The B Vitamins, or Vitamin B Complex, are a group of closely related water-soluble substances which have certain functions in common although they each play individual roles in the body. However, they work in such a close relationship all over the body that it is difficult to tell which Vitamin B is more important.
B Vitamins are involved in the metabolic processes that release energy from carbohydrates, fat, and protein - we would lack energy without them. They play a role in cell multiplication and the production of red blood cells. They are also important for our nervous system, for normal nerve and brain function which affects our mood and behaviour.
The eight core members of the Vitamin B Complex are:
The B Vitamins are involved in many metabolic reactions in our body and are crucial for energy production and utilization. They play a role in cell multiplication and the production of red blood cells. B Vitamins are important for our nervous system and can boost our energy levels and improve our mood.
Some B Vitamins show pain-relieving properties and may relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to name a few. As with many micronutrients, B group Vitamins appear to be more effective in combination.
The two major deficiencies are Beriberi (Vitamin B1) and Pellagra (Vitamin B3). Signs of deficiency include psychological problems, poor wound healing, or fatigue.
B group Vitamins are unlikely to cause a toxic reaction. However, excessive intake of Niacin (Vitamin B3) for example, can cause a flushing or tingling sensation. Others may cause nerve damage, drowsiness, or diarrhoea.
B group Vitamins are mainly found in eggs, fish, fruits, grains, kidneys, legumes, liver, meat, milk, nuts, poultry, seeds, vegetables, and yeast.
Water-soluble Vitamins are unstable to heat, light and oxygen. Prolonged cooking can easily destroy these Vitamins.
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