Vitamins and Minerals 6 MIN READ 93 VIEWS September 14, 2021

B-Complex‌ ‌Vitamins:‌ ‌Benefits,‌ ‌Uses,‌ Risks,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Dosage‌

Written By Jyoti Jaswal

B Complex Vitamins
What Are B-Complex Vitamins?
Who Should Take a B-Complex Vitamin?
Health Benefits of Taking B-Complex Vitamins
Potential Side Effects
Recommended Dosage
A Word From HealthKart

B vitamins are a collection of nutrients that have a variety of functions in the body.

Because these vitamins are found in a wide range of foods, few people acquire the recommended levels from diet only.

Age, pregnancies, dietary choices, health conditions, heredity, medicine, and alcohol usage, on the other hand, all raise the body’s requirement for B vitamins.

Taking supplements with B vitamins may be essential in these cases.

The B-complex vitamins are dietary supplements that include all eight B vitamins.

B-complex vitamins have a variety of health benefits, as well as dosage guidelines and possible negative effects.

What Are B-Complex Vitamins?

All eight B vitamins are commonly found in one pill in B-complex supplements.

B vitamins are water-soluble, which means they don’t become stored in your body. As a result, your diet must provide them on a daily basis.

B vitamins serve a variety of roles and are essential for optimal health.

The following are commonly found in B-complex vitamins:

  • B1 (thiamine): Thiamine is a B vitamin that aids in the conversion of foods into energy. Pork, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ are among the most nutritious foods.
  • B2 (riboflavin): Riboflavin is an antioxidant that aids in the conversion of food into energy. Organ meats, beef, and mushrooms are among the foods high in riboflavin.
  • B3 (niacin): It is a B vitamin that helps with cell signalling, metabolism, and DNA creation and repair. Chicken, tuna, and lentils are some of the foods available.
  • B5 (pantothenic acid): As the other B vitamins, pantothenic acid aids in the absorption of energy from food and is also involved in the creation of hormones and cholesterol. Liver, fish, yoghurt, and avocado are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Pyridoxine (B6): It is engaged in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell synthesis, and neurotransmitter generation. Chickpeas, salmon, and potatoes are some of the foods that are rich in this vitamin.
  • B7 (biotin): Biotin modulates gene expression and is required for carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Yeast, eggs, salmon, cheese, and liver are some of the top biotin-rich foods.
  • Folate (B9): It is required for cell growth, amino acid metabolism, red and white blood cell production, and normal cell division. It’s in meals like leafy greens, liver, and beans, as well as supplements like folic acid.
  • B12 (cobalamin): Perhaps the most well-known of all the B vitamins, B12 is essential for brain function, DNA creation, and the generation of red blood cells. B12 is typically found in animal products such as meats, eggs, shellfish, and dairy.

Even though these vitamins have some similarities, they each serve a different purpose and are required in varying quantities.

Who Should Take a B-Complex Vitamin?

Because B vitamins are found in a variety of foods, you are unlikely to develop a deficiency if you eat a well-balanced diet.

Certain situations, however, enhance the demand for B vitamins, necessitating supplementation.

Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

The need for B vitamins, notably B12 and folate, increases during pregnancy to promote foetal development.

Supplementing with a B-complex vitamin is essential for pregnant or lactating mothers, particularly those who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet.

In pregnant or lactating mothers, a lack of B12 or folate can cause severe neurological problems or genetic abnormalities in the foetus or newborn.

Older Adults

Because your capacity to absorb vitamin B12 reduces as you get older and your appetite drops, getting enough B12 by diet alone might be challenging for some people.

A sufficient quantity of stomach acid is required for the body to release B12 from food so it can be absorbed.

Yet, it’s predicted that 10–30% of persons over the age of 50 don’t generate enough stomach acid to absorb B12 adequately.

In senior folks, B12 deficiency has been associated with higher rates of depression and mood problems.

Vitamin B6 and folate deficiencies are also prevalent in older adults.

Those With Certain Medical Conditions

Celiac illness, cancer, Crohn’s disease, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, and anorexia make people more vulnerable to dietary shortages, particularly B vitamins.

