms are left unnoticed, it could lead to anaemia, digestive problems or skin conditions.

Vitamin B12 deficiency, in particular, may increase your risk of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Since these are very overlapping symptoms, knowing whether you have a deficiency of Vitamin B complex should be consulted well with your doctor. Your doctor is the best person who can pinpoint the exact reasons for any symptom occurring in your body.

Supplement For Vitamin B Complex

Although supplements aren’t quite necessary when it comes to vitamin B complex but depending on some circumstances, your doctor may prescribe you some supplements. If you are over 50, pregnant, strictly vegan or vegetarian, then chances are you might need supplements.

Our Final Thoughts

A healthy life is possible with healthy eating, exercise, fitness and a good routine. When you eat a healthy and balanced diet, you are giving your body all the nutrition it needs for functioning well. However, when you ignore your body’s requirements and don’t fulfil its need there can be consequences.

Even though in small amounts, vitamins are essential in the body. Vitamin B complex is a very important requirement of your body and shouldn’t be neglected. If you feel you need more guidance on the Vitamin B complex, consult your doctor. It’s best to give your body all the health and nourishment it needs without compromise.

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