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Vitamin B

B vitamins are essential for overall health and well-being. B vitamins, as the building blocks of a healthy body, have an immediate impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism.

Pure Medical - Vitamin B

Vitamin B

B vitamins are essential for overall health and well-being. B vitamins, as the building blocks of a healthy body, have an immediate impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism.

Overview

What exactly is Vitamin B complex?

The vitamin B complex is made up of eight B vitamins:

Each of these essential vitamins contributes to the overall function of your body. Continue reading to learn more about how these nutrients can help you, how much you need, whether you should take supplements, and other topics.

What happened to Vitamins B4, B8, B10 and B11?

The gaps in the list of B vitamins is because these substances are no longer considered to meet the definition of a vitamin, i.e., not essential for normal growth and nutrition.

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Benefits

What are the benefits?

B vitamins are essential for overall health and well-being. B vitamins, as the building blocks of a healthy body, have an immediate impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism.

Vitamin B complex aids in the prevention of infections and aids in the support or promotion of:

  • Cell health
  • Growth of red blood cells
  • Energy levels
  • Good eyesight
  • Healthy brain function
  • Good digestion
  • Healthy appetite
  • Proper nerve function
  • Hormones and cholesterol production
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Muscle tone

In females

B vitamins are especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women. These vitamins promote foetal brain development while also lowering the risk of birth defects.

In addition, B vitamins may increase energy levels, alleviate nausea, and reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia in expectant mothers.

In males

B vitamins are thought to boost testosterone levels in men, which naturally decline as they get older. They may also aid men in gaining muscle and increasing their strength. Human studies confirming these claims, however, are lacking.

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Dosage

The amount of each B vitamin that should be consumed on a daily basis varies.

The recommended daily intake for women is:

B-1: 0.8 milligrams (mg)
B-2: 1.1 mg
B-3: 13.2 mg NE
B-5: 5 mg
B-6: 1.2 mg
B-7: Biotin: 30 micrograms (mcg)
B-9: Folic acid: 200 mcg DFE
B-12: 1.5 mcg

For men, the recommended daily intake is:

B-1: 1 mg
B-2: 1.3 mg
B-3: 16.5 mg NE
B-5: 5 mg
B-6: 1.4 mg
B-7: Biotin: 30 mcg
B-9: Folic acid: 200 mcg DFE
B-12: 1.5 mcg

 

The above data came from the National Health Service (NHS).

 

B vitamins are required in greater quantities by older adults and pregnant women. Your doctor can give you dosage recommendations based on your specific needs. Certain underlying health conditions can make it difficult for your body to absorb vitamin B. You should also consult your doctor about your vitamin B intake if you have any of the following conditions:
  • Celiac disease
  • HIV
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Kidney conditions
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

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If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed on this page. In the UK you can also report side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme By reporting side effects you can help provide vital information on the safety of this medical supplement.

How do you know if you have a deficiency?

A balanced diet provides enough B vitamins for the majority of people. It is still possible to be deficient.

The following symptoms could indicate a deficiency in B vitamins:

  • Skin rashes
  • Cracks around the mouth
  • Scaly skin on the lips
  • Swollen tongue
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Anaemia
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet and hands

Make an appointment with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are unsure why.

Although you may have a vitamin B deficiency, these symptoms can also be caused by a variety of other underlying conditions. Your doctor will be able to make a diagnosis and advise you on the next steps.

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Is it possible that being deficient increases your risk of certain conditions?

If you are B vitamin deficient, you may experience a variety of symptoms depending on which B vitamins you are deficient in.

Deficiency, if left untreated, may increase your risk of developing:

  • anaemia
  • digestive issues
  • skin conditions
  • infections
  • peripheral neuropathy

A lack of vitamin B-12, in particular, may increase your risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. Its role in hyperhomocysteinemia and atherosclerosis is also being studied by researchers.

Babies born to mothers who were folic acid deficiency during pregnancy are more likely to have birth defects.

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What foods contain Vitamin B?

Many foods contain B vitamins, making it simple to get enough through your diet. It is best to get your B vitamins from a variety of foods. This helps to ensure that you get enough of each type.

Vitamin B can be found in:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Liver and kidney
  • Chicken and red meat
  • Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna
  • Oysters, clams and other shellfish
  • Dark green vegetables, such as spinach and kale
  • Vegetables, such as beets, avocados, and potatoes
  • Whole grains and cereals
  • Beans, such as kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits, such as citrus, banana, and watermelon
  • Soy products, such as soy milk and tempeh
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Wheat germ
  • Yeast and nutritional yeast

If your doctor has advised you to increase your intake of a specific B vitamin, consider the following curated food lists:

  • foods rich in vitamin B-6
  • foods rich in biotin
  • foods rich in vitamin B-12
  • vegetarian-friendly foods rich in vitamin B-12

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Are supplements required?

The majority of people get enough B vitamins from their diet. Your diet is also the most effective way for your body to obtain these vitamins.

 

You should not take a supplement unless your doctor has confirmed that you are deficient in one of the B vitamins. They’ll tell you whether you should take a specific B supplement or supplement your diet with a vitamin B complex.

 

You are more likely to require supplements if you:
  • Are over the age of 50
  • Are expecting a baby
  • Have certain chronic health issues
  • Follow a vegetarian diet
  • Follow a vegan diet
Over-the-counter supplements are available at your local pharmacy or health food store.

 

Ensure you’re getting a high-quality product with no questionable additives. Your doctor may be able to suggest a particular brand to consider.

 

Always read all labels carefully and follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about the dosage.

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What happens if you consume an excessive amount of vitamin B complex?

Your diet is unlikely to provide you with an excessive amount of vitamin B complex. This is due to the fact that B complex vitamins are water-soluble. That is, they are not stored in your body and are excreted in your urine on a daily basis.

You’re also unlikely to overdose on vitamin B if you take your supplements as directed.

However, overdoes are possible, especially if you’re taking a supplement without a doctor’s diagnosis of a deficiency.

Overdoes of vitamin B complex can cause the following symptoms:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Skin conditions
  • Blurry vision
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased urination
  • Diarrhoea
  • Skin flushing

If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of a vitamin B complex overdose, seek immediate medical attention.

You should also consult your doctor if you’ve been taking supplements without a diagnosis of a deficiency. Long-term use of vitamin B complex can cause nerve damage. As a result, you may lose control of your bodily movements.

 

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Talk to your GP about Vitamins

Before incorporating any supplements into your routine, always consult with your doctor.

You can talk about your desired health outcome and why you believe supplementation is necessary. Your doctor can assist you in determining whether this is the best treatment option for you and can advise you on any next steps.

Because some supplements may interact with certain underlying conditions and medications, it’s critical to keep your doctor informed.

You should also consult your doctor if you suspect you are deficient in B vitamins. They can help you figure out what’s causing your symptoms and, if necessary, recommend ways to boost your B vitamin intake.

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