Vitamin B Helps You to Be Your Best!
Did you know that vitamin B is not just one vitamin, but eight different vitamins with distinct roles in the body? All of the B vitamins are a chemically related family of nutrients that work together as a team – for this reason it is recommended that these interdependent vitamins be taken together. B-complex vitamins are needed for normal body development and for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver; they are water-soluble vitamins and must be replenished in the body daily. The following is a list of the eight B-complex vitamins and a short description of their specific roles in the body:
1 ) B1 (thiamine): B1 helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.
2 ) B2 (riboflavin): B2 helps to release energy from carbohydrates and is important for body growth, reproduction and red cell production.
3 ) B3 (niacin): B3 is important for the conversion of food to energy. It also helps in the production of hormones and improves circulation.
4 ) B5 (pantothenic acid): B5 is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells and hormones produced in the adrenal glands. It plays an important role in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and enabling the body to synthesize cholesterol.
5 ) B6 (pyridoxine): B6 helps the body make neurotransmitters and is necessary for normal brain development and function. It also helps in the production of hormones. The body needs B6 in order to absorb vitamin B12 and for the creation of antibodies for a healthy immune system.
6 ) B7 (biotin): Also called vitamin H, B7 is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It is very important for normal embryonic growth, making it a critical nutrient during pregnancy.
7 ) B9 (folic acid/folate): Folic acid is necessary for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and also helps to make red blood cells. Pregnant women need more folic acid to help lower the risk of neural tube birth defects.
8 ) B12 (cobalamin): B12 helps in the production of DNA and is important for maintaining healthy nerve cells and proper immune function. It aids in the production of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system.
Given the varied roles of B-complex vitamins in the body, it is important to ensure that we are getting the necessary daily amounts to maintain optimum health. Check this chart from the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies Institute of Medicine to view the recommended daily allowance for all of the B-complex vitamins.