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B –vitamin complex
B vitamins are a group of water soluble nutrients that have very important physiologic and metabolic functions in the body. A vitamin B complex usually supplies people with all 8 of the B vitamin family in varying concentrations. Because B-vitamins are water soluble it means that they are not stored in the body for long and so they need to be continually replaced by diet or supplementation. Unfortunately not all diets will supply you with you with all you B vitamin requirements. Vegan diets specifically are very low in Vitamin B 12(Cobalamin) due to lack of animal products, while low carbohydrate diets are low in vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) due to cutting out grains and beans.
Vitamin B1 is necessary to metabolize food for energy in our body which produces ATP adenosine triphosphate which is the most basic forum of energy in the body.
Vitamin B2 is necessary for a range of different activities in the body from boosting energy levels to reducing inflammation and to treating headaches / migraines.
Vitamin B3 Niacin
Vitamin B3 Niacin has been linked to maintaining a healthy balance of cholesterol lipids, thus protecting the cardiovascular system also aiding metabolism and protecting brain and nerve function.
Vitamin B3 Niacin may cause side effects in people whom take large doses. Side effects include low blood pressure, flushed skin, allergic reaction, and nausea.
Vitamin B5Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid is responsible for the liberation of energy from protein, carbohydrates and fats. It is also involved in the regulation of blood sugar and haemoglobin production, immune system, hormone production and essential in the formation of new skin and hair cells.
Vitamin B6 is used by the body every single day since it plays a part in such major functions including movement, memory, energy expenditure and blood flow.
Vitamin B7 Biotin
Vitamin B7 Biotinis important stuff when it comes to maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails. A deficiency in Biotin can lead to brittle hair and dry skin. Biotin deficiency is usually rare amongst people with a balanced diet. Although those who have digestive disorders such as leaky gut or those who are considered heavy smokers and consumers of alcohol risk of deficiency is increased.
Vitamin B9 Folic acid
Vitamin B9 also known as folate or folic acid. Folate is one of the most abundant forums of vitamin B9 found in the diet. While folic acid is a more stable forum that is commonly used in supplements. Vitamin B 9 has been widely used as a pregnancy supplement to reduce a number of birth defects, such as Neural tube defects during the first few weeks in pregnancy. B9 has also been used to reduce Homocysteine levels in the body which may help protect against Alzheimer’sand Cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin B12 Cobalamin is one of the most frequently seen deficiencies in those whom follow an animal product free vegan diet. This is because Vitamin B12 does not usually occur in plant-based diets. Vitamin B 12 is particularly important for the formation and multiplication of red blood cells in the body. Symptoms of even a minor deficiency can include confusion, tiredness, depression and anaemia.
The B vitamin family are a very important bunch as you have seen they are responsible for a huge number of reactions and functions in the body but a lot of food processing and cooking has the ability to destroy the concentration in our food, that’s why supplementing with B vitamins has become a popular approach to preventing deficiency.