vitamin b complex:

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B nutrients are one of the essential nutrient groups for our body. There are 8 different vitamin B nutrients, and they are called vitamin B complex as a whole. These 8 nutrients fall in trace mineral category, which means unlike other nutrients, our body requires these essential nutrients in small amounts.

Vitamin B nutrients are water-soluble nutrients. Which means that our body can’t store these nutrients like other necessary nutrients. We have to intake these nutrients continuously from our daily diet.

B Complex vitamin has many vital functions in our body. Each vitamin B nutrients is responsible for many essential body functions such as supporting cell health, facilitating the red cell regeneration process, aiding in hormone and cholesterol production and many more. There are mainly 8 nutrients that can be categorized under the vitamin B complex group and almost all vitamin B complex supplement products contains these nutrients. Many of these nutrients have many common characteristics but have unique roles to play in our bodies.

8 Essential Water-Soluble Nutrients: Vitamins B Functions

A brief synopsis on these 8 crucial nutrients are provided in the following along with a list of b vitamins:

B1 – Thiamine

Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamine is one crucial nutrient that our body needs to convert the glucose into energy. It is also responsible for boosting our nervous system.

Whole grains, seeds, pork, yolk are rich in thiamine. People whose staple food is white rice and who take excessive alcohol can be exposed to vitamin B1 deficiency. Deficiency in thiamine or vitamin b1 can cause fatigue, irritability, muscle weakness, cognitive dysfunctions, and beriberi. It can result in ‘Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome‘, which is also known as ‘wet brain’.

B2 – Riboflavin

Riboflavin is another essential nutrient among vitamin B complex, which is involved in converting energy for our body. This nutrient is also called vitamin B2 that enhances our eye vision and skin health condition.

Ariboflavinosis or vitamin B2 deficiency is rare to have since it can be found in almost every kind of food sources. People who do not consume dairy products and consume a lot of alcohol are more likely to develop vitamin B2 deficiency. Riboflavin deficiency can result in tongue inflammation, lips soreness, hair loss, and skin rash.

B3 – Niacin

Niacin is another important B vitamin, also known as B3, aids in energy generation by converting not only glucose but also all other kinds of carbohydrates and fats. It boosts the health of our skin, nervous system and digestive system as well.

Niacin or Vitamin B3 can be found in meats, dairy foods, nuts, and bread. Almost every protein enriched food contains niacin. Niacin is very heat stable unlike other nutrients of its kinds.

The symptoms of niacin deficiency, known as pellagra include dementia, loss of appetite, swollen tongue, diarrhea, and mental confusions. It is very crucial to treat pellagra or it can lead to death if left untreated.

B5 – Pantothenic Acid

Like other vitamin B nutrients, pantothenic acid aids the body metabolization of carbs, proteins, and fats. It is also responsible for producing new red blood cells as well as steroid hormones. Pantothenic acid is also effective in fighting off various skin problems. That is why most of the acne supplement products contain vitamin B5 in small amounts.

B6 – Pyridoxine

Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine boosts the red blood cell generation process and supports our brain functions. It is responsible for forming up certain kinds of brain chemicals as well as few hormones. Pyridoxine is also proven to boost our immune function.

Vitamin B6 is common in grains, seeds, legumes, green leaves, vegetables, and shellfish. It is helpful in combatting various medical conditions like Carpal tunnel syndrome and Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Deficiency in vitamin B6 or pyridoxine acid can lead to depression, insomnia, Anaemia, cracked mouth, and muscle twitching. People who consume alcohol excessively or have thyroid disease and women who are on contraceptive pills are more likely to develop pyridoxine deficiency.

B7 – Biotin

Biotin is one of the most needed trace minerals in our body. Our body requires biotin or vitamin B7 to synthesize fat, amino acid, and glycogen. However, high intake of biotin can raise the level of blood cholesterol.

Biotin is widely available in natural foods such as egg yolks, peanuts, liver, poultry, mushrooms and many more. Surprisingly, over-consumption of raw eggs can lead to biotin deficiency, since a protein found in egg whites inhibits biotin absorption.

Biotin deficiency symptoms include pale skin, cracked mouth or tongue, depression, nausea, hair loss, fatigue, and hallucinations.

B9 – Folate or Folic Acid

Folic acid vitamin b is a crucial element required for red cell generation process to make them carry oxygen around the body. Folate or folic acid or vitamin B9 is essential for ensuring cell growth and DNA synthesis.

Citric fruits, leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, eggs, and liver are enriched in folic acids. Pregnant women require a lot of folic acid for the proper growth of the baby in the womb.

B12 – Cobalamin

Vitamin B12 is the most known nutrient amongst multivitamin B complex nutrients. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, helps to maintain a healthy level of the myelin around nerve cells. It is essential for breaking down some fatty acids as well as amino acids. Vitamin B12 or cobalamin complements vitamin B9 or folate in ensuring cell growth.

Health Benefits of Vitamin B Complex

The health benefits of B complex are numerous. This vitamin is essential for performing many core body functions. Some major vitamin b benefits are:

1. Gene Regulation

B-complex vitamins are essential to ensure proper cell growth and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folic Acids), and B12 (Cobalamin) play significant roles to maintain a healthy level of cell growth. Our body requires folic acid to synthesize new genes and cells. It slows down the aging process by suppressing cancer-promoting genes.

2. Cardiovascular Health

Vitamin B complex or super b complex helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol in blood vessels. Low levels folate B9, B6, and B12 are responsible for increasing homocysteine. Homocysteine is a chemical that is responsible for damaging the wall of blood vessels and promoting cholesterol accumulation.

In a study, it has been found that subjects that took doses of vitamin B complex daily have significantly less thick blood which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

3. Improve Mood

Vitamin B complex also functions as a mood booster. Deficiency in vitamin B can lead to depression, anxiety, stress. Vitamin B1 is a proven mood booster. A combination of vitamin B3 and C can cure onset schizophrenia. Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine works well as antidepressant medication.

4. Blood Sugar Level

Vitamin B1 helps to keep the blood sugar level minimum. Our body requires Biotin or B7 vitamin to produce insulin, a hormone that is essential for controlling the blood sugar levels. B1 and B7 vitamins have been proven very effective in reducing the level of microalbuminuria in type 2 diabetes patients. It is a type of protein that can be found in urine.

5. Cognitive Function & Healthy Skin

Vitamin B nutrients play significant roles in boosting our nervous system and cognitive functions. A healthy level of vitamin B12 and other vitamin B nutrients can keep brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia away.

Vitamin B Deficiency Symptoms: Vitamin B RDA
Sources of Vitamin B & Recommended Daily Dosage
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Vitamin B complex also plays a significant role in maintaining healthy skin composition. B vitamin nutrients especially B5 (Pantothenic acid) is very effective in combating acne breakout and other skin problems.

Vitamin B Complex Dosage: Recommended Daily Intake

RDI or Recommended Daily Intake is the daily amount of nutrients that are supposed to be enough for average humans. RDI amount is not something set on the stone, it can vary depending on the age, sex, and other medical information.

Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B-Complex Nutrients
Men Women
1 B1 – Thiamine 1000 MCG 800 MCG
2 B2 – Riboflavin 1300 MCG 1100 MCG
3 B3 – Niacin 16 MG 14 MG
4 B5 – Pantothenic Acid 5 MG 5 MG
5 B6 – Pyridoxine 1400 MCG 1200 MCG
6 B7 – Biotin 30 MCG 30 MCG
7 B9 – Folate or Folic Acid 400 MCG 400 MCG
8 B12 – Cobalamin 2400 MCG 2.6 MCG

B Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms

Our body requires all kind of nutrients, more or less, to function properly. That is why it is imperative to maintain a healthy diet. If you have Vitamin B deficiency you are likely to show symptoms. Here is a list of symptoms of different vitamin B nutrients.

Vitamin B Nutrients Deficiency Symptoms
B1 – Thiamine
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Crack in the mouth and tongue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle Weakness & Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Blurry Vision
B2 – Riboflavin Same as B1
B3 – Niacin
  • Digestive issues
  • Swollen mouth
  • Red tongue
B5 – Pantothenic Acid
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
B6 – Pyridoxine
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Amenia
B7 – Biotin
  • Mild Depression
  • Birth Defects
  • Chest Pain
B9 – Folate or Folic Acid
  • Headaches
  • Loss of focus
B12 – Cobalamin
  • Twitching Muscles
  • Extreme fatigue

Food Sources of Vitamin B

Vitamin B Nutrients Food Sources
B1 – Thiamine
  • Whole Grain
  • Seeds
  • Leafy Vegetables
  • Milk
B2 – Riboflavin
  • Leafy Vegetables
  • Milk
  • Almond
B3 – Niacin
  • Chicken
  • Peanuts
  • Red Meats
  • Dairy Foods
B5 – Pantothenic Acid
  • Milk
  • Red Meat
  • Fish
  • Legumes
B6 – Pyridoxine
  • Salmon
  • Liver
  • Red meat
  • Whole Grain
B7 – Biotin
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Walnuts
B9 – Folate or Folic Acid
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Seeds
  • Eggs
  • Liver
B12 – Cobalamin
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Shellfish

Do You Need Vitamin B Complex Supplements?

Vitamin B is available in almost every cuisine in the world. The best source of vitamin B nutrients is from regular diets.

You won’t need vitamin B complex supplements unless you are deficient in Vitamin B nutrients. However, it is important to rely on a doctor’s opinion rather than doing self-diagnosis. You are likely to in need of vitamin B supplements if you are:

  • Older than 40 years
  • Pregnant
  • Vegan or
  • Suffering from certain medical conditions.

Vitamin B Overdose Symptoms

Vitamin B complex nutrients are water-soluble which means that your body can’t store these nutrients and it is very unlikely to take too much of these vitamin B complex nutrients through food or supplements.

However, it can be very dangerous if anyone takes too much of these trace nutrients. Excessive dosage of vitamin B3 (niacin) and Biotin B7 supplements can lead to vitamin b side effects such as skin problems, vomiting, uncontrolled blood sugar level, and many other unwanted situations. Your body will try to release these excessive nutrients through urination. The color of your urine might turn bright yellow in this case.


It is important to not take any decisions based on any self diagnose. Always heed to the professional council of your doctor in case of any overdosage or taking supplements in the first place.


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