June 10, 2020 6 min read

Abundant in green vegetables, whole or enriched grains, dairy, and meats, B vitamins help promote a healthy metabolism and are also linked to a reduced risk of stroke, research shows. 

The B vitamins work together as a team. Some of them help cells burn fats and glucose for energy, while others help with the production of serotonin. They work intricately together behind the scenes with amazing results. Found naturally in meat, leafy greens, dairy, beans, peas, and whole or fortified grains, B-complex vitamins help your body make energy from the food you eat, form red blood cells, and play an essential role in certain bodily functions. Let's take a closer look at the benefits, signs of deficiency, and food sources for each of these B-complex vitamins.

What is vitamin B-complex?

 Vitamin B complex is composed of eight B vitamins:

  • B-1 (thiamine)
  • B-2 (riboflavin)
  • B-3 (niacin)
  • B-5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B-6 (pyridoxine)
  • B-7 (biotin)
  • B-9 (folic acid)
  • B-12 (cobalamin)

Each of these essential vitamins contributes to your overall bodily function. They all play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. 

B-1 (thiamine)

It helps the body use carbs from food to produce energy. It's needed for the health of the brain, muscles, and nervous system and it is critical for the growth, development, and function of cells in the body. 

B1 is found in whole-grain cereals, yeast, beans, nuts, and meats. Too little vitamin B1 causes Beriberi, a disease affecting the heart, digestive system, and the nervous system. Beriberi is found in patients who are malnourished, and in those who are heavy drinkers of alcohol. Symptoms of beriberi include difficulty walking, loss of sensation in the hands and feet, and paralysis of the lower legs and it may even lead to congestive heart failure. People who consume large amounts of alcohol should take a vitamin B complex supplement to be sure they get enough B1.

B-2 (riboflavin)

B2 works with other B vitamins (helps convert B6 into a usable form and aids in niacin production) and also helps convert food into energy. It's also needed for red blood cell production and growth and keeps the eyes, nervous system, and skin healthy.

Getting enough riboflavin may be preventive for migraine headaches and cataracts. Riboflavin may also increase energy levels, boost the immune system, and treat acne, muscle cramps, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Common food sources of vitamin B2 include milk and dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, clams, portobello mushrooms, almonds, and chicken.

B-3 (niacin)

B3 also aids in the conversion of food into energy and it helps enzymes in the body function properly by helping the body use other B vitamins and make and repair DNA (the genetic material found in all body cells). It is also needed for the production of hormones, such as sex and stress hormones and it helps with the function of the digestive and nervous systems and skin.
    Legumes, nuts, enriched breads, dairy, fish, and lean meats are all good sources of this type of vitamin B.

    B-5 (Pantothenic Acid)

    B5 breaks down fats and carbohydrates for energy, it plays a role in the production of sex and stress hormones in the adrenal glands and neurotransmitters and it helps the body use other vitamins, such as riboflavin.
    Vitamin B5 is also needed for the production of red blood cells and cholesterol.
    You can find vitamin B5 in vegetables of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and kale, as well as in avocado. In addition, whole-grain cereals, potatoes, dairy, and organ meats are good sources.

    B-6 (Pyridoxine)

    B6 is needed by the body to use and store protein and carbohydrates from food (in the form of glycogen, stored energy in the muscles and liver). 

    It is also required for more than 100 enzyme reactions in the body. It aids in the formation of hemoglobin (a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen through the blood) and neurotransmitters and hormones that influence mood and regulate the body's clock. it is involved in immune function and brain development and function.
    B6 deficiency can lead to muscle weakness, depression, irritability, short term memory loss, nervousness, and difficulty concentrating. Common food sources of vitamin B6 include chickpeas, beef liver, tuna, salmon, chicken breast, fortified breakfast cereal, potatoes, turkey, fruits (except citrus), and beef.

