Vitamin-B Complex


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Vitamin-B Complex - Properties and Sources of Vitamin B-Complex

Vitamins are the building blocks of the body. They are used to prevent or treat a vitamin deficiency due to poor nutrition , certain illnesses or during pregnancy .

Vitamin B is a complex of several vitamins. These are water soluble vitamins, and are linked together in several chemical ways. They are formed from either bacteria, yeast's, fungi, or moulds. They are important for many reasons, from helping your cells grow properly to converting food to energy.

Vitamin B complex includes thiamin ( B1 ), riboflavin ( B2 ), niacin ( B3 ), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine ( B6 ), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9) and cobalamin ( B12 ). Many of these different nutrients are actually present in the same food source.

The B-vitamins are often called the "stress" vitamins. When our bodies are forced to withstand the demands of physical or emotional stress, the B-vitamins and other key nutrients are the first to be depleted.

Properties and Sources of vitamin B complex:

The important properties and sources of vitamin B complex are as:-

Vitamin B1: It is also called thiamine, which is needed for release of energy from carbohydrates. It helps in functioning of nervous system. Thiamin may enhance circulation, helps with blood formation and the metabolism of carbohydrates. It is also required for the health of the nervous system and is used in the biosynthesis of a number of cell constituents, including the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Found in Brewer's yeast, wheat germ, oatmeal, whole wheat, bran, whole brown rice, black strap molasses, soybeans, and meats.

Vitamin B2: It is also called riboflavin, which is needed for converting proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy. It can increase circulation and reduce high blood pressure. Cheese and milk are the best dietary sources of this vitamin, also green vegetables and whole grains.

Vitamin B3: It is also called niacin. Vitamin B3 is required for cell respiration, helps in the release of energy and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, proper circulation and healthy skin, functioning of the nervous system, and normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids. Fish and chicken are good natural sources. Meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, bread, fortified breakfast cereals, potatoes, fish and brewers yeast are all good food sources of vitamin B3, also known as niacin.

Vitamin B5: It is needed for release of energy from food; helps in the functioning of the adrenal gland and in the formation of antibodies.

Vitamin B6: It is also called pyridoxine, which is needed for metabolism of protein, hence requirements related to protein intake; helps to maintain fluid balance, a requirement for healthy red blood cells. Whole grains are a good source of this vitamin.You can get your vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine , from these good food sources:

  • potatoes, breakfast cereals, bread, meat, fish, eggs, baked beans, bananas, nuts and seeds - especially sunflower seeds.

Vitamin B12: It is also called cyanocobamin, which is needed for red blood cell production and maintenance of protective sheath around nerves. Cobolamin is needed to stimulates appetite, promotes growth and release energy. It is often used with older people to give an energy boost, assist in preventing mental deterioration and helps with speeding up thought processes. Found in liver, kidney, meats, fish, dairy products and eggs.

Folic acid - Essential for growth and reproduction of cells, particularly red blood cells. The best natural sources of folate are:

  • vegetables, asparagus, peas, whole grains, nuts, liver, kidneys and yeast. Folate can also be found in some fortified flour based products.

Biotin - involved in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. Required for healthy skin and hair. Biotin, found as an ingredient in many of today's shampoos and hair conditioners, is said to repair damaged hair and keep hair healthy. Can be found in Brewer's yeast and nuts

B vitamins Deficiency

These includes:

  • Vitamin B 1 (Thiamine) deficiency causes Beriberi. Symptoms of this disease of the nervous system include weight loss, emotional disturbances, Wernicke's encephalopathy (impaired sensory perception), weakness and pain in the limbs.
  • Vitamin B 2 (Riboflavin) deficiency causes Ariboflavinosis . Symptoms may include cheilosis (cracks in the lips), high sensitivity to sunlight, angular cheilitis , glossitis (inflammation of the tongue), seborrheic dermatitis
  • Vitamin B 3 (Niacin) deficiency, along with a deficiency of tryptophan causes Pellagra . Symptoms include aggression, dermatitis , insomnia , weakness , mental confusion, and diarrhea.
  • Vitamin B 5 (Pantothenic acid) deficiency can result in Paresthesia , although it is uncommon.
  • Vitamin B 6 (Pyridoxine) deficiency may lead to anemia , depression , dermatitis, high blood pressure ( hypertension ) and elevated levels of homocysteine .
  • Vitamin B 8 deficiency does not typically cause symptoms in adults but may lead to impaired growth and neurological disorders in infants.
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