Vitamin B complex a Guide to 8 Essential Vitamins

Vitamin B complex includes eight vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12, which play a fundamental role in keeping the body functioning in optimal conditions. Each of them has a different function, and all are important.

Vitamins B are water-soluble, that is, they are soluble in water and tend to accumulate, and if there is an excess, they are easily excreted through the urine.

Essentially this vitamin complex converts food into energy to perform daily activities; preserves the health of hair, skin and nails; prevents memory problems and cognitive deterioration; Improves mood; protects against cardiovascular diseases, and strengthens bones, among other functions.

Water-soluble vitamins are essential for growth and development, which among other functions help the body to break down and use food. Discover the properties of each one.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Vitamin B1 is not absorbed as such in the body, but is transformed into a coenzyme that intervenes in the metabolism of carbohydrates.

Among its main functions: it allows the cells to convert carbohydrates into energy, it is essential in the formation of DNA, stimulates the appetite, maintains the integrity of the nervous system, protects the immune system, preserves nervous and cardiovascular functioning, improves muscle tone, reduces the effects of aging, as it is a powerful antioxidant and ensures proper digestion.

Vitamin B1 deficiency

Symptoms of deficiency include: irritability, memory loss, lack of sleep, indigestion or constipation and muscle pain.

Where is Vitamin B1 obtained?

Vitamin B1 is obtained from foods such as: whole grains, wheat germ, peanuts, spinach, cabbage, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, eggplant, liver and tuna.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Just like Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 also behaves like a coenzyme. The importance of this vitamin derives in that it is part of two coenzymes, both involved in a large number of oxidation and reduction reactions, that is, processes related to the production of energy from carbohydrates, fats, even proteins. Its role in cellular energy processes is important to preserve tissues, especially nerves and skin. It also acts as an antioxidant, helps in the production of red blood cells, favors the production of antibodies. It is essential for healthy skin, allows processing amino acids and fats, prevents migraines, is included in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, effective in case of anemia and strengthens the immune system.

Vitamin B2 deficiency can cause profound effects on metabolism. It also generates abnormal sensitivity to light, itching and burning in the eyes; inflammation in the mouth; dull hair, oily skin and premature wrinkles, plus malfunction of the adrenal glands.

Where is Vitamin B2 obtained?

Its main sources are: almonds, mushrooms, soybeans, green leafy vegetables, rice, milk, yogurt, eggs, Brussels sprouts and spinach.

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

Like the other vitamins it intervenes in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to produce energy. Other important functions are: it reduces the LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases the HDL (good), it intervenes in the liver, it favors the health of the skin, hair and eyes, normalizes the function of the nervous system, benefits the production of sexual hormones, improves circulation, reduces inflammation and maintains normal functions of the gastrointestinal tract.

Vitamin B3 deficiency

A mild deficiency of vitamin B3 can result in mouth sores, irritability, nervousness, skin lesions, diarrhea, and lack of memory, insomnia, chronic headaches, digestive disorders and anemia. On the other hand, severe or prolonged deficiency can cause mental disorders, depression, mental apathy and disorientation.

Where is Vitamin B3 obtained?

This vitamin is present in yeast, sliced meats, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, rice, wheat, sunflower seeds or almonds.


  1. The consumption of high doses of vitamin B3 can cause liver damage, peptic ulcer and rash.

  2. High doses of vitamin B6 can cause neurological disorders and numbness.

  3. Adverse effects of vitamin B9 are not frequent, but may include, general weakness, difficulty breathing,  chest pain, rash and itching.

  4. The specific recommendations for B-complex consumption depend on age, sex and other factors such as pregnancy and lactation.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

It acts on the cellular metabolism to release energy from fats, proteins and carbohydrates, acting as a coenzyme. Vitamin B5 also promotes healthy skin with the ability to reduce the signs of aging. It is considered an anti-stress vitamin, which is needed to produce hormones and red blood cells, maintains a healthy digestive system, detoxifies the body, benefits hair and prevents heart disease; Hypoglycemia, insomnia, irritability and low blood pressure may improve with the benefits of vitamin B5.

