Most people have heard the term “B vitamin complex” without really understanding what that means! The general public does not usually understand about the role that Vitamin B plays in the body in the same way it understands about the antioxidant and immune-supporting powers of Vitamin C.
However, the vitamins play an incredibly important role in the body’s health – and lack of certain B vitamins can have serious consequences. Lack of B8 while in utero puts a baby at risk for defects like spina bifida. A lack of B12, on the other hand, can severe neurological problems and even effect mental health. A breakdown of the 8 different vitamins which make up the Vitamin B complex is given, along with the functions they help with in body.
The B Vitamins and What They Do
B1 – Thiamine
Thiamine is needed by the body to help with the proper metabolism of carbohydrates in order to make energy.
Riboflavin also helps the body to produce energy as well as aiding in the catabolism process for essential fatty acids.
B3 – Niacin
Niacin helps the body to break down sugars, alcohols and fats and, in larger doses, can be used to help control or prevent heart disease.
B5 – Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic acid is used by the body for the oxidation process of both carbohydrates and fatty acids. It is also needed for the health of neurotransmitters in the brain.
B6 – Pyridoxine
Pyridoxine is also needed for metabolism and the maintenance of normal energy levels.
B7 – Biotin
Biotin is used by the body to help is break down fats and carbohydrates; it also is necessary for healthy skin and hair.
B8 – Folic Acid
Folic acid is necessary for the health of the central nervous system and lack of it during pregnancy can cause serious neural defects. It also helps with red blood cell production.
B12 – Cobalamin
Cobalimin is needed by the cells themselves in order to metabolize and break down carbohydrates for energy.
Below, a recipe high in the Vitamin B complex is given. It is not only delicious but it will help to keep levels of the B vitamins in the body at adequate levels.
Recipe for Vitamin B-Rich Smoothie
- 1 peeled and cored apple
- ½ cup chopped pineapple
- ½ beet root, leafy top included
- 2 stalks of celery, leaves discarded
- 1 peeled carrot
Add ingredients together in juicer and process, then refrigerate and enjoy!
Vitamin B deficiencies are actually very common, especially for women. If a deficiency is suspected, however, simple blood work can uncover it and a treatment plan can begin. For most people, though, eating a diet that is rich in these vitamins as well as taking a multivitamin supplement which contains them is enough to keep levels adequate and the body healthy.
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