Vitamin B: why is it important and where do we find it?

We all know the effects and importance of vitamin C and vitamin D, and many are unaware that vitamin B is very important for overall health and well-being. In addition to helping to strengthen the immune system, it also ensures that we have enough energy. .

B-vitamins are essential to support cognitive functions in the body, convert food into energy, care for healthy hair, nails and skin, contribute to mental health, stimulate brain function and the production of hormones that begin to decline after 30 years. B-complex vitamins typically provide eight B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 ​​(pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin). .

B-complex vitamins, found naturally in meat, leafy vegetables, dairy products, beans, peas and whole or fortified grains, are water-soluble and play an essential role in some bodily functions, including helping the body get energy from food. , which you eat, and form red blood cells.

B-complex is the common name for a group of eight B-vitamins. They are also known as well-being vitamins, as they have a comprehensive effect on well-being in the body and are our best shield against stress and a fast-paced lifestyle. They help to improve general well-being and also for more specific problems, such as the functioning of the nervous system, regulated brain function, regulated metabolism and digestion, and enough energy.

The role of B-complex vitamins

Each of the eight vitamins in vitamin B complex supplements has its own unique set of health benefits. Vitamin B1, for example, is crucial for the growth, development and function of cells in the body. Other vitamins, such as B2, work in the body along with other B vitamins in converting food into energy. Vitamin B2 converts B6 into a useful form and helps in the production of niacin.

Vitamin B5 breaks down fats and carbohydrates for energy and helps the body use other vitamins such as riboflavin (found in B2). B6 is involved in immune function and is needed by the body to use and store proteins and carbohydrates from food in the form of glycogen.

B7 also helps the body convert fats, carbohydrates and proteins in the food you eat into energy. It is needed for the formation of fatty acids and also for maintaining healthy bones and hair. Vitamin B9 is needed to help cells produce and maintain DNA (a genetic material found in all body cells), while B12 is important for protein metabolism.

Most B vitamins are involved in the process of converting food into energy. Some help in the metabolism of carbohydrates, while others help in the breakdown of fats and / or proteins.

Where are they located?

B vitamins are found mainly in animal food sources and fortified cereals, but they are also found in many vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes.

B1 (thiamine): cereals, whole grains (bread, breakfast cereals, rice, noodles and flour), wheat germ, pork, trout, black beans, shellfish and tuna.

B2 (riboflavin): milk and dairy products, breakfast cereals, beef liver, mussels, portobello mushrooms, almonds and chicken.

B3 (niacin): eggs, fish, cereals, rice, nuts, milk and dairy products, chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, organic meat, peanuts.

B5 (pantothenic acid): meat, avocado, broccoli, kale, eggs, milk, mushrooms, cereals, organic meat, poultry, potatoes and legumes.

B6 (pyridoxine): all soy products, bananas, watermelon, peanut butter, almonds, sweet potatoes, peas, avocados, hemp seeds, spirulina, chia seeds, beans, rice bran, chickpeas, dried fruits, sunflower seeds, pineapple, artichokes, chestnuts, pumpkins, Brussels sprouts, green beans, string beans, pistachios, figs, yeast flakes, baker’s yeast (active yeast), garlic, sage and paprika.

B7 (biotin): beef liver, egg yolk, wheat germ, pork, beef, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, almonds, whole grains, sardines, spinach and broccoli.

B9 (folate): spinach, beef liver, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beans and legumes, asparagus, orange juice, peanuts, avocados, dark leafy vegetables and salmon.

B12 (cobalamin): beef liver (and other organ meat), shellfish, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk and other dairy products, and certain cereals.

Signs of vitamin B deficiency

Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency vary depending on which vitamin B you are deficient in. Some foods contain many more B vitamins, and some are especially rich in specific B vitamins. A balanced diet is key to getting all the nutrients your body needs. Deficiencies of vitamins B1 and B2 are very rare. This is due to the fact that many foods such as milk and whole grains are enriched with these vitamins.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause the following symptoms: fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, balance problems, confusion, poor memory, and pain in the mouth or tongue.

Insufficient amounts of B6 can cause anemia and skin conditions such as itchy rash or cracks around the mouth. B6 deficiency can also cause symptoms such as depression, confusion, nausea, anemia, susceptibility to infections, skin rashes or dermatitis.

Niacin (B3) deficiency can cause digestive problems such as nausea and abdominal cramps. Severe deficiency can also cause mental confusion, otherwise a deficiency of this vitamin is a rare health problem.

Low levels of vitamin B9 can cause the following symptoms: megaloblastic anemia, which causes weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, headache, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, open sores in the mouth, changes in skin, hair or nail color.

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