What Is Vitamin B Good For?
What is vitamin B good forrequires a “complex” answer. There is no vitamin B, rather there are 8 vitamins which make up the vitamin B-complex group. Each vitamin in the B-complex has a varied and specific function, but all B-complex vitamins are needed for normal functioning of enzymes responsible for processes such as converting sugar into energy, and basic cellular health in the body.
All B-complex vitamins are water soluble, and play a very important roll in cell metabolism. They are chemically distinct from each other, yet are often found in the same foods. Supplements containing all 8 B vitamins are called B-complex supplements, and individual B vitamin supplements are referred to by the specific B vitamin such as B1, B2, B12 etc. Below is a list of the B-complex vitamins and how they are beneficial to the body.
B1 – Thiamine or Thiamin: This vitamin is involved with the nervous system, muscle functioning, and multiple enzyme processes in the body. It helps to regulate carbohydrate metabolism, and the production of hydrochloric acid which is necessary for proper food digestion. There is very little thiamine stored in the body, so it can be depleted quickly. It is found in beans, milk, nuts, oats, oranges, pork, rice, whole grains, and yeast.
B2 – Riboflavin: This B vitamin is needed to help break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also makes it possible for the body to use oxygen. It is found in milk and dairy products, meats, fish, leafy-green vegetables, and whole grains.
B3 – Niacin, Nicotinic Acid and (amide, niacinamide): Vitamin B3 is used to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. It also helps to turn carbohydrates into energy, and keep the nervous system, digestive system, skin, hair, and eyes healthy. It can be found in meat, fish, eggs, milk, green vegetables, cereal grains, and yeast.
B5 – Pantothenic Acid: This vitamin helps to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with the other B vitamins. Most often found in peas, lean meat, poultry, fish, and whole grain, there is not usually a deficiency of just vitamin B5, but will be deficient along with other vitamins which might be deficient in the body.
B6 – Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride: This vitamin is required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin, and norepinephrine, which are mood regulators in the body’s system. It is also involved in myelin formation, the protective and insulating nerve covers. It also helps to lower homocysteine levels, lowering the risk for heart disease. It is found in legumes, cereal grains, vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, fish, liver, flour and meat.
B7 – Biotin: This vitamin is necessary for the formation of glucose and fatty acids, used to fuel the body. It is an important vitamin for the metabolism of amino acids, and carbohydrates. It is in liver, salmon, cauliflower, carrots, bananas, soy flour, cereals, and yeast.
B9 – Folate, Folic Acid: Folate occurs naturally in foods, and folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin. Folate helps to produce and maintain new cells, and to help make normal red blood cells, in order to prevent anemia. Folate is found in cereals, baked goods, asparagus, okra, leafy vegetables, fruits, legumes, mushrooms, liver, orange juice, tomato juice, and yeast.
B12 – Cobalamins, Cyanocobalamin: The cobalamins help to prevent abnormal neurologic and psychiatric symptoms in the brain. Cyanocobalamin supplies essential methyl groups for the synthesis of protein and DNA, and is stored in the liver. People at risk for B12 deficiency might be the elderly, strict vegetarians, or people with liver or kidney disease. B12 is found in fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, and dairy products.
If you are wondering why there are some numbers missing, it is because the missing B vitamins, such as B4, B8, B10, B11, were once believed to be vitamins, but are no longer considered such, and are not considered part of the B-complex vitamins. They are no longer either considered essential to the human body, have no known nutritional value, or may even be toxic to humans. The 8 B vitamins that are included in the B-complex group together accomplish very important overall health benefits in the body such as:
Carbohydrate, fat and protein synthesis
Increased energy production
Maintain a healthy nervous and muscular system
Lower cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fat)
Assist in the growth and maintenance of healthy cells
What is Vitamin B good for? Individually, vitamin B-complex vitamins have their own specific functions, yet these water soluble vitamins work also as a team to help your body function properly, and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and neurological problems that might occur. It helps you to use oxygen in your body, and helps to make healthy cells.