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B-Complex Vitamins and What You Need To Know

What are B Complex Vitamins?

 

Vitamins are essential building blocks of the body and help keep you in good health. 

 

Vitamin B Complex consists of B Vitamins which are a group of nutrients that play many vital roles in our body. It is used to treat or prevent vitamin deficiency due to poor diet, certain illnesses, alcoholism, or pregnancy. Recommended amounts of these vitamins are received through diet alone and can be found in various foods.

 

B-complex supplements usually pack all eight B vitamins into one pill. They contain the following:

 

B1 (thiamine)

 

b-complex vitamins b1 - thiamine

 

Thiamine plays an essential role in metabolism by helping convert nutrients into energy. The richest food sources include pork, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ.

 

B2 (riboflavin)

 

Riboflavin helps convert food into energy and also acts as an antioxidant. Foods highest in riboflavin include organ meats, beef, and mushrooms.

 

B3 (niacin)

 

Niacin plays a role in cellular signaling, metabolism, and DNA production and repair. Food sources include chicken, tuna, and lentils.

 

B5 (pantothenic acid)

 

Like other B vitamins, pantothenic acid helps your body obtain energy from food. It is also involved in hormone and cholesterol production. Liver, fish, yogurt, and avocado are all excellent sources.

 

B6 (pyridoxine)

 

 Pyridoxine is involved in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and the creation of neurotransmitters. Foods highest in this vitamin include chickpeas, salmon, and potatoes.

 

B7 (biotin)

 

Biotin is essential for carbohydrate and fat metabolism and regulates gene expression. Yeast, eggs, salmon, cheese, and liver are among the best food sources of biotin.

 

B9 (folate)

 

folate and b-complex vitamins foods

 

Folate is crucial for cell growth, amino acid metabolism, the formation of red and white blood cells, and proper cell division. It is found in leafy greens, liver, and beans or supplements like folic acid.

 

B12 (cobalamin)

 

Perhaps the most well-known of all the B vitamins, B12 is vital for neurological function, DNA production, and red blood cell development. B12 is found naturally in animal sources like meats, eggs, seafood, and dairy. 

 

Who Should Take Vitamin B Complex?

 

Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

 

the demand for B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate, grows to support fetal development during pregnancy. For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, especially those who follow vegetarian or vegan diets, supplementing with a B-complex vitamin is crucial. B12 or folate deficiency in pregnant or breastfeeding women can lead to severe neurological damage or congenital disabilities in the fetus or infant.

 

Older Adults

 

As you age, your ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases, and your appetite declines, making it difficult for some people to get enough B12 through diet alone. The body’s ability to release B12 from food to be absorbed depends on adequate amounts of stomach acid. However, an estimated 10–30% of people over 50 don’t produce enough stomach acid to absorb B12 properly. 

 

Deficiency in B12 has been linked to increased depression and mood disturbances in older adults, while Deficiencies in vitamin B6 and folate are also common in the elderly population. 

 

With Certain Medical Conditions

 

People with certain medical conditions, such as celiac disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, and anorexia, are more susceptible to developing nutrient deficiencies, including B vitamins. People who have undergone certain weight-loss surgeries are also more likely to be deficient in B vitamins.

 

Vegetarians & Vegans

 

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products like meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood. Vegans and strict vegetarians could be at risk of developing a B12 deficiency if they don’t get enough of this vitamin through fortified foods or supplements. A daily B-complex vitamin can help ensure that people who choose to follow diets that eliminate animal products get enough of these essential nutrients.

 

People Taking Medications

 

Commonly prescribed medications can lead to a deficiency in B vitamins. An example, proton pump inhibitors, which are medications that lower stomach acid, can decrease the absorption of B12, while metformin, a popular diabetes drug, can reduce levels of both B12 and folate. Birth control pills can also deplete several B vitamins, including B6, B12, folate, and riboflavin.

 

Benefits of B Complex

 

b-12 complex benefits

 

B vitamins directly impact your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism as the building blocks of a healthy body. Vitamin B complex helps prevent infections and helps support or promote 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, and muscle tone.

 

Vitamin B supplementations may also help prevent migraines in some people. A 2015 report looked at the effects of vitamin B supplementation on individuals with migraines. The authors determined that reducing homocysteine levels with folic acid (the synthetic form of folate) and vitamins B6 and B12 may help reduce symptoms associated with migraine with aura, which is a recurring headache with sensory disturbances.

 

For Women

 

B vitamins are essential for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. These vitamins aid in fetal brain development as well as reduce the risk of congenital disabilities. And for expectant mothers, B vitamins may boost energy levels, ease nausea, and lower the risk of developing preeclampsia.

 

For Men

 

B vitamins are thought to increase testosterone levels in men, which naturally decrease with age. They may also help men build muscle and increase strength. However, human studies confirming these claims are lacking.

 

ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS TO SUPPLMENTING B-COMPLEX VITAMINS?

 

Mild upset stomach or flushing may occur. These effects are usually temporary and may disappear as your body adjusts to this product. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

 

Getting more than the UL increases your chances of side effects such as the following:

 

B3 (niacin)

 

Excess B3 may cause skin flushing or pain, elevated blood sugar levels, and liver toxicity.

 

B6 (pyridoxine)

 

 B6 may cause nerve damage, skin lesions, worsening kidney function, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in people with diabetes and advanced kidney disease. Studies have associated high doses of vitamin B6 with a slightly increased risk of hip fracture and increased risk of lung cancer (when taken with vitamin B12).

 

B9 (folate)

 

Vitamin B6 can result in kidney damage, increased insulin resistance in offspring, lower natural killer cell activity in older women, and may be associated with an increased risk of some cancers. It also may mask the diagnosis of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

 

B12 (cobalamin)

 

Vitamin B12 has been found to speed the decline in kidney function and increase the risk of cardiovascular events in people with impaired kidney function. High doses of vitamin B12 taken with folic acid have been associated with a greater risk of cancer and mortality, along with acne and rosacea in some people.

 

Recommended Dosage

 

 


Males
Females During pregnancy During breastfeeding
Vitamin B-1 1.2 mg 1.1 mg 1.4 mg 1.4 mg
Vitamin B-2 1.3 mg 1.1 mg 1.4 mg 1.6 mg
Vitamin B-3 or dietary equivalents 16 mg 14 mg 18 mg 17 mg
Vitamin B-5 5 mg 5 mg 6 mg 7 mg
Vitamin B-6 1.3 mg 1.5 mg 1.9 mg 2.0 mg
Vitamin B-7 30 mcg 30 mcg 30 mcg 35 mcg
Vitamin B-9 or dietary equivalents 400 mcg 400 mcg 600 mcg 500 mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.4 mcg 2.4 mcg 2.6 mcg 2.8 mcg

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