B-complex vitamins are water-soluble vitamins. When first discovered, it was thought to be a single compound and was named vitamin B. Further research demonstrated that there are multiple, chemically distinct B vitamins, which are often present in the same foods.
B-Complex vitamins comprise of 8 individual B-vitamins:
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
It is essential for proper nerve and muscle function. Studies reveal that it plays an important role in carbohydrate and BCAA metabolism. Heavy workouts may increase the requirement for thiamine.
VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)
It plays a major role in the utilization of cell oxygen. It plays an important role in the metabolism of fat, carbohydrate, and proteins. Just like thiamine, heavy exercise may increase its requirement.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Niacin provides dietary support for a healthy blood lipid profile. It may function in DNA replication and repair.
VITAMIN B5 (PANTOTHENIC ACID)
It is mainly required for fatty acid metabolism. It is also required for making blood cells and thus it is one of the important vitamins for the human body.
VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE, PYRIDOXAL, PYRIDOXAMINE)
It is required for proper hemoglobin synthesis. It is essential for the nervous system and immune system function.
It provides dietary support for healthy nails and hair. It also acts as a trace element that supports normal cell growth.
VITAMIN B9 (FOLIC ACID OR FOLATE)
Folic acid supports healthy fetal development. Folic acid provides dietary support that may support homocysteine levels.
This one vitamin is found mainly in animal sources. Essential for proper neurological function, for nerve tissue formation and for energy production and red blood cells.
Who should take B-Complex Vitamins?
B-Complex vitamins are important for every adult, but there are certain groups who do face vitamin B-complex deficiency the most.
Aging reduces the capacity of the body to absorb certain vitamin B complexes like Vitamin B12, B6, and Folate. Hence, the major focus should be given to these vitamins as they play an important in normal cell metabolism.
Vegetarians and Vegans
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products. Hence, vegetarian and vegan can be at risk of developing Vitamin B12 deficiency if they do not take the support of Vitamin B12 supplements.
Vitamin B-complex particularly plays a very important role during pregnancy. The main vitamin B to focus on would be Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. Studies show that vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to early pregnancy loss, low birth weight, high blood pressure in the woman, and fetal abnormalities.
A balanced diet can be the key to stay healthy and fit. Most of the B-complex vitamins are found in naturally rich leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, eggs, lean protein, mushrooms, etc.
Deficiency of single vitamin B can hamper your normal metabolism cycle cause a number of symptoms, including tiredness, anemia, loss of appetite, depression, abdominal pain, muscle cramps, hair loss, and eczema.
And hence, supplementation becomes very important and helps bridge the gap.
We at GNC always recommend consulting your healthcare professionals or getting in touch with our qualified team of nutritionists before buying any supplement. They will exactly be able to help you with your requirement, a post discussing your activity, age, gender, and daily intake of food.
Peters R. A. (1936). THE VITAMIN B COMPLEX. British medical journal, 2(3957), 903–905. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.3957.903.