How Much Vitamin B Should I Take?
What is Vitamin B?
The B vitamins are a group of eight vitamins. They were once thought of as one vitamin but more detailed research later found that there are eight separate vitamins which make up the group. All of these are required by our body to maintain our health.
The B vitamin group is made up of the following vitamins:
* Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
* Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
* Vitamin B3 – Niacin
* Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
* Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine
* Vitamin B7 – Biotin
* Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid
* Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin
What’s the right amount to take?
The various B vitamins all have specific recommended daily allowances. The recommended amount of vitamin B6 is 1.4mg per day for a man and 1.2mg per day for women.
For vitamin B12 the daily requirement is just 0.0015mg. If you are taking a vitamin supplement for your vitamin B12 intake you can take up to 2mg and should not suffer any ill effects as a result.
For vitamin B3 the recommended daily intake is 17mg per day for a man and 13mg per day for a woman. There are two known forms vitamin B3, they are known as nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. These are both found in various foods. Vitamin B3 can’t be stored by our bodies so it is needed daily as part of our diets.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is required to work alongside vitamin B12 to create healthy red blood cells. An adult will need 0.2mg per day. Pregnant women will need to increase this amount to 0.4mg. This can be done with the safe use of a supplement or by careful dietary control. This means not taking more than 1mg per day by use of a supplement.
What happens if my body does not receive enough vitamin B?
Vitamin B is required to maintain a healthy body. It is used to maintain healthy red blood cells. It helps to keep nerves and tissue healthy, is important to the immune system and helps to maintain healthy skin and hair among other things.
Where should my vitamin B come from?
In most cases vitamin B can come from a healthy balanced diet. B vitamins are mainly found is fish, meat and dairy products such as eggs, milk and yoghurt.
For those who are not able to gain enough vitamin B from their diet it is important to safely use a good quality vitamin B supplement. Due to the nature of the foods rich in vitamin B, vegans especially can benefit from a vitamin B supplement. It is also important to supplement your vitamin B intake if you have special medical requirements which mean you are not able to eat foods which naturally contain vitamin B. If this is the case consult your doctor for advice.
Vitamin B supplements are available as a blend of the eight vitamins which make up the group and also separately should you need to isolate one of the vitamins in particular. Folic acid supplements are widely available for pregnant mothers.
As with all supplements, it is important not to exceed the stated dose. Our body cannot store vitamin B so taking more than it requires daily is pointless and can even be very harmful if far too much is consumed.