Vitamins are organic compounds that regulate cell function while promoting growth and development in the human body. Due to these important roles, vitamins are considered the building blocks of life.
The human body is like a machine that operates 24/7 to sustain life. Like all types of machines, the body needs proper fuel to ensure efficiency – and this is where vitamins come in.
Vitamins and minerals are vital nutrients with specialized functions. For optimal functioning, the body requires a total of 13 essential vitamins, 8 of which are B Complex Vitamins.
What are B Complex Vitamins?
B Complex Vitamins is a collective term used to pertain to eight different vitamins which are essential for cell metabolism. Same as other vitamins, B complex vitamins can be acquired not only by eating nutrient-rich food but also by taking supplements.
The different B Complex Vitamins are Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine, Biotin, Folate, and Cobalamin.
Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, helps in the process of breaking down and converting nutrients from carbohydrates into usable energy. Vitamin B1 is also essential for muscle contraction and conduction of nerve signals.
Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 works hand in hand with Vitamin A to promote good eyesight and prevent the development of cataracts by providing the body with antioxidants to fight free radicals.
Niacin or Vitamin B3 is needed by every part of the body to function well. Among numerous benefits, the most significant contributions of Niacin to the body is its ability to aid DNA repair, lower blood cholesterol and alleviate arthritis.
Pantothenic Acid or Vitamin B5 plays an important role in production of red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body and helps in alleviating tiredness and fatigue.
Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6 produces hemoglobin which transports oxygen in red blood cells, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and supports nerve function by controlling homocysteine levels.
Biotin or Vitamin B7 is essential in the production of myelin which covers nerve fibers in the spinal cord, brain, and eyes.
Folate or Vitamin B9 is important, especially for pregnant women as it prevents potential defects such as malformation of the neural tube, spinal cord and brain of a fetus. Folate also reduces the risk of heart disease and prevents depression by stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain.
Cobalamin or Vitamin B12 prevents anemia by aiding in red blood cell production and improves brain health by preventing atrophy, or loss of brain neurons which eventually leads to dementia or memory loss.
In spite of their unique characteristics and functions, members of the Vitamin B Complex family share a common role in maintaining optimal condition of the body’s central nervous system by alleviating neuropathy or nerve damage. This role is performed through production of essential enzymes to help nerves or neurotransmitters develop and veer away from possible damage.
What happens if a person lacks Vitamin B?
It’s quite easy to fall into a vitamin B deficiency. Aside from the fact that our bodies do not naturally produce them, B vitamins are also water soluble (they dissolve easily in water), which means that any excess amount of B Complex Vitamins consumed in a specific time period are just eliminated in our urine.
Without B Complex Vitamins, your body will experience effects ranging from irritating to catastrophic.
- Paresthesia: This is the first sign of deficiency, usually an indicator of worse to come: tingling or prickling of hands and feet (tusok-tusok), weakness (pangangalay), and numbness (pamamanhid) that we experience in our hands, feet, legs and arms
- Fatigue and weakness: beyond just plain tiredness, you may feel dizziness and shortness of breath if you lack certain B vitamins
- Mood changes: the sudden appearance of depression, anxiety, or irritability
- Decreased alertness: “Brain fog” or confusion can ensue, combined with mood changes, these psychological conditions may point to the deficiency doing damage to your nervous system, eventually leading to permanent effects
- Psychological conditions such as dementia, paranoia, depression, and behavioral changes can result from vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Susceptibility to illness: this happens particularly in Vitamin B6 deficiencies—this vitamin boosts your immune system, so a lack of this nutrient weakens you against disease
- Digestive issues: Diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, gastritis and Crohn’s disease are common in vitamin B deficiency cases, due to damaged intestinal lining
- Skin disorders, Rashes, cracks around the mouth: the appearance of flaky or oily rashes on your face and your upper body may also indicate a vitamin B6 deficiency
- Birth defects: Pregnant women with Vitamin B9 deficiency can cause defects in their fetus’s neural tubes, causing birth defects like spina bifida
- Circulatory issues: lack of Vitamin B12 in your body can increase the risk of getting heart attacks or strokes
Aid in Prevention of Vitamin B Deficiency
In order to satisfy the body’s requirement for ample Vitamin B Complex, diet and food choices are important. Incorporating Vitamin B rich food to one’s daily meal plan such as green vegetables, whole grains, meat and fish, legumes, fruits, eggs and dairy products, peanuts and sunflower seeds, avocadoes, peas, and sweet potatoes, could help ensure that this need is met.
However, no diet is perfect and tracking each and every meal can be very tedious for some, especially those with hectic lifestyles. To address this, you can take Vitamin B Complex supplements to help treat Vitamin B deficiency and help keep Vitamin B levels in the body in check.
If you are on the lookout for a Vitamin B Complex supplement, Vitamin B-Complex + Vitamin E (Neurogen-E) may be your choice, as it contains 300mg Vitamin B1,100mg Vitamin B6, 1000mcg Vitamin B12, and 100IU Vitamin E to help replenish depleted B-vitamins and help keep the nervous system healthy. It also helps relieve pangangalay, pamamanhid at tusok-tusok, which might be symptoms of nerve damage. Each caplet contains 5X more Vitamin B12 and 3X more Vitamin B1, plus added Vitamin E versus major players among OTC brands! It is recommended to be taken once daily.
If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
ASC Reference No. U134P030520N