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Vitamin B Complex – What They Do & Where To Get Them

Vitamin B Complex - What They Do & Where To Get Them

Greetings friends. Today I am responding to some questions from clients regarding Vitamin B Complex. Often I am asked why I and other natural health practitioners are always using Vitamin B complex or certain B Group Vitamins in our therapeutic approaches. The simple answer is that they are just that important to the proper functioning of your body. B group vitamins help to fuel methylation which is the spark plug of a lot of the biochemical reactions in your body and without them things don’t happen! B group vitamins are water-soluble (eliminated through the urine) and are needed on a daily basis. Collectively, they have many roles in keeping us healthy, such as immunity, hormonal balance, circulation, energy production and stress regulation. Many B Vitamins are made in the small intestine but you also ingest many. Therefore GUT health is vitally important to Vitamin B levels and production and in turn good levels of B vitamins are essential to GUT health. Vitamin B complex consists of the eight B vitamins — B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12. As with many other nutrients in the body, B group vitamins often work in tandem and with other nutrients to do their job effectively. That is why they are often recommended by practitioners in “complex” form; this ensures they are properly absorbed and utilized effectively. So what are these B vitamins and what do they actually do?

The Eight B Group Vitamins (Plus 1 Extra!)

1 .Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – Thiamin may enhance circulation, helps with blood formation and the metabolism of carbohydrates. It is also required for the health of the nervous system and is used in the biosynthesis of a number of cell constituents, including the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is used in the manufacture of hydrochloric acid, and therefore plays a part in digestion. It is also great for the brain and may help with depression and assist with memory and learning. In children it is required for growth and has shown some indication to assist in arthritis, cataracts as well as infertility.

Food sources of vitamin B1 include:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat bran
  • Beef liver
  • Pork
  • Seafood
  • Egg-yolk
  • Beans

2. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – This vitamin is required by the body to use oxygen and for the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. Riboflavin is needed to activate vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), helps to create niacin and assists the adrenal gland. It may be used for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration, and growth. It eases watery eye fatigue and may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cataracts. Vitamin B2 is required for the health of the mucus membranes in the digestive tract and helps with the absorption of iron and vitamin B6. Although it is needed for periods of rapid growth, it is also needed when protein intake is high, and is most beneficial to the skin, hair and nails.

Food sources of vitamin B2 include:

  • Organ meats
  • Nuts
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Lean meats
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Organic Yogurt.

3. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – Vitamin B3 is required for cell respiration, helps in the release of energy and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, proper circulation and healthy skin, functioning of the nervous system, and normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids. It is used in the synthesis of sex hormones, treating schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and a memory-enhancer. Nicotinic acid (but not nicotinamide) given in drug dosage improves the blood cholesterol profile, and has been used to clear the body of organic poisons, such as certain insecticides. People report more mental alertness when this vitamin is in sufficient supply.

Food sources of vitamin B3 include:

  • Liver
  • Lean meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Cereals
  • Legumes
  • Asparagus
  • Seeds
  • Whole Milk
  • Green leafy vegetables

4. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – Vitamin B5 plays an important role in the secretion of hormones, such as cortisone because of the role it plays in supporting the adrenal glands. These hormones assist the metabolism, help to fight allergies and are beneficial in the maintenance of healthy skin, muscles and nerves. Pantothenic acid is also used in the release of energy as well as the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. It is used in the creation of lipids, neurotransmitters, steroid hormones and haemoglobin. Some are of the opinion that pantothenic acid is also helpful to fight wrinkles as well as greying of the hair.

Food sources of vitamin B5 include:

  • Beef
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Eggs
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Kidney
  • Legumes
  • Liver
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Pork
  • Royal jelly
  • Saltwater fish
  • Whole rye flour
  • Whole wheat (Ancient wheat like Emmer Wheat)

5. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – Pyridoxine is required for the balancing of hormonal changes in women as well as assisting the immune system and the growth of new cells. It is also used in the processing and metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, while assisting with controlling your mood as well as your behaviour. Pyridoxine might also be of benefit for children with learning difficulties, as well as assisting in the prevention of dandruff, eczema and psoriasis. It assists in the balancing of sodium and potassium as well promotes red blood cell production. It is further involved in the nucleic acids RNA as well as DNA. It is further linked to cancer immunity and fights the formation of the toxic chemical homocysteine, which is detrimental to the heart muscle. Women in particular may suffer from pre-menstrual fluid retention, severe period pains, emotional PMS symptoms, premenstrual acne and nausea in early pregnancy all of which Vitamin B6 has been shown to assist with relieving. Mood swings, depression as well as loss of sexual drive is sometimes noted when pyridoxine is in short supply and the person is on hormone replacement therapy or on birth control pills.

