What is the Vitamin B-Complex?
The vitamin-B complex is a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that help facilitate cell metabolism and the production of energy. The eight vitamins are B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12. These vitamins are crucial for maintaining overall health and are important for cell metabolism. They were historically considered to be one vitamin until it was discovered that they are chemically distinct with different nutritional functions. Some compounds, such as adenine and myo-inositol, used to be classified as B vitamins (B4 and B8, respectively), but since the human body can synthesize them, they are no longer classified as vitamins.
What are the health benefits of the Vitamin B-Complex?
As a group, the B-complex vitamins help to facilitate the breakdown of various foods for energy production as well as promoting the health of the immune system, nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract.
Deficient amounts of the vitamin B-complex vitamins lead to conditions that vary by the specific vitamin, but include emotional disturbance, impaired sensory perception, high sensitivity to sunlight, insomnia, diarrhea, acne, depression, impaired growth of infants, birth defects, and autoimmune diseases.
What foods are good sources of the Vitamin B-Complex?
Different B-complex vitamins come from different dietary sources and include liver, turkey, tuna, tempeh, lentils, potatoes, bananas, Vegemite, and brewer’s yeast. The vitamin-B complex is also commonly incorporated into dietary supplements and multivitamins.
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