Vitamin B5 deficiency

Some signs of deficiency include: fatigue, trouble sleeping, headache, nausea or upset stomach.

Where is Vitamin B5 obtained?

Its main sources are yogurt, eggs, meat and vegetables.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 is used for the formation of coenzymes and to facilitate the metabolism of proteins, since it is essential for the absorption of amino acids. It also participates in the formation of red blood cells and the enzyme glycogen phosphorylase, which degrades muscle glycogen to produce energy.

Among its main functions are: it collaborates in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine; regulates the amino acid homocysteine ​​(associated with heart disease); improves mood and sleep patterns; relieves premenstrual symptoms; It has diuretic properties.

Vitamin B6 deficiency

Deficiency of this vitamin can cause confusion, depression, irritability, ulcers in the mouth and tongue or peripheral neuropathy.

Vitamin B complex – Where is Vitamin B6 obtained?

Chicken, liver, tuna, salmon, lentils, sunflower seeds, nuts, wheat germ, cheese, rice, carrots and banana are the sources of this vitamin.

Vitamin B7 (biotin)

Known as the “vitamin of beauty” for its association in relation to the health of nails, hair and skin, it also helps to break down proteins and carbohydrates. It is also recommended for people suffering from diabetes, because it would control high sugar levels, is vital during pregnancy, prevents cardiovascular problems, benefits the growth and maintenance of muscle tissue, and repairs it in case of damage.

It is useful to reduce excess fat (contributes to weight loss), and is recommended in cases of Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome (nervous system disorder that causes problems in the development of children, especially in the areas of language and the use of hands) and vaginal candidiasis.

Vitamin B7 deficiency

Symptoms such as fatigue, depression, pain in the muscles, hair loss, anemia, lack of appetite or dermatitis alert about a deficiency of this vitamin.

Where is Vitamin B7 obtained?

B7 is found in chicken, liver, fish, cauliflower, nuts, egg yolk, milk, rice, oats, soybeans, nuts, bananas, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower.

Vitamin B9 (folic acid)

Folic acid is part of the transport of coenzymes that control the metabolism of amino acids. Folic acid is essential in rapidly regenerating tissues, such as muscles or blood cells. It is an essential factor in the formation of DNA, and in the regeneration of walls of the intestinal tract.

Its consumption is essential during pregnancy, because it prevents the incidence of premature birth and fetal defects. Help with depression and memory loss problems; in combination with vitamin B12 is essential for the formation and multiplication of red blood cells; creates antibodies to prevent and cure infections; It is essential for the health of skin and hair.

Vitamin B9 deficiency

Its deficit causes anemia (usually in pregnant women and children), skin disorders, hair loss, circulation problems, fatigue and depression.

Where is Vitamin B9 obtained? – Vitamin B complex

Sources of B9 include: green leafy vegetables, asparagus, beets, salmon, root vegetables, milk, wheat and legumes.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

Along with vitamin B9, vitamin B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells and allows iron to make hemoglobin. It also stands out because it is important for metabolism, improves the functioning of the central nervous system, preserves the hormonal balance and protects the cardiovascular system. It is essential to maintain an excellent state of health and balance with other vitamins, therefore promotes physical performance.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

A deficit of B12 can lead to chronic fatigue, depression or chronic stress. Those people who follow a vegan diet may be deficient in this vitamin, since B12 sources are of animal origin. In case of deficiency adding supplements will be recommended.

Vitamin B complex -Where is Vitamin B12 obtained?

The main food sources include: fish, shellfish, clams, dairy products, eggs, meats, liver and cheeses.

The B group vitamins intervene in numerous physiological processes from the support for cognitive condition, to energy metabolism and cardiovascular health.

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