Health

Are You Taking Enough Vitamin B in Your Diet? Vitamin B Benefits, Sources, & Much More

Vitamin B Benefits And Sources
Vitamin B Benefits And Sources

Learn the Basics of Vitamin B

  • Firstly, the B-set vitamins are a group of around eight water-soluble simple vitamins needed for multiple metabolic activities.
  • Most of these essential vitamins are required to be consumed frequently and cannot be ideally stored in the body.
  • On the other hand, alcohol, food processing, and needless cooking can decrease the presence of vitamin B.
  • Vitamin B helps the body to use protein, fat, and carbohydrates as fuel and generate energy.
  • Moreover, B vitamins guide immune and cell health in the body.
  • Some groups such as pregnant women and older adults require large quantities of vitamin B.
  • Likewise, alcohol abuse, HIV, Celiac, and Crohn disease can induce vitamin B deficiency.
  • Overall, you better consult a physician in case of any vitamin deficiency because self-medication can be dangerous. Symptoms vary depending on what vitamin B deficiency you lack.

In The Article

Different Types of Vitamin B

There are simply eight distinct groups of vitamin B

  1. B1 (Thiamine)
  2. B2 (Riboflavin)
  3. B3 (Niacin)
  4. B5 (Pantothenic acid)
  5. B6 (Pyridoxine)
  6. B7 (Biotin)
  7. B9 Folic acid or Folate
  8. B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

A. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

1. Benefits

  • Vitamin B1 converts glucose into fuel or energy needed by the body.
  • Mainly necessary for normal development and growth.
  • Ensures the proper health of digestive, nervous, and heart systems.

2. Main Source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

  • Green peas
  • Bread
  • Enriched cereals and whole grain
  • Bananas
  • Nuts
  • Soybeans
  • Pinto beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Liver
  • Spinach & legumes
  • Red Meat
  • Cauliflower
  • Milk
  • Sunflower seeds

3. Deficiency of Thiamine

  • Mostly found amongst white-rice eaters.
  • Alcohol abuse and lack of proper diet can also increase vitamin B1 deficiency.
  • As per rules, in countries like Australia, wholemeal and white flour mainly used in bread would contain thiamine.
  • Thiamine deficiency symptoms are muscle weakness, fatigue, lethargy, poor coordination ( leg and arms), irritability, and confusion.
  • ‘Dry’ and ‘Wet’ beriberi – This disease affects the nervous, gastrointestinal, muscular, and cardiovascular systems.
  • Symptoms of ‘Wet’ beriberi are
    • Severe oedema or swelling
    • Heart failure
    • Enlarged heart
  • Symptoms of ‘Dry’ beriberi are
    • Deep pain (mostly in calf muscles)
    • Constant nervous tingling sensation throughout the body
    • Nerve degeneration
    • Overall, this disease mainly affects the nervous system
  • Wet Brain or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
    • Wet Brain or Wernicke-Korsakoff occurs due to excessive alcohol intake or deficiency of thiamine.
    • Alcohol decreases thiamine absorption and simultaneously increases thiamine reduction via kidneys.
    • Mental confusion, staggering, eye muscle paralysis, and involuntary eyeball movement are some of the symptoms.

4. Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B1

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 0.2 mg
    • 7-12 months – 0.3mg
  1. Children
    • 1-3 years – 0.5 mg (RDA)
    • 4-8 years – 0.6 mg (RDA)
    • 9-13 years – 0.9 mg (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 1.2 mg (males) (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 1 mg (females) (RDA)
  1. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above- 1.2 mg (every day) (RDA)
    • Females – 19 years and above- 1.1 mg (every day) (RDA)
  1. Pregnant Women – 1.4 mg (RDA)
  2. Lactating mothers – 1.4 mg (RDA)

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

1. Benefits

  • Necessary for the body to handle fat, proteins, and carbohydrates metabolism.
  • Vitamin B2 ensures good eyesight.
  • Vitamin B2 encourages cellular energy production.

2. Main Source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

  • Fish and eggs
  • Meat
  • Yoghurt
  • Milk
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Leafy greens
  • Almonds
  • Chard
  • Okra or ladies finger
  • Asparagus

3. Deficiency of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Ariboflavinosis

  • This disease usually accompanies other vitamin B deficiency.
  • Ariboflavinosis mainly affects those who avoid milk or milk related products and alcohol abusers.
  • Symptoms include
    • Skin rash
    • Redness of cornea
    • Hair loss
    • Un-necessary sensitivity to light
    • Inflamed eyelids
    • Anxiety
    • Redness and crack in the tongue or mouth corners
    • Tongue inflammation such as purple-red, smooth, or painful

4. Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B2

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 0.3 mg
    • 7-12 months – 0.4mg
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – 0.5 mg (RDA)
    • 4-8 years – 0.6 mg (RDA)
    • 9-13 years – 0.9 mg (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 1.3 mg (males) (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 1 mg (females) (RDA)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above- 1.3 mg (every day- RDA)
    • Females – 19 years and above- 1.1 mg (every day-RDA)
  4. Pregnant Women – 1.4 mg (RDA)
  5. Lactating Mothers – 1.6 mg (RDA)

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

1. Benefits

  • Vitamin B3 converts food into body energy.
  • It also supports good appetite and healthy digestion.
  • Vitamin B3 repairs DNA in the body.
  • It produces various stress and sex-related hormones mainly produced via adrenal gland.
  • Vitamin B3 helps remove un-necessary chemicals and toxins from the body.
  • Moreover, niacin or nicotinic acid helps maintain cardiovascular health.
  • Unlike other B-vitamins, vitamin B3 remains heat stable and does not lose its properties while cooking.
  • Overall, it supports digestive and nervous systems and also aides maintain skin health.

2. Main Source of Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

  • Peanuts
  • Barley and wheat or any whole grains
  • Red meat and beef
  • Liver
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Lentils
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Mushrooms
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Dates
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Salmon
  • Tuna

3. Deficiency of Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

  1. Excessive intake of vitamin B3 causes potential liver damage, nausea, itching, and flushing.
  2. Pellagra
    • Alcohol abusers and those who sustain only on corn-rich diet are likely to get affected by Pellagra.
  3. Some of the main symptoms of ‘Pellagra’ are
    • Dermatitis
    • Diarrhea
    • Dementia
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness
    • Mental issues
    • Appetite loss
    • Swollen or inflamed tongue
  4. In essence, in certain cases, vitamin B3 deficiency causes loss of life.

4. Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B3

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 2 mg (AI)
    • 7-12 months – 4 mg (AI)
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – 6 mg (RDA)
    • 4-8 years – 8 mg (RDA)
    • 9-13 years – 12 mg (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 16 mg (males) (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 14mg (females) (RDA)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above – 16 mg (every day- RDA)
    • Females – 19 years and above – 14 mg (every day-RDA)
  4. Pregnant Women – 18 mg (RDA)
  5. Lactating Mothers – 17 mg (RDA)

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

1. Benefits

  • Firstly, vitamin B5 helps sustain life.
  • They are vital in the management of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in the body.
  • Vitamin B5 plays a crucial role in producing steroid hormones and red blood cells.

2. Main Source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

  • Some energy drinks
  • Legumes
  • Peanuts
  • Yeast
  • Eggs
  • Kidney
  • Milk
  • Meat
  • Beans
  • Whole grain cereals

3. Deficiency of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

  1. Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 deficiency appears quite rarely
  2. However, the symptoms are
    • Intestinal distress
    • Vomiting
    • Severe constipation
    • Sleeplessness
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite

4. Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B5

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 1.7 mg (AI)
    • 7-12 months – 8 mg (AI)
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – 2 mg (RDA)
    • 4-8 years – 3 mg (RDA)
    • 9-13 years – 4 mg (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 5 mg (males) (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 5 mg (females) (RDA)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above – 5 mg (every day- RDA)
    • Females – 19 years and above – 5 mg (every day-RDA)
  4. Pregnant Women – 6 mg (RDA)
  5. Lactating Mothers – 7 mg (RDA)

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

1. Benefits

  • Vitamin B6 mainly supports enzymes with their day-to-day functions.
  • It favours and enables the immune and nervous system to work efficiently.
  • Therefore, vitamin B6 acts as the main health saviour in the body.
  • Moreover, it influences brain development and functions.

2. Main Source of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

They are mainly present in

  • Bananas
  • Sea vegetables
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Wheat germ
  • Salad greens
  • Green beans
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Liver
  • Nuts

3. Deficiency of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

  1. Excessive intake – This condition arises due to continuous medications or treatment.
    Symptoms of Vitamin B6 (Excessive intake) are

    • Numbness in the feet and hands
    • Walking difficulties
    • Overall, consuming large doses of vitamin B6 can cause irreparable nerve damage.
  2. Carpal tunnel and Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
    • As per reports, vitamin B6 contains certain chemicals that can reduce or postpone premenstrual and carpal tunnel syndrome.
    • However, you kindly seek proper medical advice before consuming 100 mg or more as dosage per day.
  3. Pyridoxine deficiency
    Those who fall under the danger zone include

    • Excessive alcohol drinkers
    • Women who regularly consume contraceptive pills
    • People and older adults with thyroid disease
  • Symptoms of pyridoxine deficiency are
    • Dermatitis
    • Mental trouble or depression
    • Convulsions
    • Muscle cramps
    • Irritability
    • Anaemia
    • Insomnia

4. Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B6

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 0.1 mg (AI)
    • 7-12 months – 3 mg (AI)
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – 0.5 mg (RDA)
    • 4-8 years – 6mg (RDA)
    • 9-13 years – 1 mg (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 1.3 mg (males) (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 1.2 mg (females) (RDA)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above – 1.3 mg (every day – RDA)
    • Females – 19 years and above – 1.3 mg (every day – RDA)
    • Males – 51 years and above – 1.7 mg (every day – RDA)
    • Females – 51 years and above – 1.5 mg (every day – RDA)
  4. Pregnant Women – 1.9mg (RDA)
  5. Lactating Mothers – 2.0 mg (RDA)

Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H or Biotin

1. Benefits

  • Firstly, vitamin B7 assists glycogen and fat synthesis, amino acid and energy metabolism in humans.
  • Moreover, vitamin enables energy release via Krebs cycle.
  • It helps in easy transport of carbon dioxide and maintenance of blood sugar levels.
  • Mainly present in various hair and skin care products.

2. Main Source of Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Good source of vitamin B7 include

  • Whole grains
  • Wheat germ
  • Mushrooms
  • Soy foods
  • Bananas
  • Peanut butter
  • Oysters
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Dairy products
  • Molasses
  • Meat
  • Liver
  • Fish
  • Egg yolks
  • Chocolate
  • Cauliflower
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Beans

3. Deficiency of Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Vitamin B7 deficiency looks very rare because this vitamin is found in various foods. Moreover, the human body requires the only limited intake of biotin on a daily basis.

  • Symptoms of Vitamin B7 are
  1. Loss of hair
  2. Appearance of rashes on the face
  3. Neurologic signs include ataxia, extreme tingling sensation, numbness, hallucination, lethargy, and depression.
  4. Kids born with biotin deficiency display increased susceptibility to fungal infections, optical atrophy, and seizures.

4. Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B7

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 5 mg (AI)
    • 7-12 months – 6 mg (AI)
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – 8 mg (RDA)
    • 4-8 years – 12 mg (RDA)
    • 9-13 years – 20 mg (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 25 mg (males) (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 25 mg (females) (RDA)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above – 30 mg (every day – RDA)
    • Females – 19 years and above – 30 mg (every day – RDA)
  4. Pregnant Women – 30 mg (RDA)
  5. Lactating Mothers – 35 mg (RDA)

(Folic Acid) Vitamin B9

1. Benefits

  • Vitamin B9 supports the body in creating new healthy red blood cells.
  • Furthermore, vitamin B9 guides the growth of the fetal nervous system.
  • Other than that, it encourages cell growth and DNA synthesis.
  • Pregnant women should take vitamin B9 supplements regularly to avoid spina bifida in their unborn child.

2. Main Source of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Rich source of vitamin B9 or folic acid include

  • Enriched cereal
  • Liver
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Oranges
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Peas and dried beans
  • Leafy green vegetables

3. Deficiency of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

  1. Excess intake of vitamin B9
    • In general, folic acid is not dangerous but however frequent intake of 1000 mg daily can cause intestinal dysfunction, irritability, and malaise.
    • In addition, excessive intake of folic acid can mask vitamin B12 deficiency. So kindly consult a physician for any doubts and avoid self-medication.
  2. Symptoms of Vitamin B9 are
    • Megaloblastic anaemia or folic acid deficient anaemia
    • Weakness and fatigue
    • Tiredness and loss of appetite
    • Weight loss

4. Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B9

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 65 mg (AI)
    • 7-12 months – 80 mg (AI)
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – 150 mg (RDA)
    • 4-8 years – 200 mg (RDA)
    • 9-13 years – 300 mg (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 400 mg (males) (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 400 mg (females) (RDA)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above – 400 mg (every day – RDA)
    • Females – 19 years and above – 400 mg (every day -RDA)
  4. Pregnant Women 600 mg (RDA)
  5. Lactating Mothers – 500 mg (RDA)

(Cobalamin) Vitamin B12

1. Benefits

  • Vitamin B12 facilitates the synthesis of blood cells (red).
  • Again, it supports the proper maintenance of body’s nervous system.
  • Overall, vitamin B12 assists the development and growth of the baby in general.

2. Main Source of Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

  • Fortified cereals
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Mostly all animal products contain vitamin B12

3. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

  1. Vitamin B12 deficiency mainly affects vegan babies, vegans who avoid eggs and other dairy products, and elders.
  2. Other factors that contribute towards vitamin B12 deficiency
    • Lupus, Graves’ disease, or any immune system diseases
    • Any disorder that damages your intestine such as a parasite, bacterial growth, celiac, and Crohn’s disease.
    • The condition called ‘Pernicious anaemia’ where the body finds it impossible to absorb the required amount of B12 vitamin from your diet.
    • Atrophic gastritis disorder where the lining of your stomach starts thinning with time.

4. Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B12

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 0.4 mg (AI)
    • 7-12 months – 5 mg (AI)
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – 0.9 mg (RDA)
    • 4-8 years – 2 mg (RDA)
    • 9-13 years – 1.8 mg (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 2.4 mg (males) (RDA)
    • 14-18 years – 2.4 mg (females) (RDA)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above – 2.4 mg (every day – RDA)
    • Females – 19 years and above – 2.4 mg (every day – RDA)
    • Males – 51 years and above – 2.4 mg (every day – RDA)
    • Females – 51 years and above – 2.4 mg (every day – RDA)
  4. Pregnant Women – 2.6 mg (RDA)
  5. Lactating Mothers – 2.8 mg (RDA)

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