You probably know that B vitamins are essential nutrients that play numerous roles in our bodies. Generally, you can get the proper dosage of them through diet without supplementation because you can find them in regular foods we consume.
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Nevertheless, factors such as dietary choices, pregnancy, age, genetics, medical conditions, and habits require higher demand. That is the main reason why you should start with supplementation and stop relying solely on a diet.
We are talking about eight essential B vitamins, which are known as B-complex vitamins. However, you should know their benefits and potential side effects that may happen after consuming them.
What Are B-Complex Vitamins?
It is vital to understand that B vitamins are water-soluble, which means that we do not store them in our bodies. That is the main reason you should consume them daily unless you wish to cause deficiency, which can lead to severe issues.
Remember that they have a vital function for optimal health, which is why you need to understand everything about them before you decide to start with supplementation.
We can differentiate eight different types, including:
- Thiamine (B1) – B1 vitamin is vital for converting nutrients into energy, which is why you should consume it for a healthy metabolism. You can get enough of it in sunflower seeds, port, and wheat germ.
- Riboflavin (B2) – When it comes to riboflavin, it can act as an antioxidant, which will help you regulate free radicals. At the same time, it is essential for converting food into energy. You can find it in mushrooms, beef, and organic meats.
- Niacin (B3) – You should know that niacin is also vital vitamin that plays a role in DNA production, metabolism, and cellular signaling. The most common food sources include lentils, tuna, and chicken.
- Pantothenic Acid (B5) – Like other B vitamins, it is useful when converting food into energy that you can use. However, it can also help you in cholesterol and hormone production. You can find it in avocados, yogurt, fish, and liver, among other foods.
- Pyridoxine (B6) – One of the essential B vitamins involved in red blood cell production, amino acid metabolism, and neurotransmitters’ creation. Keep in mind that you can consume it through potatoes, salmon, and chickpeas.
- Biotin (B7) – Biotin is an effective solution for fat and carbohydrate metabolism, affecting gene expression. You can find them in numerous food sources, including liver, cheese, salmon, eggs, and yeast.
- Folate (B9) – Folate is necessary for white and red blood cells, amino acid metabolism, cell growth, and cell division. You can find it in numerous foods, including liver, leafy greens, and beans.
- Cobalamin (B12) – This is one of the most popular B vitamins because it is essential for red blood cell development, DNA production, and neurological functions. You can find it in dairy, seafood, eggs, and animal meats.
Remember that even though these vitamins feature similar characteristics, they come with unique functions based on the amount you consume.
Who Should Consume B-Complex Supplements?
We have mentioned above that you can find this particular vitamin in a wide array of foods, which means that you will not enter the point of deficiency unless you have a specific condition or irregular lifestyle.
Remember that particular circumstances will increase the need for B vitamins, which is why you should start with supplementation.
- Breastfeeding and Pregnant Women – The demand for B vitamins during pregnancy grows because it is crucial for fetal development, among other things. At the same time, if you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, you will need to consume this supplement, especially if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. Remember that folate deficiency in breastfeeding or pregnant women can cause congenital disabilities and neurological damages to infants and the fetus.
- Seniors – As we age, our bodies tend to decrease the production of vitamin B12 similarly to appetite, which can lead to deficiencies. You will need to consume some amount from the food you intake, which will provide you with the right amount of stomach acid to protect you. According to estimations, people over fifty years old do not produce enough stomach acid to absorb this particular vitamin. Since a deficiency can lead to mood disturbances and depression, it is vital to consume them frequently. By entering here, you can understand more about different supplements and their effects on your overall health.
- Specific Medical Conditions – It is vital to remember that some medical conditions such as anorexia, hypothyroidism, alcoholism, Crohn’s disease, cancer, and celiac disease can cause nutrient deficiencies. Simultaneously, the problems can affect the way your body metabolizes folate, which can lead to additional health issues due to deficiency. Besides, if you underwent a particular weight-loss regiment or surgery, you need to consume B complex supplements to make sure to maintain and repair your immune system.
- Vegans and Vegetarians – We have mentioned above that animal products feature high levels of B12 and other vitamins. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans usually have B12 deficiency unless they consume certain supplements. Therefore, you need to make sure that you get enough B vitamins if you wish to reduce the animal products from your diet.
- Specific Medications Can Lead to Deficiency – You should know that particular conditions require medications that you need to consume daily. However, they can reduce the ability to intake proper amounts of B vitamins. For instance, if you consume proton pump inhibitors to lower stomach acid, you will reduce the absorption of B12. On the other hand, consuming diabetes drugs such as metformin can lead to low folate levels and B12, which is another thing you should remember.
As you can see from everything we have mentioned above, some people need to take these supplements to improve their overall health.
However, if you are healthy enough, you can take B-complex vitamins to improve your mood and reduce overall stress.
Besides, you can improve your energy and metabolism by consuming them as well. Still, it would be best to talk with a physician to determine whether you can take them without endangering your current health.