vitamin b

Vitamin B Complex

The B vitamins help maintain the health of the nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, and mouth, as well as healthy muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and proper brain function. B-complex vitamins act as coenzymes, helping enzymes to react chemically and other substances and are involved in energy production. They may be useful for alleviating depression, or anxiety as well.

Adequate intake of the B vitamins is very important for elderly people because the nutrients are not as well absorbed as we age. Vitamin B vitamins work together. A deficiency in one often indicates a deficiency in another.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1, also called thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the breakdown of carbohydrates into the simple sugar glucose. Thiamin is also important for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Thiamin is found in whole-grain cereals, bread, red meat, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, legumes, sweet corn, brown rice, berries, and yeast.

Thiamin is absorbed through the intestines.

Deficiency of Vitamin B1

Thiamin deficiency is rare. However, thiamin deficiency often occurs in alcoholics. It occurs in alcoholics because alcohol interferes with the absorption of thiamin through the intestines. Thiamin deficiency can cause beriberi, wernicke’s encephelopathy, and sensitivity of the teeth, cheeks and gums.

Too Much Vitamin B1

Large doses (5,000 to 10,000 mg) can cause headaches, irritability, rapid pulse, and weakness

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that is important in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It is also important in the maintenance of the skin and mucous membranes, the cornea of the eye and for nerve sheaths.

Riboflavin is found in whole-grain products, milk, meat, eggs, cheese and peas.

Deficiency of Vitamin B2

A deficiency of riboflavin can cause skin disorders, anemia, light-sensitive eyes, and inflammation of the soft tissue lining around the mouth and nose.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, also called niacin, is needed for the metabolism of food, the maintenance of healthy skin, nerves and the gastrointestinal tract.

Niacin is found in protein-rich foods. The most common protein rich foods are: meats, fish, brewer’s yeast, milk, eggs, legumes, potatoes and peanuts.

If too much niacin is consumed, itching, headaches, cramps, nausea and skin eruptions may occur.

Vitamin B3 is also called nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Deficiency of Vitamin B3

A deficiency of niacin causes the disease, pellagra.

Too much Vitamin B3

More than 100mg of vitamin B3 can cause flushing, tingling, itching, headaches, nausea, diarrhea and ulcers.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is essential in the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Pyridoxine is also used in the production of red blood cells.

Pyridoxine can be found in many foods. Some of the foods that contain it are: liver, meat, brown rice, fish, butter, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, and soybeans.

Too much Vitamin B6

More than 500mg can cause irreversible nerve damage. The nerve damage can cause impaired walking, numbness, tingling and poor sense of touch.

Deficiency of Vitamin B6

Deficiency of pyridoxine is rare. However, pyridoxine deficiency often occurs in alcoholics.

Deficiency causes skin disorders, disruption of the nervous system, confusion, poor coordination and insomnia.

Pyridoxine is also called pyridoxal phosphate and pyridoxamine.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for processing carbohydrates, proteins and fats and to help make all of the blood cells in our bodies. Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver.

Deficiency of Vitamin B12

Deficiency of vitamin B12 causes mouth irritation, brain damage, and a disease called pernicious anemia.

Vitamin B12 can be found in liver, meat, egg yolk, poultry and milk.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9, also called folic acid, interacts with vitamin B12 for the synthesis of DNA. Folic acid is also necessary for the breakdown of proteins and the formation of hemoglobin. Folic acid is produced by bacteria in the stomach and intestines.

Folic acid is found in many foods, including yeast, liver, green vegetables, and whole grain cereals.

Women who are pregnant have an increased need for folic acid.

High doses of folic acid can cause convulsions, and disrupt zinc absorption.

Deficiency of Vitamin B9

Deficiency of folic acid causes anemia, poor growth, and irritation of the mouth. Deficiency of folic acid is common in alcoholics, the elderly, and people who are malnourished.

Folic Acid is also called folacin and pteroylglutamic acid.

Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids and some amino acids. Pantothenic acid is produced by bacteria in the intestines.

Pantothenic acid is found in meats, legumes and whole-grain cereals.