Vitamin B Functions – Sources and Deficiencies



Vitamin B refers to a group of 8 vitamins. They are vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (Biotin), vitamin B8 (myo-inositol), vitamin B9 (Folic acid) and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). Vitamin B plays a significant role in cell metabolism. At initial phase, scientists consider it is an individual vitamin much like we call vitamin A or vitamin C. However later in time, several scientific researches proved that they are cluster of chemically distinctive vitamins that may coexist in certain foods. Nutritional supplements containing all of the eight vitamins are referred to as vitamin B complex. On the other hand, nutritional supplement consisting of single vitamin B component is referred to specific name.

Vitamin B Functions

Vitamin B functions effectively for providing a whole host of health benefits. It maintains and boost up the metabolism rate. It also aids in maintaining healthy skin and offers flexibility in the muscle tone. Vitamin B functions well in managing a healthy immune system and it also offers a hale and hearty nervous system functioning. Vitamin B affects cell division and cell metabolism. It also affects the production of red blood cells. A deficiency in vitamin B may lead to anemia. Vitamin B complex is essential for fighting against different symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and cardiovascular diseases.

All of the B vitamins are water soluble; however, a six year of vitamin B12 storage was seen in the liver, regardless of its water soluble nature.

Vitamin B Sources

The supply of vitamin B is abundant in nature. You can easily add it in your diet list. The natural sources may include potatoes, chili peppers, bananas, liver oil, tuna, lentils, tempeh, turkey and liver. Molasses and nutritional yeast are known sources of vitamin B.

Vitamin B Deficiencies

Inadequate supply of sufficient B-vitamins may lead to vitamin B deficiencies. It may cause different types of health complications. Lack of Thiamin or vitamin B1 may cause Beriberi. The typical symptoms may include weakness, disorder in nervous system, significant weight loss, irregular heart beat, and edema. Vitamin B deficiencies may also result in ariboflavinosis. Poor supply of vitamin B2 in diet may cause this complication. The common symptoms may include hypersensitivity to sunlight, edema, cheilosis, hyperemia and oral mucosa. Pellagra is another health complications occurred as a result of vitamin B deficiencies.

Niacin plays a major role here. Lack of niacin in regular diet may ensure the possibility of this health complication. Common symptoms may include aggression, dermatitis, confusion, insomnia and diarrhea. In severe cases, pellagra may cause mortality also.

Not so common in every day practice, but a deficiency in Pantothenic acid may cause vitamin B deficiencies. It may result in acne and paresthesia. A lack in pyridoxine supply may lead to a whole host of health complications. All of these complications are known health complications arising from vitamin B deficiencies. The common complications are depression, mood disorder, hypertension, anemia, water retention, and increased level of homocysteine. Inadequate supply of Biotin may result in vitamin B deficiencies that largely affect infants. It may lead to developmental disorder and neurological disorder among children. Folic acid deficiency may lead to an increased level of homocysteine, which may lead to birth defects during pregnancy. Deficiency in vitamin B12 may result in megaloblastic anemia, memory loss and cognitive decline.

Several studies are going on in the support of possible health benefits provided by vitamin B supplements. Studies reveal that folic acid may be found beneficial in preventing birth defects and combating against colorectal cancer. Additionally, it is documented that high levels of folate in combination with other vitamin supplements may actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. Typically clinical trials put emphasis on the combination of folate and vitamin B6 that are helpful in minimizing the potential risk factors triggering breast cancer. It is naturally available in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and asparagus.





US Only

Source by Dr John Anne

caretaker