Why is the Vitamin B complex important?

Published at: 19.05.2022 18:03

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We all know how important a balanced and healthy diet is. Sometimes everything that our bodies need can bedelivered to our organism through food. Still, some vitamins and minerals have to be taken additionally. Vitamin B complex is one of them and delivers eight of the B vitamins.

They are: Cobalamin (B12); folate (B9); biotin (B7); pyridoxine (B6); pantothenic acid(B5); niacin (B3); riboflavin (B2); thiamin (B1). The B group vitamins are water-soluble and each of them has an important role in somebodily functions. They help our bodies to form red blood cells and to transform the food we eat into energy. Althoughsome foods like meat, fortified cereals, whole grains, and nuts contain vitaminsfrom the B group, there are specific conditions that require additional intake.

Who should take B complex supplements?

Vegetarians and vegans – as this way of feeding increases the risk of decreasing the B12 vitamin levels. This specific vitaminis present in animal-based foods and meat. People who eat some dairy foods and eggs may be getting it from there. Still, it is good for levels to be measured by special blood tests and if needed – to be taken additionally as a supplement.

Older adults – some researchers point out that low levels of cobalamin, folate, and pyridoxine may be associated with  depression in older people. But that’s not all – some B vitamins are slowing down the cell's aging process.

People who are taking specific medications, as can lead to deficiency in B vitamins. For example, birth control pills canaffect several B vitamins, including B2, B6, B9, and B12.  Also, the intake of B complex is very important during pregnancy and nursing. Especially if you are pregnant, folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12) are necessary to support fetal development.

What are the benefits of taking B vitamins?

They support hormone production, especially B3 and B5, which are responsible for the production of hormones in the adrenal glands, such as stress and sex hormones. Not to mention that vitamin B6 has a major role in neurotransmitter stimulation and hormones that affect the mood and regulate the body's biological clock. May boost the mood, improve mental health and reduce stress. Of course, they cannotcure mental health conditions but may help in reducing symptoms of anxiety or depression.

According to some studies B vitamins can improve cognitive performance, reduce mental fatigue, and will make you feel better emotionally and physically. Vitamin B complex may help with migraines. In a report from 2015, the effect of vitaminB supplementation intake on people who suffer from migraines was analyzed. Specialists determined that when homocysteine levels are lowered with B6, B12, and folic acid (a synthetic form of B9) – this may help in reducing symptoms of recurring headache with sensory disturbances (migraine with aura). However, deeper research is needed.

It is a common fact that the B complex has multiple benefits for our health and nervous system, still, we have to be careful with the dosage. Here is the recommended daily intake (RDI):

  • Cobalamin (B12): 2.4 mcg;
  • Folate (B9): 400 mcg;
  • Biotin (B7): 30 mcg;
  • Pyridoxine (B6): 1.3 mg;
  • Pantothenic acid (B5):
  • Niacin (B3): 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women;
  • Riboflavin (B2): 1.3 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women;
  • Thiamin (B1): 1.2 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women.

NOTE: If you are pregnant or lactating, you may need higher amounts of B vitamins, also if you have a vitamin deficiency. Best consult your doctor and conduct the necessary blood test to determine your needs. Remember - food supplements are not a substitute for a varied diet.

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