Vitamin B Complex - Vital to Muscles, Nerves, Skin, and Hair!

The Vitamin B Complex, often referred to as 'the beauty vitamins', is a group of eight vitamins altogether but all have different names and functions.

In order, the vitamins are: Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pyridoxine (B6), Folic Acid (B9), Cyanocobalimin (B12), Pantothenic Acid, and Biotin.

All the B vitamins all work with each other in unison and therefore should be taken together.

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Health and Beauty Benefits of Vitamin B

  • Increased energy levels
  • Normal function of the nervous system
  • Muscle tone in the stomach and intestinal tract
  • Skin
  • Hair
  • Eyes
  • Mouth
  • Liver Function

    Most people either get their Vitamin B from foods, taking a multivitamin, or from taking a vitamin b complex. Most people get enough Vitamin B from their daily diet by including breakfast cereals. However in the US especially, since most cereals contain GMO's today, it's best to take them as a supplement.

    If you have a certain lifestyle that affects a particular Vitamin B function, then it might be best to take more of that particular B Vitamin.

    For example, if you consume alcohol on a regular basis, your body is most probably deficient in Thiamin (B1) and Folic Acid (B9). Alcohol (especially in excesses) robs your body of these vital B vitamin’s in particular. Too boot, if you regularly drink alcohol, have liver problems, or take large amounts of OTC's or prescription medicines, then you might consider an increase in particular foods that have high Thiamin and Folic Acid content.

    Foods high in Thiamin and Folic Acid include pork, pistachios, green vegetables, lean ham, potatoes, corn, whole grain cereals, and white rice also.

    B12 is another vitamin that some people need more of. Some people have to get a B12 shot every month for this very reason. You can have a deficiency in B12 as a result of an inability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods or from strict vegetarian diets.

    As a general rule, most individuals who develop a vitamin B12 deficiency have an underlying stomach or intestinal disorder that limits the absorption of vitamin B12. Sometimes the only symptom of these intestinal disorders is reduced cognitive function. Anemia and dementia may follow later. That's why it's best to be sure to get all your B vitamins.

    Here is a list that includes all the vitamins so you can be sure if you are getting enough of the Vitamin B Complex from your food intake, or if you need extra amounts.

    B Vitamin Food List

    Cereal, bread, rice, meat, corn, nuts
    Grains, milk, meat, eggs, cheese, peas
    Meat, milk, fish, legumes, potatoes
    Brewers yeast, eggs, fish, poultry, spinach, walnuts, wheat germ
    B9/Folic Acid
    Yeast, liver, green vegetables, cereal
    Liver, meat, eggs, poultry, milk
    Panthothenic Acid
    Meats, legumes, whole grain cereal
    Egg yolk, brewer’s yeast, mushrooms

    This is just a brief list but it gives you an idea if you might need the extra B Vitamins in your diet. I have a hard time ingesting any 'B-complex' in pill form. I have found the best way to get my extra B vitamins is by either taking a liquid vitamin (available everywhere) or by drinking them as a special flavored packet you mix with water called Emergen C.

    Vitamin B Complex Functions and Deficiencies

    Thiamine - Necessary for red cell formation, carbohydrate metabolism, normal brain function, myocardial contraction, appetite, growth, and energy production.

    Deficiencies: Alcohol consumption and smoking can rapidly deplete Thiamine. Antibiotics, sulfa drugs, and oral contraceptives might deplete levels. A high carbohydrate diet increases Thiamine requirements. They are also linked to Beriberi which is a nervous system disorder.

    Riboflavin - Necessary for red cell formation, cellular respiration, growth, and antibody production. It also plays a role in the conversion of tryptophan to Niacin. Carpel tunnel syndrome has been linked to low levels of Riboflavin and B6.

    Deficiency symptoms are cracked corners of the mouth, inflamed mouth and tongue, hair loss, dermatitis, insomnia, mental lethargy, and retarded growth. Use of oral contraceptives or strenuous exercise increase the need for Riboflavin. It is easily destroyed by light, alcohol, and antibiotics.

