Vitamin B complex

April 20, 2011

Vitamin B, Vitamins

The B complex vitamins are a group of nutrients that are required by the human body for optimal health. Often found in the same foods, B vitamins are water-soluble and are not stored in the body for too long. These nutrients must be consumed every day to maintain health and prevent anemia and other problems. The B complex vitamins are grouped together because they are often found together in foods and depend on one another to perform.

  1. Types

    • There are nine B vitamins that should be consumed daily, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture: folic acid, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), biotin, pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), choline and cobalamin (B12).


    • In general, B vitamins function as co-enzymes, substances that initiate or speed up important reactions such as energy conversion, digestion of nutrients and nerve function.


    • The best food sources of B complex vitamins are whole grains, brewer’s yeast, liver, some beans, peas and nuts.


    • The government established recommended dietary allowances, or RDAs, for each of the B complex vitamins. Intake below this RDA can result in deficiency diseases such as beriberi from a lack of B1.


    • Illness from a deficiency of any of the B vitamins is more likely during fasting or weight loss, and in individuals with gastrointestinal absorption diseases.

Read more: Facts About B Complex Vitamins |

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