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The ultimative Vitamin B Guide (complete)
Vitamins

The ultimative Vitamin B Guide (complete)

08/11/2020
The ultimative Vitamin B Guide (complete)

They occur both in letters and numbers and ensure our survival: the vitamins. Our daily vitamins (lat. vita=life) take care of our natural body functions and help us to regulate everything that comes into contact with the body. One of these letter phenomena is vitamin B. The vitamin B group usually includes vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. B vitamins belong to the water-soluble vitamins and therefore, unlike fat-soluble vitamins, cannot be stored in fatty tissue. Your body needs to be constantly supplied with these vitamins, which is why B vitamins are often used as food supplements [1]. They all perform various important functions in the body, from energy production and detoxification to regeneration and wound healing.

 

We will take a closer look and introduce you to the benefits and deficiency symptoms of the individual B vitamins:

   

Fun fact: The gaps in the vitamin B series (4,8,10 and 11) are by definition no longer vitamins and are called vitaminoids. They are therefore no longer part of the Vitamin B-Complex Cocktail. This cocktail contains only essential vitamins.

 

 

1. Vitamin B1

 

Effect:

Vitamin B1 or thiamin is colloquially called the mood vitamin. It is responsible for carbohydrate metabolism in the nerves, brain, and muscles and is essential for their energy production [2, 3]. Our brain, muscles, and nerves need sugar as fuel. B1 helps provide sugar from carbohydrate food sources such as pasta, potatoes, or rice [4]. Our memory and physical condition depend on this vitamin, among other things.

Occurrence:

Thiamine is mainly found in the inner shells and germs of cereals [5]. Whole-grain products are therefore preferable. About 40% of heat-sensitive vitamin B1 is destroyed during cooking and some of it is dissolved in the cooking water because it is soluble in water [3]. Gentle processing is therefore recommended.

Signs of deficiency:

A thiamine deficiency primarily causes fatigue, exhaustion, memory problems, and a decline in physical and mental performance [2, 3]. Beri beri (inflammation of the nerves with paralysis and heart failure) is a result of a severe deficiency. High alcohol consumption and breastfeeding increase the need for thiamine [5]. Vitamin B1 deficiency does not usually occur so often. However, it can be caused by a diet that includes white flour products or polished rice [2]. Alcohol abuse, stomach, and bowel problems, low-vitamin diets, or pregnancy can also be the cause [2, 6].

 

 

2. Vitamin B2

 

Effect:

Vitamin B2 is known under the name riboflavin. Riboflavin is also part of the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fatty acids into energy [7]. It helps detoxify the liver [8], helps to produce red blood cells and, together with vitamin A, helps to heal the skin [5]. It also supports cell protection against oxidative stress and contributes to healthy skin and eye protection against short-wave light [7].

Occurrence:

Vitamin B2 is found mainly in milk, dairy products, meat, fish, and wholemeal products [8].

Signs of deficiency:

Riboflavin deficiency can be recognised by cracks in the corners of the mouth or inflammation of the oral mucosa and can also cause cataracts [8, 9]. However, an undersupply of vitamin B2 is rare and is most common in people who eat a vegan diet or drink alcohol [9].

 

 

3. Vitamin B3

 

Effect:

Niacin, as vitamin B3 is actually called, is involved in cell formation and muscle regeneration [10]. It also regulates blood lipids and is involved in fat and cholesterol metabolism [11].

Occurrence:

Poultry, game, fish, mushrooms, and dairy products are good sources of niacin [5].

Signs of deficiency:

Loss of appetite, lack of concentration or sleep disturbances, and rough and flaky skin usually indicate a chronic deficiency. However, this is rare. Here too, there is a risk of illness and an increased need for alcohol abuse [5, 11].

 

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4. Vitamin B5

 

Effect:

B5, or pantothenic acid, is used in the body to produce coenzyme A, which supports the build-up and breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body [4, 12, 13]. It also forms hemoglobin (blood pigment), which is responsible for the transport of oxygen in the blood and is an important factor in wound healing and the protective function of the skin [12, 14, 15]. Panthenol is more commonly known, which is used in ointments for skincare and is converted to pantothenic acid in the skin cells.

Occurrence:

Pantothenic acid is found in whole grain products, peanuts, eggs, and pulses. Offal in particular is rich in vitamin B5. The latter is not the case for everyone, of course [12].

Signs of deficiency:

A deficiency is rare, but it can also manifest itself as a weak immune system, dry cracked skin, and brittle hair [16]. Other symptoms are tiredness, insomnia, and sore muscles [17].

 

 

5. Vitamin B6

 

Effect:

Pyridoxine is - similar to vitamin B5 - responsible for hemoglobin production. It also regulates the immune system and is involved in the formation of messenger substances required for the transmission of stimuli in the nervous system. These include dopamine and serotonin, the so-called happiness hormones that are responsible for positive emotional effects [18, 19].

Occurrence:

Liver, chicken, fish, maize, dairy products, lentils, and green beans provide vitamin B6 [20, 21].

Signs of deficiency:

A deficiency can cause scaly rashes on the face and inflammation of the mouth and lips. This can be caused by hormonal contraceptives, increased protein intake, or chronic digestive problems [5, 22].

 

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6. Vitamin B7

 

■ Effect:

Biotin is also called the beauty vitamin. It plays a major role in cell growth and DNA and protein synthesis. The B-vitamin biotin is particularly useful for the growth and maintenance of normal skin and hair. This effect is due to the protein keratin, which is the main component of skin, hair, and nails. Without biotin, these components of the body cannot be produced [5, 23].

■ Occurrence:

Milk, pulses, nuts, and again offal are suitable sources of biotin [5].

■ Signs of deficiency:

A deficiency can be recognised by brittle nails, pale skin, hair loss, inflammation of the corners of the mouth, and muscle problems.

 

 

7. Vitamin B9

 

■ Effect:

B9, or folic acid, plays a significant role in genetic information [5]. It is very important for growth processes involving cell division and for the development of fetuses during pregnancy [24]. Folic acid is also responsible for breaking down the toxic amino acid homocysteine. A high concentration of homocysteine in the blood increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke or heart attack [25, 26].

■ Occurrence:

Folic acid is found in spinach, yeast, and offal [5].

■ Signs of deficiency:

A possible deficiency is an anemia, a tendency to nosebleeds, slower wound healing, and a negative effect on the immune system. An increased need for folic acid during pregnancy can lead to a deficiency. This can also be caused by antibiotics [5].

 

 

8. Vitamin B12

 

■ Effect:

Cobalamin, the correct name for vitamin B12, forms fully developed red blood cells which are responsible for transporting folic acid [27]. It, therefore, has a positive effect on blood formation. Vitamin B12 is also linked to the synthesis of myelin. These are biomembranes that we need for the peripheral nerve cords in the brain and spinal cord. The vitamin, therefore, contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system. The energy we need for our daily life is obtained through food. Cobalamin also contributes to the breakdown of fatty acids and amino acids and therefore plays a role in the utilization of this food. [30]

We have collected more information about vitamin B12 and its storage for you here.

■ Occurrence:

B12 is found in almost all products of animal origin, such as meat, milk, and eggs. Fermented plant products, such as soya, also contain vitamin B12, but often not enough to cover the daily requirement.

■ Signs of deficiency:

Vitamin B12 can be stored after intake. The dangerous thing about a B12 deficiency is that the empty vitamin B12 stores are often only noticed years later. Slight fatigue to severe neurological impairment and nerve damage are symptoms of deficiency. Other deficiency symptoms include Pernicious anemia and psychiatric disorders like memory problems, depression, irritability, or dementia [31, 32]. A deficiency can be caused by not eating animal products or by problems with dietary B12 intake. It can also occur in older adults, anemic people, patients with digestive system disorders (Crohn's disease, celiac disease), or patients who have undergone surgery.

 

 

9. Vitamin B-Complex

 

A large number of B vitamins, some of which have overlapping effects, is unsettling many people. The vitamin B-Complex vitamin B-Complex was therefore introduced to provide a balanced mix of B vitamins and is very popular. And rightly so, because it contains everything the body needs (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, biotin, folic acid, and B12), and there is no need to fear any side effects when taking vitamin B complex because the concentration of the individual components is adjusted to suit people's tolerance. However, the bioavailability of vitamin B complex varies enormously depending on the form in which it is taken. Due to the water solubility of the B vitamins, they are often excreted again after ingestion without being utilised. The latest revolution to prevent this inefficiency and at the same time make the vitamin even more compatible is called liposomes.

Discover Liposomal Vitamin-B Complex:

 

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Sources

[1] https://www.tk.de/techniker/magazin/ernaehrung/essen-und-wissen/vitamine-wichtig-fuer-stoffwechsel-2004728

[2] https://www.apotheken-umschau.de/Ernaehrung/Vitamin-B1-Thiamin-168857.html

[3] https://www.chemie.de/lexikon/Thiamin.html

[4] https://www.vital-und-gesund.de/b12/vitalstoffe/b-vitamine/

[5] https://www.netdoktor.at/laborwerte/vitamin-b-6684724

[6] https://www.netdoktor.de/ernaehrung/vitamin-b1/mangel/

[7] https://www.apotheken.de/krankheiten/hintergrundwissen/11511-riboflavin

[8] https://www.tk.de/techniker/magazin/ernaehrung/essen-und-wissen/vitamin-b2-riboflavin-2004744

[9] https://www.apotheken-umschau.de/Ernaehrung/Vitamin-B2-Riboflavin-169161.html

[10] https://www.netdoktor.de/ernaehrung/niacin/

[11] https://www.apotheken.de/krankheiten/hintergrundwissen/11545-niacin

[12] https://www.apotheken.de/krankheiten/hintergrundwissen/11715-pantothensaeure

[13] https://www.tk.de/techniker/magazin/ernaehrung/essen-und-wissen/pantothensaeure-vitamin-b5-2004752

[14] https://www.gelbe-liste.de/wirkstoffe/Pantothensaeure_17300

[15] https://fet-ev.eu/vitamin-b5

[16] https://www.netdoktor.at/laborwerte/vitamin-b-6684724

[17] https://www.chemie.de/lexikon/Pantothens%C3%A4ure.html

[18] https://www.netdoktor.de/ernaehrung/vitamin-b6/

[19] https://www.netdoktor.de/medikamente/dopamin/

[20] https://www.centrosan.com/Wissen/Naehrstoff-Lexikon/Vitamine/Wasserloeslich/Vitamin-B6.php

[21] https://www.tk.de/techniker/magazin/ernaehrung/essen-und-wissen/vitamin-b6-multitalent-stoffwechsel-2004754

[22] https://www.apotheken.de/krankheiten/hintergrundwissen/11626-pyridoxin

[23] https://www.vitamindoctor.com/naehrstoffe/vitamine/biotin

[24] https://www.apotheken.de/gesundheit/gesund-leben/ernaehrungsmedizin/9771-folsaeure

[25] https://www.tk.de/techniker/magazin/ernaehrung/essen-und-wissen/folsaeure-vitamin-b9-2004756

[26] https://www.imd-berlin.de/fachinformationen/diagnostikinformationen/homocysteinaemie.html

[27] PubMed PMC3257642

[28] http://www.vitalstoff-lexikon.de/

[29] https://www.nu3.de/

[30] https://www.gofeminin.de

[31] Lindenbaum J, Healton EB, Savage DG, Brust JC, Garrett TJ, Podell ER, et al. Neuropsychiatric disorders caused by cobalamin deficiency in the absence of anemia or macrocytosis. N Engl J Med. 1988;318:1720–8.

[32] V Herbert, Staging vitamin B−12 (cobalamin) status in vegetarians, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 59, Issue 5, May 1994, Pages 1213S–1222S, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/59.5.1213S.

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