    B7 (Biotin)

    B7 helps the body convert the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in the food that you eat into energy. It is also needed to make fatty acids and it promotes growth and bone and hair and nails health. 

      B7 deficiency can lead to hair thinning or loss, skin rashes around the eyes, nose, mouth, or other mucous membranes, dry eyes, brittle nails and muscle pain. Common food sources of vitamin B7 include beef liver, egg yolk, wheat germ, pork, beef, sunflower seeds, sweet potato, almonds, whole-grain foods, sardines, spinach, and broccoli.

      B9 (Folic Acid)

      B9 helps your body make red blood cells. It is needed to help cells make and maintain DNA and, when taken during pregnancy, it reduces the risk of birth defects in the brain and spine, such as spina bifida.

      Teens and women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant may find it difficult to get enough folate, but this B vitamin is vital to a baby's health and development.

        Naturally occurring folate is found in many sources, including dark-green leafy vegetables, asparagus, brussels sprouts, oranges, nuts, beans, and peas. In addition, folic acid is added to many fortified foods such as cereals and breads.

        B12 (Cobalamin)

        B12 helps keep the nervous system and red blood cells healthy. It is required for the formation of red blood cells and DNA and it plays a very important role in protein metabolism.

        As many as 15% of people in the United States have a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include weakness, fatigue, constipation, weight loss, and loss of appetite. B12 deficiency can also damage the nervous system and can cause depression, confusion, and dementia. 

        Vitamin B12 is not naturally occurring in plant foods, so vegetarians and vegans may not get enough in their diets and may need to take a B supplement. Natural sources rich in vitamin B12 are dairy products, fish, meat, and, in particular, beef liver and clams. This type of vitamin B can also be found in fortified items like breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast.

        How can you tell if you’re deficient?

        Most people get enough B vitamins by eating a balanced diet. However, it’s still possible to be deficient.

        The following symptoms may be a sign that you’re not getting enough B vitamins:

        • skin rashes
        • cracks around the mouth
        • scaly skin on the lips
        • swollen tongue
        • fatigue
        • weakness
        • anemia
        • confusion
        • irritability or depression
        • nausea
        • abdominal cramps
        • diarrhea
        • constipation
        • numbness or tingling in the feet and hands

        Your doctor can determine if you are deficient in one of the B vitamins and may prescribe a vitamin B-complex supplement. A varied and balanced diet is essential to avoiding a B vitamin deficiency and reaping the health benefits of these important vitamins. 

        B-Complex supplements: YES or NO?

        Truth is that getting the recommended amounts of vitamins each day is an important part of the nutrition equation, and most of us don’t get enough of them.

        While most people who eat a varied diet get enough B vitamins from food, some people are at an increased risk of deficiency, particularly those who are over the age of 50, take antacid medication, or have celiac disease, Crohn's disease, gastritis, or other digestive disorders.

        If you have had stomach or weight loss surgery, drink alcohol regularly, or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you may be more prone to a deficiency.

        Pregnant and breastfeeding women may need more vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid.



        Zanapure's Natural B-Complex helps prevent infections and helps promote cell health, growth of red blood cells, good eyesight, healthy brain function, good digestion, proper nerve function, and hormones and cholesterol production among others.

        Natural B-Complex also helps support energy levels, muscle tone, cardiovascular health and also assists the body with the metabolism of protein which, in turn, promotes the growth of healthy skin cells and helps to repair damaged skin.
        It’s been known that some people with B vitamin deficiencies experience depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Zanapure's Natural B-Complex helps enhance your immune and nervous system function, and supports and increases the rate of your metabolism while easing stress and improving mood.

        We have enriched this supplement with all 8 B vitamins, plus Choline, Inositol and PABA, as well as an organic Fruit & Vegetables Blend, all in 1 capsule. This formula will work naturally with your body to regulate your immune system, your hormones, protect your cardiovascular system, rejuvenate your skin, and help achieve the feeling of wellbeing.

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