Good nutrition requires a well-balanced diet to acquire important nutrients that the body needs. One of the most important nutrients belongs to the B vitamins. These vitamins are essential to prevent several chronic diseases. It is good to know that these B vitamins are widely available in the diet from green leafy vegetables, meats, grains, and internal organs. The benefits of vitamin B complex are related to decreasing the risk of heart problems, research shows. Aside from food sources, people can choose to take supplements and they are complete with eight B vitamins.
These vitamins are water-soluble so the body cannot store them. This is the reason why people need to eat plenty of foods rich in these vitamins in their diet every day. A complete B-complex vitamin should include the following:
- Thiamine (B1) – This B complex benefits the body by converting nutrients to energy during metabolism.
- Riboflavin (B2) – This is an important antioxidant and has the ability to convert the food you eat into usable energy.
- Niacin (B3) – This vitamin is vital for cellular signaling, production of DNA, and metabolism. It is abundant in food such as tuna, chicken, and lentils.
- Pantothenic acid (B5) – Similar to other B vitamins, it is responsible for getting energy from food, production of cholesterol, and hormones in the body. The best sources are fish, liver, avocado, and yogurt.
- Pyridoxine (B6) – It is important in amino acid metabolism, production of neurotransmitters, and healthy red blood cells.
- Biotin (B7) – It is vital in gene expression as well as the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.
- Folate (B9) – This B complex benefits many bodily processes such as the development of healthy red and white blood cells, metabolism of amino acid, and cell growth.
- Cobalamin (B12) – It is one of the most popular among the B vitamins and it is important for neurological functions, healthy red blood cells, and DNA production. It is good to know that it is abundantly found in seafood, meats, egg, and dairy products.
Aside from these functions of each B vitamins, the following are other beneficial vitamin B complex side effects in overall health.
1. Aids Pregnant and Lactating Women
For pregnant and lactating women, the addition of benefits of B vitamin complex in the diet is important for the healthy growth of the fetus inside the mother’s womb. Most of the time doctors recommend supplementation in the diet of people who are vegan, vegetarian, and pregnant women to acquire the right amount of these vitamins. Folate deficiency for both pregnant and lactating women can lead to possible neurological damages and birth defects to infants.
2. Helps in Elderly Nutrition
As people age, nutrient absorption experienced a decline, especially with vitamin B12. One of the main reasons is that most elders do not have an appetite to eat a lot. This makes it difficult to get B complex benefits. A decrease in stomach acid in elders makes it difficult for them to release B 12 from food. According to health professionals, this ability is decreased by 10 to 30 percent as people age. Lack of B12 in the diet is linked to mood swings and depression in the elderly.
3. Helps People with Medical Conditions
Some people are suffering from different medical conditions like celiac disease, hypothyroidism, alcoholism, anorexia, Chron’s disease, and cancer are more prone to B complex deficiency. Also, those who undergo surgery for weight loss are most of the time deficient in the vitamin B complex. All of these circumstances require taking B complex benefits from supplementation.
4. People in Vegan and Vegetarian Diet
B vitamins are mostly found in animal products especially the B12, so people who are in a strict vegetarian diet will suffer from a deficiency in B12. To combat vitamin B complex side effects of not getting enough of it in the diet, they are advised to take supplements.
5. Help People Suffering from Depression
First, it is important to keep in mind that the benefits of vitamin B complex are not a cure for depression and other mental conditions. A research study in 60 elders showed significant improvement after taking treatment accompanied by B complex after 60 days, compared to placebo.