The B complex vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 – play a crucial role in the healthy functioning of the body. B complex vitamin supplements help alleviate the symptoms of chronic illnesses, such as anxiety, fatigue, depression, skin ailments, heart diseases and premenstrual syndrome. In addition, they assist the body in the production of energy and red blood cells, enhance memory, boost mood and stimulate the immune system. While we take B complex vitamins in tandem, each component has its distinctive benefits. Here’s breaking down the B’s to elucidate their importance:
1. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is an anti-stress vitamin and has the ability to protect the immune system. When we load up on carbs, these vitamins help break down the simple carbohydrates. It mitigates the risks of renal failure and cataracts in patients with Diabetes type 2.
2. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) works as a powerful antioxidant and helps fight off free radicals in the body to prevent early aging. They are also crucial for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the cells, and prevent the risks of cardiovascular diseases and migraine, making this perhaps the most important B complex vitamin.
3. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) boosts the level of HDL cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol in the bloodstream to thwart the hardening of arteries. Used topically or ingested orally, Vitamin B3 has been associated with treating acne. It also helps regulate the digestive and nervous system and is required for DNA repair.
4. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is found in almost every food group and is essential for breaking down fats and carbs for energy. It is responsible for the production of stress and sex-related hormones, testosterone, and speeds up the healing of wounds. It promotes healthy skin and alleviates signs of early aging, such as blotchy skin and redness.
5. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) helps regulate the levels of the amino acid, homocysteine. It has a major role in regulating sleep patterns and determining mood since it triggers the body to produce serotonin, melatonin and a stress hormone called norepinephrine. Vitamin B6 can also quell the swelling in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Vitamin B7 (Biotin), or the “beauty vitamin,” has its benefits in promoting healthy hair, skin and nails. It helps diabetics regulate spikes in blood sugar levels and is equally beneficial for pregnant women as it diminishes the risk of neurological birth defects.
7. Vitamin B9 (Folate or folic acid) prevents memory loss and wards off depression. It lowers the risks of cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, strokes and birth anomalies. Folate promotes healthy fetal development as it aids in the formation of new cells. It also produces DNA and RNA for the production of cells and red-blood cells to prevent anemia.
8. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) aids in the formation of red blood cells with the help of Vitamin B9. It enhances memory and prevents mental fogginess. For people observing a strict vegetarian diet, supplements are needed to prevent deficiency.
As you can see, any B complex vitamin you take will provide you health benefits, so there are plenty of reasons for you to take at least one.