Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex or B-group are water soluble vitamins that aid in the metabolism of the body system. They help in the multiplication of cells for the formation of new DNA.The vitamin B complex consists of the following; vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (panthotenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), folic acid and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).
Vitamin B1 (first to be discovered) strengthens the immune system and enhances the ability of the body to undergo stressful conditions. Thiamine is needed by the body to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which provides energy to the body. It also tends to co-ordinate the activities of the nerves and the muscles and aids normal functioning of the heart activity.
Vitamin B2 is needed to protect the cells fro
m oxygen damage because of its roles in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Riboflavin helps to keep the mucous membranes in a healthy conditions. Vitamin B2 is responsible for that yellowish colouration of the urine when vitamin tablets are administered.
Vitamin B3 is responsible for the conversion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy that will be used by the body. Niacin aids in DNA repair, and the formation of the steroid hormones found in the adrenal gland.
Vitamin B6 enhances the metabolic rate of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. Also known as Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 aids the normal functioning of nerves and the formation of red blood cells in the body.
Folic acid is needed for the formation of red blood cells, synthesizing of DNA and normal development of the nervous system.
Vitamin B12 is responsible for the formation and maturation of red blood cells, normal nerve functioning and the synthesizing of DNA.
Symptoms of vitamin B deficiencies and food sources
Vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to a condition known as Beri-Beri. Can cause partial paralysis especially on people whose diets consists of highly processed carbohydrates, whilst other affected can have heart, breathlessness and swelling. Good food sources of vitamin B1 include lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, sunflower seeds, green peas, tomatoes and sprouts.
Vitamin B2 deficiency leads to glossitis and stomatitis. Vitamin B2 sources are cheese, green vegetables, liver, spinach, legumes, yeast, kidneys, almonds and milk.
Vitamin B3 deficiency can lead to a Pellagra. Such condition is characterised by either dementia, diarrhoea or dermatitis. Foods rich in tryptophan that can convert tryptophan to niacin such as diary products is recommended. Food sources like tomatoes, vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, mushrooms, heart, liver, kidney, chicken, beef, fish (such as salmon, tuna), milk and eggs are encouraged.
Vitamin B6 deficiency can result to anemia, skin problems, nerve damage and sores in the mouth. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 are sprouts, collard greens, asparagus, mushrooms, cabbage, banana, mustard greens, spinach, bell peppers, garlic and tuna.
Folic acid deficiency can lead to anemia, brain defects in fetus, mouth ulcers, depression and confusion. Rich sources are spinach, asparagus, dried or fresh beans, grain products that are fortified, citrus foods, peas and lentils.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can result to anaemia, memory loss, peripheral neuropathy and tremors in infants. Foods that come from animals are advised. In the case of vegetarians, supplements can be recommended too.
The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.
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Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine