B vitamins are a group of eight nutrients that play roles in many bodily systems and organs. They have their own unique functions, even though they work together in the body. In this article, we will explore the functions and benefits of B vitamins, as well as look at the symptoms of B vitamins deficiency. To make sure that the cells of your boy function properly, you need B vitamins. These vitamins help your body by maintaining healthy brain cells, skin cells, and other body tissues and creating new blood cells, and converting food into energy.
Types of B Vitamins
There are eight types of B vitamins, and each of them contributes to your overall bodily function. Together, all of these types of B vitamins are called vitamin B complex. B vitamins play an essential role in maintaining good well-being and health. They have a direct influence on your cell metabolism, brain function, and energy levels. Many people can get a sufficient amount of B vitamins by eating foods that are dense with nutrients. However, there are people who struggle to meet their daily requirements and use supplements.
1. Vitamin B-1 Or Thiamin
High amounts of thiamin can be found in the brain, kidney, liver, and heart. Thiamin is present in nuts, seeds, legumes, acorn squash, mussels, trout, pork, and whole grains. The body needs thiamin for synthesizing certain hormones, producing fatty acids, creating certain neurotransmitters, and breaking down sugar molecules from food. People who might not get enough thiamin are those who’ve had bariatric surgery, those who have heart failure or diabetes, those with AIDS or HIV, those with alcohol dependence, and older adults. Thiamin deficiency can be recognized through the following symptoms: poor reflexes, loss of muscle mass, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, heart problems, confusion or memory problems, little or no appetite, and weight loss.
2. Vitamin B-2 Or Riboflavin
Riboflavin is essential for helping the body break down steroid hormones, drugs, and fats. It is also essential for energy production, converting Vitamin B-6 into a coenzyme, and converting tryptophan into niacin. Foods that contain riboflavin are almonds, mushrooms, milk and yogurt, oatmeal, fortified breakfast cereals, and organ meats. Riboflavin deficiency is rare. However, it can occur if a person has an endocrine disorder or certain other conditions. Women who are pregnant or lactating and don’t consume dairy or meat products, as well as athletes or vegans that don’t consume dairy or animal products are also at risk for riboflavin deficiency. If you have a deficiency of riboflavin, you might experience itchy and red eyes, hair loss, cracked and swollen lips, swelling of the throat and mouth, sores at the corners of the mouth, and skin disorders. Cataracts and anemia can be a result of a severe riboflavin deficiency.
3. Vitamin B-3 Or Niacin
NAD, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is made by the body, which converts niacin into a coenzyme. These enzymes help with the expression of DNA in cells, communication among cells, metabolic processes in the cells of the body, and changing the energy in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into a form that the body can use. Foods that are high in NAD are animal-based foods such as fish, poultry, and meat. People at risk of niacin deficiency have carcinoid syndrome, Hartup disease, inflammatory bowel disease, AIDS, alcohol use disorder, anorexia nervosa, and malnutrition. Signs of niacin deficiency are depression, fatigue, headache, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, a bright red tongue, rough appearance of patches of skin, and brown discoloration on the skin.
4. Vitamin B-5 Or Pantothenic Acid
For the body to create new fats, proteins, and coenzymes, pantothenic acid is necessary. Foods that are right in pantothenic acid are fortified breakfast cereals, avocados, tuna, chicken, sunflower seeds, shiitake mushrooms, and beef liver. Pantothenic acid deficiency can affect people with severe malnutrition. Its symptoms include a lack of appetite, poor sleep and restlessness, irritability, headache, burning of the hands and feet, and numbness.
5. Vitamin B-6
More than 100 enzyme reactions need vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine. The body needs this vitamin for immune function, brain development, breaking down fats and carbohydrates, and amino acid metabolism. Food rich in vitamin B-6 is fortified cereals, potatoes, poultry, salmon, tuna, chickpeas, and organ meats. Deficiency of Vitamin B-5 can cause depression, confusion, weakened immune system, swollen tongue, cracks at the corners of the mouth, scaling on the lips, and anemia. People at risk of a vitamin B-6 deficiency are those who have alcohol dependence, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, renal disease, and those who had a kidney transplant.
6. Vitamin B-7 Or Biotin
Many nail, skin, and hair supplements have biotin in them. However, there is not enough evidence that biotin helps with these things. People need biotin for the regulation of DNA, communication among cells in the body, and breaking down protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Foods that include biotin are sunflower seeds, beef, pork, salmon, eggs, and organ meats. People who are at risk of a biotin deficiency are women who are pregnant or lactating, people with alcohol dependence, people with biotinidase deficiency. Signs of a biotin deficiency include fatigue, depression, brittle nails, a scary rush around the mouth, nose, and eyes, and thinning of the hair.
7. Vitamin B-9 Or Folate
Folate is crucial for proper cell division, metabolism of amino acids, metabolism of vitamins, and DNA replication. Natural folate can be found in nuts, beans, eggs, orange juice, papaya, avocado, beef liver, and dark green leafy vegetables. People at risk of folate deficiency are people who have IBD, conditions that interfere with nutrient absorption, celiac disease, and alcohol use disorder. The symptoms of a folate deficiency include nail, hair, or skin changes, sores in the mouth or on the tongue, irritability, heart palpations, headache, or weakness.
8. Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is necessary for protein and fat metabolism, neurological and brain function, DNA synthesis, and creating new red blood cells. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 are milk and yogurt, beef, salmon, beef liver, and clams. People at risk of a B-12 deficiency include those who had surgery on the stomach or gastric bypass surgery, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, conditions that interfere with nutrient absorption, and older adults. The symptoms of a vitamin B-12 deficiency include depression, memory problems, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, loss of appetite, constipation, weight loss, and fatigue.
Final Thoughts – Are B Vitamins Important?
Each of the B vitamins has its unique functions, but for the best health benefits and the proper absorption, they depend on one another. These vitamins help a variety of enzymes do their jobs, ranging from breaking down amino acids and transporting energy-containing nutrients and oxygen around the body, to releasing energy from fat and carbohydrates. Generally, all the B vitamins that a person needs can be acquired by eating a varied and healthful diet. However, it’s still possible to be deficient. If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, make sure you schedule an appointment to see your doctor.
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