Food sources of vitamin B6 include:

  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Carrots
  • Fish
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Peas
  • Wheat germ
  • Walnuts

6. Vitamin B8 (Biotin) – *Please note the definition/reference to vitamin B8 varies around the world. Essentially vitamins B7, B8, H and Biotin all refer to the same ‘co-enzyme’ and is in fact not a true vitamin. Vitamin B8 is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats, and proteins. It plays a role in the Krebs cycle, which is the process in which energy is released from food. It is also indicated for healthy hair and skin, healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue, and bone marrow, and assisting with muscle pain. Vitamin B8 not only assists in various metabolic chemical conversions, but also helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide. Biotin is also helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level.

Food sources of vitamin B8 include:

  • Cheese
  • Beef liver
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken breasts
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Nuts
  • Can be manufactured in the body should a small shortfall occur.

7. Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) – Folic acid is required for DNA synthesis and cell growth and is important for red blood cell formation, energy production as well as the forming of amino acids. Folic acid is essential for creating heme, the iron containing substance in haemoglobin, crucial for oxygen transport. It is important for healthy cell division and replication, since its involvement as coenzyme for RNA and DNA synthesis. It is also required for protein metabolism and in treating folic acid anaemia. Folic acid also assists in digestion, and the nervous system, and works at improving mental as well as emotional health. This nutrient may be effective in treating depression and anxiety. Shortage of folic acid may be indicated with diarrhoea, heartburn and constipation. Folic acid is very important in the development of the nervous system of a developing foetus.

Food sources of vitamin B9 include:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Fruit
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Liver

8. Vitamin B11 (Choline) – Choline assists in controlling your weight as well as cholesterol levels, keeping cell membranes healthy and in preventing gallstones. It is also most useful in the maintenance of the nervous system, assisting memory and learning, and may help to fight infections, including hepatitis and AIDS. Choline is critical for normal membrane structure and function. Choline is the major precursor of betaine, and it is used by the kidneys to maintain water balance and by the liver as a source of methyl-groups for methionine formation. It is also used to produce the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It assists in nerve impulse transmission, gallbladder regulation, liver functions and lecithin production.

Food sources of vitamin B11 include:

  • Egg yolks
  • Beef
  • Wheat germ
  • Oats
  • Nuts

9. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – Cobalamin is needed in the manufacture of red blood cells and the maintenance of red blood cells and it stimulates appetite, promotes growth and releases energy. It is often used with older people to give an energy boost, assist in preventing mental deterioration and helps with speeding up thought processes. Some people are also of the opinion that it helps with clearing up infections and provide protection against allergies and cancer. This vitamin is also used in the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

Food sources of vitamin B12 include:

  • Organ meats
  • Muscle meat
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Fish
  • Can be manufactured in the body
  • Although milk contains B12, processing of milk may lead to destruction of the vitamin so whole milk is a better option.

B group vitamins are one of the most abundant nutrients found in most foods none the less there is often under absorption or a need for extra as we age and for many people, some extra B vitamins are needed to improve their well being. The foods listed here are only a few examples of commonly occurring foods that contain good quantities of B group vitamins, there are also many, many other nutritionally dense foods that contain abundantly rich sources of B vitamins.

Well I trust this has helped you to understand more about the significance of the roles these vitamins play in your daily well being. Until next time, be well, naturally.

Craig Hitchens – Natural Health Practitioner & Remedial Therapist

 

Changing Habits Health Reboot Pack
 

Sources:
My own clinical knowledge

 

 

Alternative & Natural Health Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of posting but may change thereafter. The information provided on the various natural health subjects from this website of www.craighitchenstherapies.com is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as any form of medical advice. The information in the article this disclaimer is linked from is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with your health professional before taking any products or following any advice that you believe may conflict with other forms of health care. Always consult your health care professional before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed. Certain herbs and holistic remedies are unsuitable to take if you are pregnant or nursing and must always be cleared by your health professional before use.

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I highly recommend Craig Hitchens and his services. Craig has helped and supported me through some very difficult health problems using NES and general nutritional advice. Craig has often provided advice and done research without me asking, sometimes without charging me, in his free time. He is a caring, well informed, passionate and highly motivated natural health practitioner. I Feel that NES has cured me of chronic Epstein Barr virus that left me bed ridden for 5 years. My chronic fatigue has been significantly reduced and I'm now living a normal, happy life.
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