Vitamin B Complex is essential for body growth and development but also for a variety of metabolic functions. These vitamins play an important role in the activity of enzymes that control chemical reactions in the body. Such enzymes are involved in converting food into energy or other useful substances in the body. B vitamins are found in a variety of plant and animal foods.
Today we know with certainty that B vitamins are an important part of the diet and their presence in the diet helps prevent many diseases.
B vitamins affect the body more important functions:
• Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B1 or thiamine and riboflavin help the body produce energy and affect enzymes from muscles, nerves and heart;
• Vitamin B3 or niacin has also an important role in cellular energy production and healthy skin, nervous system and digestive system;
• Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) influences normal growth and development;
• Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is involved in protein metabolism and is found especially in red blood cells, nervous system and parts of the immune system.
• Vitamin B7 or biotin is involved in hormones synthesis and proteins and carbohydrates metabolism;
• Vitamin B9 (folic acid) contributes to the manufacture and repair of DNA and red blood cells;
• Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is important for body growth and development. Is involved in the production of red blood cells, nervous system function and carbohydrate metabolism.
Vitamin B deficiency
Vitamin B deficiencies cause anemia, fatigue, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, depression, numbness and tingling of the arms, muscle cramps, respiratory infections, hair loss, growth delays in children, and birth defects in newborns. Pregnant or breastfeeding women have a higher need for folic acid than others.
Nutritionists agree that a balanced diet reach in good quality grain products, fruits and vegetables, is sufficient to provide all the vitamin B complex that body needs. To get the recommended daily allowances of vitamins B complex, are required very small amounts of these vitamins. Unfortunately, a lot of people have an incorrect diet, devoid of B vitamins sources (fruits, vegetables). These people need supplements to prevent deficiencies and the diseases they cause.
Here are the most important food sources for B vitamins:
• Vitamin B1 and B2 found in cereals and derived products, especially in grains. B1 is also found in potatoes, pork, liver, seafood, beans. B2 sources are fortified bread, liver and green leafy vegetables.
• B3 is found in liver, fish, chicken, red meat, whole grains, nuts, dried beans;
• B5 is found in almost all foods;
• Sources of vitamin B6 are liver, fish, pork, chicken, potatoes, wheat germ, bananas, dried beans;
• B7 is produced by bacteria in the colon and is also found in peanuts, liver, egg yolk, mushrooms, melon and grapefruit;
• B9 is present in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, mushrooms, nuts, peas, wheat bread
• B12 is found in eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk and dairy products.
Very few of us know that a deficiency of these vitamins can cause problems mentioned above. Stress is the main factor behind many diseases. When we are under stress, the supplementation need with these vitamins increases considerably, and the food often is not enough to supply us with a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals.