A Vitamin B Complex supplement consists of the eight B-vitamins, which include: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12). The B-vitamins work together to support your metabolism and energy production, cognitive function, and most major cellular processes by your body. In addition to working together, each B vitamin has a its own specific function described in more detail below:
Thiamine (B1): This vitamin is involved in many vital body functions including the nervous system, muscle contraction, and carbohydrate metabolism. Thiamine may also play a role in strengthening the immune system.
Riboflavin (B2): This vitamin acts in several vital chemical processes within the body, notably in energy production and metabolic pathways as well as in the production of red blood cells which are necessary for oxygen transport. Another possible use is for prevention of migraine headaches.
Niacin (B3): The most notable function of this vitamin is its role in prevention of cardiovascular disease. It helps to improves cholesterol levels as well as may prevent the clogging of arteries. Other possible benefits include the prevention of nonmelanoma skin cancers, migraine headaches, circulatory issues, and dizziness.
Pantothenic acid (B5): In combination with the other B vitamins, is essential to normal metabolism in that it plays an essential role in the utilization of fats and carbohydrates for energy production. Other possible benefits include prevention of acne, wound healing, and maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels.
Pyridoxine (B6): This vitamin helps to regulate levels of circulating homocysteine along with two other B vitamins folate and cobalamin - note that higher levels of homocysteine in the blood has been associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Biotin (B7): This vitamin is needed to properly and efficiently metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. This vitamin is best known for its positive effects on skin, hair, and nails.
Folate (B9): This vitamin is crucial for proper brain function and for rapidly growing tissues such as with pregnancy, and is essential to preventing major birth defects in a growing fetus. It may also prevent and/or slow the progression of age-related hearing loss, certain cancers, depression, and heart disease.
Cobalamin (B12): This vitamin is best known for its support for a healthy metabolism and energy production. It is also a vital nutrient for mood, muscle contraction, and other major cellular processes of the body.
As always, discuss with your provider before taking any new supplement.
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner in California. Blogging about health, fitness and mindfulness.