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Quick reads - B-Vitamins

Quick reads - B-Vitamins


What are B-Vitamins?

Vitamin B-complex. A family of vitamins contains 8 of the 13 essential vitamins needed for good health. B vitamins do everything from assisting the body's metabolism of food to assisting its cell and immune functions. Many B vitamins are available in fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, leafy green vegetables, beans, peas, and enriched breads or cereals. Most B vitamins are water-soluble, so they easily leave the body and must be replenished frequently.

There appears to be differing opinion dependant upon location/ advisory body as to which B Vitamins make it into this B-Complex, although all seem to agree that the complex contains 8. The discrepancies involve, B4 and B6, so for the purpose of this post I have included both.

B1 - Thiamin

Contributes towards the bodies conversion of carbohydrates to energy throughout particularly muscles and the nervous system. Deficiencies are linked with fatigue and nerve damage. Recommended daily amounts for adults are 1mg and 0.8mg for men and women respectively, Naturally high sources of B1 include Beef, Liver, Nuts and Oats.

B2 - Riboflavin

B2 rich foods include Beef, Lamb, Yogurt, Spinach and Almonds, it is vital for the growth of new red blood cells and deficiencies are thought to hinder growth and cause fatigue. Recommended daily amounts and 1.3mg for men and 1.1mg for women.

B3 - Niacin

Primarily aiding with digestion, B3 also aids the growth and maintenance of nerves and tissue. Deficiencies can cause digestive problems, skin issues and depression. B3 rich foods include Poultry, Peanuts, Tuna and Peas. A males recommended daily intake is 16.5mg and females is 13.2mg.

B4 - Adenine (questionable)

B4 often covers three chemical compounds that are classified as ‘border line vitamins’, these are Carnitine, Choline and Adenine. Adenine aids protein synthesis and boosts energy, it can be found naturally in foods such as Brewers Yeast, Bee Pollen, Cayenne Pepper and Vegetables. Due to their classifications, these do not have recommended daily intakes.

B5 - Pantothenic Acid

Often paired with Biotin, Pantothenic Acid assists with growth and metabolism.Highly available in Broccoli, Cabbage, Sweet Potatoes and Porridge. B5 is rarely supplemented as adequately present in many common food sources, the department of health advise taking up to 200mg per day.

B6 - Pyridoxine

Containing enzymes necessary for food metabolism, Pyridoxine aids our body to breakdown and convert food into energy. B6 is also vital for many body functions such as cell growth and nervous system activity. Found highly in fish, beef liver and non-citrus fruits. A lack of B6 is linked with anaemia and depression. Adult men are recommended to consume 1.4mg per day whilst women 1.2mg per day.

B7 - Biotin

Similar to B5, Biotin assists the growth of cells and food to energy metabolism. It is found in similar to foods to B5 such as Vegetables and starchy carbohydrates. It is needed in very small amounts and daily intake is recommended below 0.9mg per day.

Deficiencies can again lead to slow growth and poor energy.

B9 - Folic Acid / Folate

Folic Acid aids to production of red blood cells and a lack of it can cause anaemia. It is found high in Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Spinach, Asparagus and Peas. Adults are recommended to consume 200mcg per day.

B12 - Cobalamin

Commonly supplemented in functional supplements B12 is essential for releasing energy from food, creating red blood cells and ensuring Folic Acid can be used effectively. Salmon, Meat and Dairy are rich in B12 and adults are recommended to consume 1.5mcg daily. Vegans are often deficient in B12.

Why consume B-Vitamins?

B Vitamins are associated with energy, skin Health, immune system function, growth and cell formation and appears to reduce the risk of stroke -

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