All About Vitamin B


Vitamin B complex is a group of water soluble vitamins except vitamin C. Vitamin B complex vitamins include vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B 2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B 3 (Niacin),vitamin B 5 (Pantothenic Acid),vitamin B 6 (Pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (Biotin), vitamin B8 (folic acid or folate) and vitamin B 12  (Cyanocobalamin). Vitamin B complex vitamins are involved in various chemical functions of the body.


Sources of vitamin B Complex Vitamins


B vitamins are found in both plants and animal foods. We will take up the food sources of each vitamin B in separate.


Food Sources of Vitamin B1: Good sources of thiamin are peanuts, wheat, bran, pork, sea foods, egg yolk and sunflower seeds.


Food Sources of Vitamin B2: Milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt, eggs, meat and green leafy veggies are good sources of riboflavin.


Food Sources of Vitamin B3: It is mainly found in non vegetarian foods like liver, poultry, fish, meat and fish.


Food Sources of Vitamin B5: Liver, mushrooms, salt water fish, whole wheat, eggs and fresh veggies are good sources of Pantothenic acid.


Food Sources of Vitamin B6: Like niacin, foods rich in pyridoxine are yeast, eggs, chicken, liver, kidneys, fish and carrots.


Food Sources of Vitamin B7: Biotin is present in spinach, nuts, yeast, mushrooms, eggs, cauliflower and cheese.


Food Sources of Vitamin B8: Folic acid is present in green vegetables like spinach and broccoli only.


Food Sources of Vitamin B12: People who don’t eat non veg. may be lacking this vitamin as it is only present in eggs, fish, liver and meat.


Benefits of Vitamin B


B complex vitamins come with endless health benefits like maintaining healthy skin, increasing immunity and decreasing chances of cancer. Here are some of the essential healthy benefits of B complex vitamins.


1. Osteoporosis is most commonly seen in post menopausal women. So, along with hormone replacement therapy if they are given vitamin B supplements then it can greatly improve the condition.


2. Vitamin B complex is quite useful in cases of Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)


3. Improves performance: Vitamin B acts a great energy booster and its supplements are given to athletes.


4. It has been seen that people who wants to leave alcohol consumption habit are provided with vitamin B supplements. Alcohol cravings are seen in case of vitamin B deficiency.


5. Thiamin and Pantothenic acid are great role players in wound healing


6. Mouth ulcers: Vitamin B is used for the treatment of mouth ulcers.


Side Effects Associated with Vitamin B


Like other vitamins, if vitamin B is consumed in access then it can cause some deleterious effects on the human body. Some of the harmful effects associated with excess consumption of vitamin B are:


Excess of Niacin can lead to nausea, vomiting and liver toxicity. Consuming pyridoxine above 1000 mg/day can cause peripheral sensory neuropathy. Excess of folic acid can be damaging to the nervous system. Other B vitamins don’t have much of their side effects.


Deficiency of Vitamin B


Since Vitamin B is a mixture of various vitamins so the deficiency disorders are also separate as per the vitamin. Here is the list of deficiency disorders as per the vitamin.


Vitamin B1: Its deficiency can lead to beriberi. It leads to weak nervous system, arrhythmias, weak and painful limbs and emotional disturbances.


Vitamin B2: It causes ariboflavinosis. Symptoms are cracking of mouth corners i.e. cheilosis, inflammation of tongue i.e. glossitis and sore throat.


Vitamin B3: Its deficiency leads to pellagra. Symptoms of pellagra are insomnia, weakness, diarrhea and mental instability.


Vitamin B6: Microcytic anemia, hypertension and water retention are due to deficient pyridoxine levels in the body.


Vitamin B9: Macrocytic anemia in adults whereas its deficiency in pregnant ladies can lead to birth defects.


Vitamin B12: Its deficiency causes macrocytic anemia along with peripheral neuropathy and memory loss. 

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