Are you having trouble sleeping through a whole night? What about your hair and nails – are they not as healthy as they could be? Maybe you suffer from depression, anxiety or low energy? This is the vitamin you might want to add to your diet. Vitamin B complex consists of eight water soluble vitamins – thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin (vitamin H or B7), folic acid (vitamin B9) and the cobalamins (vitamin B12) – termed as vitamin B complex. Because each vitamin has a unique function in the body, there are a number of benefits to making Vitamin B complex part of your “stack.” Below is everything you’ll need to know from what the benefits are, where to find natural food sources and the recommended daily recommendation.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) together with vitamin B7 (biotin) produce energy required by the body. These vitamins all breakdown proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
- Health Benefits Include – prevention against severe migraine attacks, helps prevent heart disease and cancer, treats anemia, reduces the number of free radicals in our body to enhance excellent blood flow, and smooth functionality of muscles. Vitamin B3 alone helps lower bad cholesterol, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, osteoarthritis, and type-1 diabetes. Biotin strengthens hair and nails, helps maintain blood sugar levels, and is necessary for the metabolism of fats.
- Natural Sources Include – oysters, legumes, salmon, chick peas, flax seed, navy beans, soy beans, whole grain bread, brown rice, rice bran, and macadamia nuts.
Vitamin B5 (pantothetic) performs a wide variety of functions in our body, starting from production of neurotransmitters in the brain, to extraction of fats, proteins and other vital nutrients.
- Health Benefits Include – alleviation of conditions like anxiety and stress, hair loss, asthma, allergies, respiratory disorders and heart problems. Along with all that, it can help to improve immunity, osteoarthritis, signs of aging, resistance to various types of infections, physical growth, skin disorders and even diabetes.
- Natural Sources include – The most important sources of Vitamin B5 include cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, legumes, and collard green. There are other significant sources included in foods like salmon, eggs, fish, nuts, milk and dairy products like cheese.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is responsible for making amino acids in the body, creates neurotransmitters like serotonin and metabolizes energy released in creating our red blood cells. *Vitamin B6 increases neurotransmitter activity. When taken late in the day, it can lead to increased dreaming, resulting in a restless night’s sleep.*
- Health Benefits Include – helps relieve edema and reducing water retention, improves magnesium deficiency, cardiovascular occlusions and myocardial infarcts, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, rheumatism, learning and developmental disorders, autism, balances hormones and strengthens the immune system.
- Natural Sources Include – chicken, turkey, beef, pork, cod, salmon, trout, tuna, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, yams, asparagus, whole grains, bran, chick peas, kidney beans, soy beans and lentils.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is essential for the metabolic processes that takes place in our body. It is necessary for the synthesis of the pigmented, iron carrying component of the hemoglobin in red blood cells, and is essential for efficient neural tube development during pregnancy which forms the brain and spinal cord.
- Health Benefits Include – helps with pregnancy and eliminates the chances of birth defects, reduces the occurrence of cancer, fights against stroke and heart disorders, helps in growth and maintenance of muscle tissue, and can help in treating mental and emotional incapability.
- Natural Sources Include – dark leafy greens, asparagus, dry roasted soybeans, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pinto and garbanzo beans, liver and dried herbs.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamins) is a vital component in the creation of our red blood cells. It has been unofficially coined “the energy vitamin.”
- Health Benefits Include – better sleep, healthy pregnancy, promotes absorption of folic acid, treats depression, makes hair and skin healthier, and helps combat mental decline.
- Natural Sources Include – clams, oysters, mussels, liver, caviar, octopus, fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese and eggs.
Below is the list of all B vitamins and there recommended daily allowance for most healthy adults
Vitamin Female Male
Thiamin 1.1mg 1.2mg
Riboflavin 1.1mg 1.3mg
Niacin 14mg 16mg
Vitamin B6 1.3mg 1.3mg
Foliate 400mcg 400mcg
Vitamin B12 2.4mcg 2.4mcg
Pantothenic 5*mg 5*mg
Biotin 30*mcg 30*mcg
* No Recommended Daily Allowance can be established.
To get the most out of any B vitamin, you’ll need all of them, so find a B complex supplement that has all eight in them. B complex is best taken with food – they can cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach and if taken too early in the day. I just started taking vitamin B complex a couple months ago and I have to admit, I do feel like I have a lot more energy to keep up with my eight month old – along with having a clearer mind. Before taking it I had no idea it had so many benefits, and I’m glad I decided to add it to my stack.
Do you already take vitamin B complex? If not, will you now? Let me know if you decided to add with the rest of your supplements – I’d love to hear from you. 🙂