Vitamin B refers to the group of water soluble vitamins that play vital roles in cell metabolism process. In the past, the vitamins were thought to be part of a single whole known as Vitamin B. However, later studies and research revealed the distinctive nature of each vitamin that belongs to the B class. They are said to be 8 in number.
The List and Name of the B Vitamins
Vitamin B showcases in 8 distinct types. They include
1. Vitamin B1 also known as Thiamine
2. Vitamin B2 also know as Riboflavin
3. Vitamin B3 also known as Niacin or Niancinamide
4. Vitamin B5 also known as Pantothenic Acid
5. Vitamin B6 also known as Pyridoxine or Pyridoxamine
6. Vitamin B7 also known as Biotin
7. Vitamin B9 also known as Folic Acid
8. Vitamin B12 also known as Cyanocobalamin or Cobalamin
Health benefits of Vitamin B
Vitamin B in its 8 different classes has a lot to offer to the human body. Here are some of their major benefits.
• They enhance the rate of metabolism in the body system.
• They help a lot in maintaining healthy skin and hair
• They promote healthy muscle tone
• They also improve the immune system of the body
• They promote easy functioning of the nervous system.
• The B Vitamins are very vital for normal cell growth and division. They promote the growth of red blood cells that prevents anemia from occurring.
• They also help in reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer.
• The B vitamins are known to be water soluble and hence they are easily dispersed throughout the various parts of the human body.
• They help in reducing the risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
Major Sources of Vitamin B
Vitamin B can easily be gotten from a variety of sources such as eggs, soymilk, milk products, meat, liver, kidney, poultry meat, shell fish and so on. These resources are very much easy to come by. You simply make sure you eat them regularly in order to enjoy a rich supply of Vitamin B.
Vitamin B Deficiency
Lack of Vitamin B can lead to a number of symptoms and diseases in the human body. In order to understand Vitamin B deficiency, it’s important we take a look at each type of the B Vitamins and their deficiency effects.
• Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
The deficiency of this vitamin causes beriberi alongside other symptoms such as weight loss, nervous system disease, emotional disturbance, and impaired perception, pain in the limbs, weakness of the limbs, irregular heartbeat, heart failure and death in extreme cases.
• Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
The deficiency causes ariboflavinosis with several symptoms such as inflammation of the tongue, high sensitivity to sunlight, pseudo syphilis, sore throat, oral mucus, edema and other conditions.
• Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
The deficiency of the vitamin causes Pellagra with symptoms such as insomnia, aggression, dermatitis, weakness, diarrhea, confusion, and so on. It can also lead to dementia and death in extreme cases.
• Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
The deficiency causes Paresthesia and Acne.
• Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
The deficiency of this vitamin causes macrocytic anemia, dermatitis, depression, high blood pressure, hypertension and other conditions.
• Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
The deficiency causes retarded growth and neurological disorders in infants. It doesn’t cause any kind of symptoms in adults most often.
• Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
The Deficiency causes macrocytic anemia. It also leads to high levels of homocysteine. In pregnant women, the deficiency of the vitamin can lead to defects in the fetus.
• Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
The deficiency causes macrocyctic anemia. It also leads to elevated homocysteine, memory loss, peripheral neuropathy and lots of other cognitive problems. The symptoms usually occur when the vitamin is lacking in the body systems of elderly people.
In any case, the major deficiencies seen above occur when the body fails to get enough intakes of the B vitamins. In most cases age and other factors do come into play. Many elderly individuals above the age of 50 are likely to lose their ability to absorb Vitamin B12 from various foods they eat. This can lead to serious side effects in the lives.
Again, people who go after vegetarian diets may also lack Vitamin B 12 in their systems since they don’t take eggs and other dairy products. People who have also encountered gastrointestinal surgery may also lose their ability to consume Vitamin B12. The same scenario applies to individuals who have digestive disorders like celiac diseases.
Generally, the low level or lack of Vitamin B especially the B12 type may lead to Anemia, Loss of balance, numbness in legs and arms, depression and other conditions.
Getting Enough Vitamin B
It’s very easy to get enough supply of various kinds of Vitamin B as discussed above. All you need is to go for the basic food sources that contain the vitamins. You need to eat a wide variety of animal and poultry products all the time. You can equally get the vitamins from various food supplements. They are also available in medicinal forms. For instance, Vitamin B12 can be given in the form of injection.
In any case, the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin B varies according to persons. Age and gender may also be involved. Other factors such as illnesses, pregnancy, and breastfeeding and so on are also taken into consideration here.
In all, it’s always important to get the advice of a medical doctor when looking for the required dosage recommendation for Vitamin B. It’s also very important you reconsider the kind of diets and drinks you take daily in order to ascertain if they contain enough B vitamins that can enhance your life. A good dietician can as well help you out in the process. All you need is to make sure you secure the best recommendation that can suit your case.