Vitamin B is composed of eight water soluble vitamins vital to health and wellbeing. These nutrients are involved in numerous biochemical processes in the body including metabolism, ATP synthesis, nerve transmission, RBC formation, and many more. Just like in a normal family where siblings and even twins have their unique characteristics, each one of the B vitamins is also different from the other. The eight B vitamins are vital in their own way and perform unique functions in keeping you healthy.
- Vitamin B1 or Thiamine. Also called aneurin in the UK and other parts of Europe, Thiamine is actively involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and its conversion to energy. It helps in supplying energy to the heart and the brain, the two organs with the highest energy requirement. Having enough Thiamine in the body maintains normal heartbeat, stimulates muscle growth, and optimizes cognitive functions.
- Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin. It is needed in the formation of Red Blood Cells, the oxygen and nutrient carrying component of the blood. Vitamin B2 also strengthens the immune system to be more effective in fighting disease-causing microorganisms. Riboflavin is an anti-ageing nutrient because of its antioxidant activities.
- Vitamin B3 or Niacin. This vitamin works in conjunction with Thiamine and Riboflavin in providing energy to the cells. It is also involved in regulating the production of hormones and hydrochloric acid, as well as blood glucose levels and blood circulation.
- Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid. Vitamin B5 is useful in combating the negative effects of stress like depression and anxiety. Pantothenic acid supplements are being recommended to restore the body’s natural coping mechanisms against chronic stress. There are evidences suggesting that Vitamin B5 helps in the formation of antibodies as well as enhancing stamina.
- Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine. In his book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing”, Phyllis Balch referred to Vitamin B6 as the nutrient with the most bodily functions. Pyridoxine aids in the conversion of protein, fats, and carbohydrates into energy, supports immune defences, and cognitive functions. Vitamin B6 supplements are also being used in reducing the risks for heart diseases.
- Vitamin B7 or Biotin. This member of the Vitamin B complex family also plays a role in manufacturing energy from carbohydrates, fats, and protein from the diet. Additionally, Biotin maintains healthy functions of the nerves, bone marrow, and male sex glands. You can also use Vitamin B7 to keep you skin, hair, and nails healthy.
- Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid. Folic Acid is essential for normal brain development of the fetus during pregnancy. Women during pregnancy have increased demand of this vitamin to prevent neural tube defects like hydrocephalus and spina bifida in their unborn child. Other functions of Vitamin B9 include maintaining the DNA and RNA in the cells, formation of RBCs and WBCs, and regulating the growth of new skin cells and intestinal cells.
- Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin. Also known as cyanocobalamin, this vitamin works with the other B vitamins in converting energy into food and the formation of healthy blood cells. Vitamin B12 is also suggested to reduce the risk for anemia, heart diseases, and mental conditions. You can also count on Cobalamin in maintaining your immune system’s ability in defending against infectious organisms.
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