B Vitamins uses, benefits and side-effects

What Is B Vitamins?

There are many B Vitamins that you should know of, because this is one of the most important vitamin complexes that your body could get. There is no better way to explain B Vitamins’ efficiency and multiple roles than to break down the component vitamins and analyze them each at a time.

  1. Riboflavin – this vitamin is also known as B2 and it is the essential building block, because it stimulates the production of energy and protects and keeps your cells healthy. Also it is known to improve the antioxidants’ efficiency in your internal processes.
  2. Niacin – this vitamin is generally known as B3 and it is the one responsible for more than 200 chemical reactions in your body. Among these we must specify cell production and the synthesis of the fat acids. Also, the nicotinic acid, which is a form of Niacin, has been observed as having important benefits on your cardiovascular health.
  3. Thiamin – known as B1, Thiamin is used by your body to produce cellular energy and it is also an essential component in the synthesis of the DNA and the RNA; it is the most common from the B Vitamins complex and it is found in a lot of food sources.
  4. Pantothenic Acid – it is called B5 and its role is to provide you with fat acid synthesis and cellular energy.
  5. Vitamin B6 – this vitamin is involved in more than 100 reactions in your body and it is essential for your health. It is also called pyridoxine and it is the one vitamin that your body needs when metabolizing amino acids and glycogen. Aside from this, it can also improve your nervous system and your hormonal functioning.
  6. Biotin – also known as B7 and it is efficient in improving your hair and nails health as well as your skin.
  7. Folic Acid – this compound is also known as B9 and it is used by your body in the DNA synthesis as well as in the formation of your red blood cells. This vitamin is known to be essential for fetal health and it is what forms the baby’s spinal cord and nervous system, especially in the first weeks of pregnancy.
  8. Vitamin B12 – this is also called cobalamin and its roles are: enhancing the production of your cellular energy, DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation. Also, it improves the functioning of your nervous system.

Sources of B Vitamins

If you are looking to get your fill with B Vitamins complex, there are a lot of food sources to choose from:

  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Liver
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Chili Peppers
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Molasses

Deficiency of B Vitamins

There is no simple B Vitamins deficiency, because these can often occur partially. What this means is that some B Vitamins component vitamins can lack from your diet, whereas others can still be found in normal amounts. Thus, you can experience B Vitamins deficiencies, but only when talking about specific vitamins of the complex. This is why we need to take then one at a time and write down the known deficiencies for each of the B Vitamins component vitamins:

  • Thiamine – this deficiency can cause the disease called beriberi. It is a disease of the nervous system and includes weight loss, emotional disturbances, limb pain, irregular heartbeats and even heart failure and death in the most severe cases
  • Riboflavin – this B Vitamins deficiency causes ariboflavinosis, a disease that causes cheliosis, or crack in the lips, extreme sensitivity to sunlight and various affections to the mouth, scrotum and labia majora.
  • Niacin – This B Vitamins deficiency can cause pellagra which includes symptoms like increased aggression, dermatitis, insomnia, physical weakness, mental confusion and even diarrhea; also, in advanced and aggravated cases, this B Vitamins deficiency can lead to dementia and death, which is as worst as it can get.
  • Pantothenic Acid – this is a rare B Vitamins deficiency, and when it does occur it can cause acne and paresthesia.
  • Pyridoxine – can cause dermatitis-like eruptions, pink eye and other skin eruptions
  • Biotin – this is a B Vitamins deficiency that does not affect adults, but it does cause several neurological problems in infants, as well as impairing their growth.
  • Folic Acid – it can cause amcrocytic anemia and the same B Vitamins deficiency can cause birth defects in pregnant women
  • Cobalamin – this deficiency can cause macrocytic anemia, peripheral neuropathy and memory loss, among other cognitive disorders. It is common among elderly people and it can also cause mania and psychosis and even paralysis in some extreme cases.

Benefits of B Vitamins

B Vitamins complex brings forth a lot of benefits for your body and many of these are quintessential for your survival. The benefits that B Vitamins will provide you with are: helping your system synthesizing antioxidants, increases the cellular energy levels, actively supports your DNA and RNA production and it improves your nervous system.

Side Effects of B Vitamins

In order to be fully aware of the B Vitamins side effects, the best thing to do is to trim down the vitamins one at a time:

  • Thiamine – no known toxicities are reported from oral intakes only, but there are some reports of anaphylaxis when this B Vitamins compound is injected straight into the vein or muscles. The main difference is that the injected dosage can overcome the oral intake by a greatly amount, hence the rarity of the toxicity.
  • Riboflavin – there are no evidence that would support this B Vitamins toxicity.
  • Niacin – there are several reported side effects related to the overconsumption of this vitamin and these are: nausea, vomiting and liver toxicity. Aside from these, you can also encounter: glucose intolerance, redness of the skin, pruritus, headaches and even increased intracranial blood flow in some cases.
  • Pantothenic acid – there are no known toxicities about this B Vitamins compound.
  • Pyridoxine – this can cause some severe neurological problems and the side effects include pain and numbness in the extremities and even motor neuropathy in severe cases.
  • Biotin – does not have any known toxicities
  • Folic Acid – has numerous side effects when overused, some of them even leading to permanent neurological damage and even death
  • Cobalamin – can cause skin and spinal damages

Other Application of B Vitamins

B Vitamins have a lot of other applications from preventing and assisting in cancer treatment all the way to wide usages in the supplements industry.

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