Vitamin B complex: benefits, side effects, dosage, food and more

What is the vitamin B complex?

The vitamin B complex is composed of eight B vitamins:

  • B-1 (thiamine)

  • B-2 (riboflavin)

  • B-3 (niacin)

  • B-5 (pantothenic acid)

  • B-6 (pyridoxine)

  • B-7 (biotin)

  • B-9 (folic acid)

  • B-12 (cobalamin)

Each of these essential vitamins contributes to your overall body function. Read on to learn more about how these nutrients benefit you, how much you need, if you should take supplements and more.

What are the benefits?

The B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the basic components of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function and cellular metabolism.

The vitamin B complex helps prevent infections and helps support or promote:

  • cellular health

  • growth of red blood cells

  • energy levels

  • good view

  • healthy brain function

  • good digestion

  • Healthy appetite

  • proper nerve function

  • Hormones and cholesterol production.

  • cardiovascular health

  • muscular tone

In women

B vitamins are especially important for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. These vitamins help in the development of the fetal brain and reduce the risk of birth defects.

And for pregnant women, B vitamins can increase energy levels, relieve nausea and decrease the risk of developing preeclampsia.

In men

It is believed that B vitamins increase testosterone levels in men, which naturally decrease with age. They can also help men build muscle and increase strength. However, studies in humans that confirm these claims are lacking.

How much vitamin B complex do you need?

The recommended daily amount of each vitamin B varies.

For women, the recommended daily intake is:

  • B-1: 1.1 milligrams (mg)

  • B-2: 1.1 mg

  • B-3: 14 mg

  • B-5: 5 mg (RDA not established)

  • B-6: 1.3 mg

  • biotin 30 micrograms (mcg) (RDA not established)

  • folic acid: 400 mcg

  • B-12: 2.4 mcg

For men, the recommended daily intake is:

  • B-1: 1.2 mg

  • B-2: 1.3 mg

  • B-3: 16 mg

  • B-5: 5 mg (RDA not established)

  • B-6: 1.3 mg

  • biotin 30 mcg (RDA not established)

  • folic acid: 400 mcg

  • B-12: 2.4 mcg

Older adults and women who are pregnant require higher amounts of B vitamins. Your doctor can provide information on the dosage tailored to your individual needs.

Certain underlying health conditions can prevent your body from properly absorbing vitamin B. You should also talk to your doctor about your intake of vitamin B if you have:

  • Celiac Disease

  • The hiv

  • Crohn's disease

  • alcohol dependence

  • kidney conditions

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • ulcerative colitis

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

How can you know if you are deficient?

Most people get enough B vitamins by eating a balanced diet. However, it is still possible to be deficient.

The following symptoms may be a sign that you are not getting enough B vitamins:

  • skin rash

  • cracks around the mouth

  • scaly skin on the lips

  • swollen tongue

  • fatigue

  • weakness

  • anemia

  • Confusion

  • irritability or depression

  • nausea

  • abdominal cramps

  • Diarrhea

  • constipation

  • Numbness or tingling in the feet and hands.

If you experience any of these symptoms and you are not sure why, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Although you may have a vitamin B deficiency, these symptoms also overlap with many other underlying conditions. Your doctor can make a diagnosis and advise you on the next steps.

Can it be deficient to increase your risk of certain conditions?

If you are deficient in B vitamins, you may experience a variety of symptoms according to the B vitamins that you lack.

If left untreated, the deficiency could increase your risk of developing:

  • anemia

  • digestive problems

  • skin conditions

  • infections

  • peripheral neuropathy

Deficiency of vitamin B-12, in particular, can increase your risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. Researchers are also investigating their role in hyperhomocysteinemia and atherosclerosis.

Babies born to women who had folic acid deficiency during pregnancy are more likely to have birth defects.

What food is it in?

Many foods contain B vitamins, which makes it easy to get enough of your diet. It is best to get the B vitamins from a wide variety of food sources. This helps ensure that you are getting enough of each type.

You can find vitamin B in:

  • Milk

  • cheese

  • eggs

  • liver and kidney

  • Meat, like chicken and red meat.

  • Fish, like tuna, mackerel and salmon.

  • Seafood, like oysters and clams.

  • Dark green vegetables, such as spinach and kale.

  • Vegetables, such as beets, avocados and potatoes.

  • whole grains and cereals

  • Beans, such as beans, black beans and chickpeas

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Fruits, such as citrus fruits, banana and watermelon.

  • Soy products, such as soy milk and tempeh.

  • molasses

  • wheat germ

  • yeast and nutritional yeast

If your doctor has recommended that you increase your intake of a specific B-vitamin, check these lists of cured foods:

  • Foods rich in vitamin B-6.

  • foods rich in biotin

  • Foods rich in vitamin B-12.

  • Vegetarian foods rich in vitamin B-12

Are supplements necessary?

Most people get enough B vitamins through their diet. Your diet is also the best way for your body to get these vitamins.

You should not take a supplement unless your doctor has confirmed that you are deficient in a specific B-vitamin. They will tell you if you should take a specific B supplement or add a vitamin B complex supplement to your routine.

You may need more supplements if:

  • is 50 years old or older

  • they are pregnant

  • have certain chronic health conditions

  • eat a vegetarian diet

  • eat a vegan diet

The supplements are available without a prescription at your local pharmacy or health food store.

The supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. UU., So you should only buy them in a trusted brand with a good reputation. This helps ensure that you are taking a high quality product without questionable additives. Your doctor may recommend a specific brand to consider.

You should always read all labels carefully and follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you have questions about the dose, talk to your doctor.

What happens if you get too much vitamin B?

It is unlikely that you get too much vitamin B in your diet. That's because the B vitamins are soluble in water. That means they are not stored in your body, but are excreted in your urine daily.

It is also unlikely that you get too much vitamin B if you are taking any supplement as directed.

That said, an overdose is possible, especially if you are taking a supplement without your doctor diagnosing a deficiency.

Symptoms of an overdose of vitamin B complex include:

  • excessive thirst

  • skin conditions

  • blurry vision

  • abdominal cramps

  • nausea

  • barf

  • increased urination

  • Diarrhea

  • redness of the skin

Seek immediate medical attention if you think you are experiencing symptoms of an overdose of vitamin B complex.

You should also check with your doctor if you have been taking supplements without having a diagnosed deficiency. Taking too much vitamin B complex in the long term can cause nerve damage. This could result in loss of control of your body movements.

Talk to your doctor about supplements

Always talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your routine.

You can talk about your desired health goal and why you think supplementation is necessary. Your doctor can help you determine if this is the best treatment option and advise you on the next steps.

Some supplements may interact with certain underlying conditions and medications, so it is important to keep your doctor informed.

You should also consult your doctor if you think you may be deficient in B vitamins. They can help determine what is causing your symptoms and, if necessary, recommend ways to increase your B vitamin intake.

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