Vitamin B is actually the name given to a complex or group of related vitamins, each bearing the letter "B" before a number. Many of the vitamin B group are also known by other names: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and others are names for B vitamins.
About Vitamin B
The group of B vitamins are essential to human health. These water soluble vitamins are needed for everything from healthy skin to the production of red blood cells. Some examples include:
- Vitamin B1, also called thiamin, is needed for other B vitamins to work efficiently. It's also critical for a healthy nervous system. A deficiency in vitamin B1 is also called beriberi. Many foods, including bread, are now fortified with vitamin B1 to ensure adequate amounts in the common diet.
- Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is often touted as a vitamin to help people lose weight. This idea comes from the fact that vitamin B2 aids carbohydrate digestion. Vitamin B2 also helps with the digestion of protein and fats. Vitamins B6, folate and niacin all need adequate amounts of B2 in order to be used by the body to make red blood cells. Good food sources of riboflavin include meat, dairy products, eggs, and for vegetarians and vegans, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
- Vitamin B12 is one of the B vitamins known to many people because of the prevalence of vitamin B12 injections. This is a major vitamin needed for production of red blood cells. Doctors often recommend B12 injections to patients with anemia. Vitamin B12 injections side effects are one of the most frequently asked questions by patients receiving B12 injections.
As you can see, the B-complex vitamins play an important and wide ranging role in good health. They work with many other vitamins to aid metabolism, red blood cell production, and a healthy, functioning nervous system.
How to Get Adequate Vitamins
While you can take B-complex vitamin supplements, eating a wide variety of foods ensures good nutrition. B vitamins are found in meat, dairy products, eggs, and liver. Vegetable sources of B vitamins include green leafy vegetables, peas and legumes. The only vitamin difficult to obtain from plant sources in vitamin B 12. Vegetarians and vegans may be deficient in this vitamin. Supplements can help.
Out of all the vitamins, the B group is both a fascinating and vital group of substances. Learn more about Vitamin B, deficiency symptoms, and side effects before buying supplements and become an informed consumer. Here's to you health!