Furthermore, the MTHFR genetic mutation might impact how your body metabolises folate, resulting in a folate deficit as well as other health problems.

Furthermore, those who have had specific weight-loss operations are more likely to be B vitamin deficient.

In these cases, patients are frequently advised to take a B-complex vitamin supplement to treat or prevent deficits.

Vegetarians and Vegans

Animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, and shellfish contain vitamin B12.

Vegans and strict vegetarians may be at danger of having a B12 deficiency if they don’t consume enough fortified foods or take supplements.

A daily B-complex vitamin can help guarantee that people who choose to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet obtain enough of these essential components.

People Taking Certain Medications

B vitamin insufficiency can be caused by commonly given drugs.

Proton pump inhibitors, which reduce stomach acid, can reduce B12 absorption, while metformin, a common diabetes prescription, can decrease B12 and folate levels.

Many B vitamins, including B6, B12, folate, and riboflavin, can be depleted by birth control tablets.

Health Benefits of Taking B-Complex Vitamins

While some patients need to be supplemented with B-complex vitamins due to medical issues, studies have shown that using a B-complex supplement can be beneficial even if you don’t have an elevated requirement for these nutrients.

May Reduce Stress and Boost Mood

B-complex vitamins are frequently used to improve mood and relieve fatigue.

According to several studies, B-complex vitamins can improve your mood and cognitive performance.

Medication with a high-dose B-complex and mineral supplement boosted general mental health and reduced stress, as well as improved cognitive functioning, in a 33-day trial of 215 healthy men.

Another study found that taking a multivitamin with high levels of B-complex vitamins for ninety days decreased stress and mental tiredness in youngsters.

May Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety or Depression

While B-complex vitamin supplements are not a panacea for mental illness, they can help alleviate sadness and anxiety problems.

When compared to a placebo, supplementation with a B-complex vitamin for 60 days resulted in significant reductions in mood and anxiety disorders in 60 individuals with depression.

When used in conjunction with antidepressant medication, B vitamins may improve therapy response.

When compared to a placebo, treating patients with a vitamin comprising B12, B6, and folic acid resulted in a more improved and maintained antidepressant response over a year.

Low blood levels of particular B vitamins, such as B12, B6, and folate, have been associated with a higher risk of depression, which is why, if you’re having depressive symptoms, you should rule out dietary deficiencies.

Potential Side Effects

Because B vitamins are water-soluble, you’re unlikely to get too much of them from your diet or from taking a B-complex supplement as prescribed.

Taking supplements with overly high and unneeded amounts of B-complex vitamins, on the other hand, can cause dangerous negative effects.

Supplemental B3 (niacin) in large dosage can cause nausea, elevated blood sugar, skin flushing, and potentially liver damage..

Furthermore, high B6 doses might result in nerve damage, light sensitivity, and painful skin sores.

B-complex pills can also cause urine to turn bright yellow as a side effect.

Although dark urine may appear alarming, it is only your body’s way of getting rid of vitamins it can’t absorb.

If you require a B-complex supplement, look for trustworthy brands that agree to have their medications evaluated independently by organisations such as the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP).

Each B vitamin has a suggested daily intake that varies by gender, age, and other factors such as pregnancy.

The recommended daily intake (RDI) for B vitamins for women and men is as follows:

B vitamins are required in greater amounts by pregnant and breastfeeding women, whereas infants and children require less.

If you have a B vitamin deficiency, you may need to supplement with higher amounts to make up for it.

As a result, it’s critical to select a B-complex supplement depending on your specific needs for each B vitamin. Consult your doctor about your unique nutrient requirements, which are based on your age and health.

A Word From HealthKart

B-complex supplements may be beneficial to pregnant women, older persons, vegans, and anyone with specific medical disorders.

These nutrients may also help with mood, cognitive function, and depressive symptoms.

If you follow the suggested dosage, which varies with age, nutrient demands, gender, and health, negative effects are rare.

If you’re unsure whether or not taking a B-complex supplement can enhance your health, see your doctor to see if it’s the best choice for you.

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