    Niacin - Important in normal nervous system function, healthy skin, circulation, and sex hormone synthesis. Used to lower cholesterol levels and treat schizophrenia.

    Deficiencies have been linked to Pellagra, dementia, depression, diarrhea.

    Excessive use can cause liver damage. (over 500mg./day)

    Pantothenic Acid - Plays a role in adrenal hormone synthesis, antibody production, metabolism, neurotransmitter production. A key component of Coenzyme A.

    Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, headache, nausea, and numbness in hands.

    Pryidoxine - Important in red cell production, sodium and potassium balance, (sodium/potassium chain), RNA and DNA synthesis, antibody production, absorption of fats, proteins, and B12. Can act as a mild diuretic.

    Deficiencies include anemia, headache, flaky skin, sore tongue, nausea and vomiting, acne, fatigue, hyper-irritability, oily skin, cognitive decline. Antidepressants, ERT, (Estrogen Replacement Therapy), oral contraceptives, diuretics, and cortisone increase the need for B6.

    Cyanocobalamin - Works with folic acid in the formation of red blood cells, necessary for proper digestion, protein synthesis, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, myelin (muscle) sheath formation on the nerve endings.

    Deficiencies are generally caused by malabsorption in the elderly, people with high alcohol intake, vegetarians. Symptoms include anemia, abnormal gait, dizziness, memory loss, irritability, tinnitis, lethargy. Patients taking an anticoagulants, anti-gout medications, and potassium supplements may have poor B12 absorption.

    Biotin - Plays an essential role in cell growth, fatty acid production, hair and skin repair, protein, carbohydrates and fat metabolism.

    Deficiencies may include cradle cap and dry scalp in infants. Adult deficiencies can happen however, Biotin can be produced in the intestines by consuming 1000 calories per day of meat, milk, poultry, fish, whole grains, or the runny yolks of eggs. Raw egg whites have a substance called 'avidin' that can bind with biotin and deplete normal reserves.

    Folic Acid - Essential in the formation of red blood cells, white blood cells, and RNA and DNA synthesis. It is critical for the prevention of spina bifoda and neural tube defects in the fetus. It works best when combined with B12 and Vitamin C. Recently found to reduce dangerous levels of homocysteine which is associated with severe coronary disease. Has a protective role against cervical cancer, lung cancer, colon polyps, depression, and dementia.

    PABA - Para-Aminobenzoic Acid, also called PABA, is also a part of the Vitamin B Complex. It plays an important role in skin protection, protein metabolism, and red blood cell formation. Helps to maintain normal intestinal flora.

    Deficiencies include depression, fatigue, premature gray hair, irritability, depigmentation of the skin. Sulfa drugs can deplete PABA.

    Over the years, I've found that either Emergenc-C or liquid B vitamins are the best option that won't upset tummies. For many people, the pill form of the vitamin can lead to digestive issues! Since all of the vitamins are different, it's best to leave the dosage up to the manufacturers. Read product labels to get the specifics.

    In this day and age, there are so many reasons in favor of taking vitamin B! Each one serves a specific role in your beauty and health. That's vitally important if you've given up eating cereal, like me!

    Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.

    Related Pages on This Site

    How to Take Vitamins or Medicines so You Don’t Choke

    Take Antioxidant Supplements to Reduce Free Radical Exposure!

    Astaxanthin Benefits for Eyes, Skin, Inflammation, and Much More!

    Vitamin C Antioxidant - Protects Cells and Improves Immune Response

    Essential Selenium Trace Element – Absent in Foods Today

    Glutathione - One of the Most Power-Packed Antioxidants

    NAC Amino Acid - Detoxifies and Protects

    Vitamin E - Powerful Protector and Health Booster

    Vitamin A as Beta Carotene - Promotes Vision & Protects the Skin

    Alpha Lipoic Acid - A Potent Antioxidant for Healthy Cells

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