Benefits of Vitamin B
There are 8 micro-nutrients that make up the Vitamin B category and are essential for good health and normal function of your body. They are all water soluble, which means they are not stored in the body. As such, they must be part of your daily diet or supplement routine. Continue reading to learn the benefits of vitamin B.
The Vitamin B complex includes the following nutrients(1):
- Thiamine – B1
- Riboflavin – B2
- Niacin – B3
- Pantothenic acid – B5
- Pyridoxine -B6
- Biotin – B7
- Folate – B9
- Cobalamin – B12
Each of their functions and best food sources are outlined below:
B1 – Nerve function, along with glucose metabolism
- Sources: Nuts/Seeds, pork, green peas, beans, and brown rice.(2)
- The RDA is 1.2mg per day for adults.
B2 – Eye and skin health, metabolism
- Sources: Asparagus, broccoli and spinach, eggs, organ meats, lean meats.(3)
- The RDA is 1.1 mg – 1.3 mg per day for adults.
B3 – Metabolism of carbs and fats, skin health, nervous system function, and digestion
- Sources: Pork, chicken, brown rice, peanuts, avocados, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.(4)
- The RDA is 14 to 16 mg per day for adults.
B5 – Hormones and red blood cell production, along with metabolism
- Sources: Poultry, beef, organ meats, seafood, eggs, milk, mushrooms, avocados, potatoes, broccoli, peanuts, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, and brown rice.(5)
- The RDA is 5 mg per day for adults.
B6 – Carb and protein metabolism, production of red blood cell and neurotransmitters, and steroid hormone activity
- Sources: Beef, turkey, chicken, wild-caught salmon, sweet potatoes, potatoes, sunflower seeds, pistachios, avocados, spinach, and bananas. Another excellent source is nutritional yeast.(6)
- The RDA is 1.2 – 1.7 mg per day for adults.
B7 – Fat and carbohydrate metabolism
- Sources: Meat, fish, eggs, organ meats, nuts/seeds, sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli.(7)
- The RDA is 30 mcg per day for adults.
B9 – Development of fetal nervous system, cell growth, DNA synthesis, and red blood cells
- Sources: Fresh, raw, organic leafy green vegetables, especially broccoli, asparagus, spinach and turnip greens, beans, liver, nutritional yeast, and avocados.(8)
- The RDA is 400 mcg per day for adults, if coming from Folate.
Folate, the natural form found in foods, is much better for us than synthetic folic acid, which has to be activated inside the body to be of use. Make sure your supplement contains folate and not folic acid.
B12 – Peripheral nerve and neurological function, mental ability, and production of red blood cells
- Sources: Beef, liver, lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, poultry, eggs, and dairy.
- The RDA is 2.4 mcg per day for adults. As a person with chronic B12 deficiency, Dr. K takes 5000 mcg per day.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, nutritional yeast is high in B12.
- Thiamine – B1 – 1.2 mg
- Riboflavin – B2 – 1.1 mg – 1.3 mg
- Niacin – B3 – 14 – 16 mg
- Pantothenic acid – B5 – 5 mg
- Pyridoxine – B6 – 1.2 – 1.7 mg
- Biotin – B7 – 30 mcg
- Folate – B9 – 400 mcg
- Cobalamin – B12 – 2.4mcg
Benefits of Vitamin B
B Vitamins play an important role in your health and wellbeing.
First off, they help support a normal functioning immune system. A recent research study concluded, “Vitamin B assists in proper activation of both the innate and adaptive immune responses, reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, improves respiratory function, maintains endothelial integrity, prevents hypercoagulability and can reduce the length of stay in hospital.” (9)
Cell Function and Metabolism
This same study also indicated that Vitamin B “…plays a pivotal role in cell functioning…[and] energy metabolism.”(9)
Both Vitamin B6 and B12 have been shown to support lower levels of anxiety and depression, as outlined in another recent study.(10, 11)
Nervous System and Cardiovascular Health
B vitamins are also essential for neurological health and your cardiovascular system.(12) A published research study concludes, “…B vitamins thiamine (B1), pyridoxine (B6), and cobalamin (B12) are key players, which maintain the neuronal viability in different ways. Firstly, they constantly protect nerves against damaging environmental influences. While vitamin B1 acts as a site-directed antioxidant, vitamin B6 balances nerve metabolism, and vitamin B12 maintains myelin sheaths.
“The presence of vitamins B1, B6, and B12 paves the way out to…supporting the development of new cell structures. Furthermore, vitamin B1 facilitates the usage of carbohydrates for energy production, whereas vitamin B12 promotes nerve cell survival and remyelination.”
How to Ensure You Get the Benefits of Vitamin B
Dr. Kalaba’s recommended source of a full spectrum B Complex is Biotics Research Bio B Complex. This supplement can be purchased from many holistic healthcare providers (chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopathic physicians). If you are part of Dr. Kalaba’s practice, this can be ordered for you and picked up at the office.
Dr. Kalaba is a chiropractor in Tucson, AZ, practicing gentle chiropractic care and providing health tips to help you live the best rest of your life.
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