Here’s What You Need to Know About B Vitamins

if you know Anyone who is deficient in B vitamins, you’ll likely see them taking a B-complex vitamin supplement. They’re touted as a cure-all for all your B vitamin-related needs, but do you really need it?

“B complex vitamins are a group of essential micronutrients consisting of water-soluble B vitamins. [They] Regular energy replenishment is required to maintain overall body function. ” Amy ShapiroMS, RD “These micronutrients are critical for maintaining energy levels due to their important role in metabolic processes.”

B complex vitamins also play a considerable role in the health of the brain and nervous system. It is made up of eight smaller vitamins: thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, Folic Acid and Cobalamin (Vitamin B12).

“They are called ‘B-complex vitamins’ because although they are different vitamins, they function very similarly in the body and are thus grouped together,” says Destiny Moody, RD, Sports Performance Nutritionist. “Without enough B vitamins, our metabolism can’t perform at its best.”

Next, you should learn about these important nutrients.

What are B-complex vitamins?

As we mentioned above, B complex vitamins are a group of B vitamins that help our bodies function. These vitamins are water-soluble, “meaning they dissolve in water and are not stored in our bodies,” Shapiro said. We need these vitamins in our diet to maintain our levels, and the B vitamins work best together.

What Are the Benefits of B-Complex Vitamins?

They are responsible for anabolic (accumulation) and catabolic (breakdown) processes in the body, including the release and breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids. They also deliver oxygen and energy-containing nutrients to the body.

And there’s more, says Shapiro: B vitamins act as coenzymes that help speed up these processes, especially within the brain and nervous system.they even with Improve mental health and cognitive performance.

Each specific vitamin has its own unique role. For example, vitamin B12, in particular, helps maintain red blood cells and provides some of the coating on our nerves that helps conduct nerve impulses, says Moody. Most of the other vitamins in this complex act as coenzymes, helping the body generate enough energy to power everything from getting out of bed to crushing a basketball game. That’s why you’ll typically find B vitamins in energy and sports drinks.

“Simply put, B vitamins are essential to our health because they are the helpers of all the other hormones and enzymes that control our metabolism and other bodily processes that we don’t consciously control,” Moody said. They are “the ultimate background actors of our bodies.”

What are the risks of taking too much B-complex vitamins?

Yes, you need all the B vitamins. Yes, like most things in life, there can be too much of a good thing.

“It’s possible to get too many B vitamins from supplements. The first thing you notice after taking high doses of B vitamins is neon yellow urine, but that’s not harmful,” says Moody. B vitamins are water-soluble, so if you take too much, your body usually excretes the excess.

However, taking very high doses of supplements may overwhelm your kidneys and liver to the point where they cannot safely clear these compounds, so you should still take the recommended doses when supplementing. More serious consequences of overdose are vomiting, diarrhea and liver damage.

“only Three B vitamins Daily consumption is capped. The folic acid upper limit was set because increasing folic acid intake may mask vitamin B12 deficiency. The upper limit for niacin is because intakes above 100 mg may cause temporary flushing of the skin,” Shapiro said. “Finally, excess vitamin B6 intake may lead to reversible sensory neuropathy, but more research is needed to understand this associated. ”

What foods can you get B vitamins from?

You probably aren’t getting enough B vitamins from the foods on your plate.

“In general, most men get enough B vitamins from their diet, but in some cases they can be deficient,” Moody said. Men who follow a restrictive diet may not get enough of the vitamin, especially if they are vegetarian. B12 occurs naturally in animal foods, but it is also fortified in some foods such as cereals, plant-based milks, and nutritional yeast. Men who drink too much alcohol may also be deficient in B vitamins because alcohol depletes B vitamins in the body.

B vitamins occur naturally in many foods, including milk, eggs, seafood, beef, chicken, turkey, fortified grains and most vegetables, says Moody.

How much B complex vitamins do you need?

This is a bit of a complicated question because the amount you need depends on each of the eight don’t need to remember number, but you may want to scan your food and/or supplement labels to make sure you’re getting 100 percent of your daily value for these vitamins, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan.Most common B complex vitamin B12 deficiencyyou can find it in animal products and fortified breakfast cereals or milk.

How to know if you are deficient in B vitamins?

Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, weakness and sluggish reactions, Shapiro said. More specific symptoms depend on which B vitamins are lacking or not being absorbed in the diet. Since you depend on B vitamins to function on a daily basis, you’ll usually know if there’s a problem with your B vitamin intake.

“Because B vitamins play a role in energy production, red blood cell production and helping nerve impulse transmission, when you don’t get enough of these vitamins, you’ll see signs in these body systems,” says Moody. “You may experience numbness or tingling in your extremities, muscle weakness, anemia or an irregular heartbeat.”

More severe deficiencies have wider effects on the body. Some may be permanent, depending on how severe the deficiency is and how long it lasts. “These effects include depression, memory loss, confusion, decreased motor function, or paranoia,” Moody said.

What to know about choosing a B-complex vitamin supplement:

As always, check with your primary care physician or registered dietitian to see if a B-complex supplement is right for you. A blood test can tell if you’re getting enough vitamin B12 and other nutrients.

A general guideline to keep in mind when buying any vitamin is to make sure it’s been third-party tested, Shapiro says. The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, so supplement companies don’t need to tell you exactly what you’re taking. Examples of these third-party lab companies include Consumer Labs, NSF, or Informed Choice.

“These labs test supplements for purity, safety and efficacy, and nutritionists always advise consumers to rely on products that have gone through this process for best results,” Moody said. Especially with B-complex supplements, make sure that all B vitamins are included in the product, and check the specific dosage based on your body’s needs.

Watch out for supplements that contain excess vitamins, such as 500% DV or higher. “You should also make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12. Not only is it one of the most important B vitamins in your multivitamin, it’s also one of the most commonly deficient and therefore most in need of supplementation,” she says.

But remember, unless your doctor tells you to supplement, you probably don’t need to waste your money.

“As long as you stick to a healthy diet with a balanced intake of lean protein and vegetables, there’s no need to take B-complex supplements,” says Moody. “Like vitamin C, B-complex vitamins are water-soluble. Therefore, they cannot be stored for later use. The body uses what it needs and the rest is excreted in urine as waste.”

Avatar of Perry O. Bloomberg

Perri is a New York-born writer. She holds a BA in Psychology from Columbia University and is a graduate of the Culinary School of the Plant-Based Natural Food Institute (now the Center for Natural Food, Institute of Culinary Education). Her work has appeared in The New York Post, Men’s Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Oprah Daily,, Architectural Digest, Southern Living, and more. She might have seen the Dave Matthews Band in your hometown, and she would never say no to a Bloody Mary. Visit for more information.

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