What are B group vitamins and what are they good for?

Vitamins are essential elements to maintain good health, they are part of the body’s metabolic processes, although they are needed in very small quantities, they can be found in food. As we all know, there are different types of vitamins and each one has an essential function in the body and its deficiencies can cause different diseases.

There are different types: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Group B vitamins are water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body, so it is difficult to reach a dangerous overdose, you should take much more than the recommended amount. You can know if we have deficiencies of vitamins of this group with a simple blood test.

Some people, due to their specific characteristics, may need more vitamin B than others, for example, pregnant women need more B9, people with celiac disease or Crohn’s syndrome may have problems absorbing some vitamins from food, that is For this reason, they often need to take an extra supplement of these. This group is made up of 8 different types of vitamins, each one involved in different metabolic processes and found in different foods.

Deficiencies of these vitamins can produce very different symptoms, from immune problems to depression or skin problems. B group vitamin supplements, in general, are of great help in emotional and physical stress, so in general a deficiency of this group of vitamins causes tiredness, lack of energy, irritability and greater sensitivity to stress. Many of the B vitamin supplements usually include other co-factors such as choline, inositol, Paba.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

This is the first known B group vitamin, which is why it is called B1. This vitamin is directly involved in the body’s energy in the formation of ATP, it acts as a coenzyme in the metabolic processes of sugar digestion. It is very important in the nervous system and in the coordination of muscles. Helps improve the metabolism of alcohol.

What foods provide it? It is usually found in legumes such as lentils, whole grains, pine nuts, asparagus, spinach, milk, cauliflower, red meat… in some countries bread or white flour is enriched with thiamine. Yeast extract or marmite is very rich in Thiamine. the traditional Anglo-Saxon culture. Although thiamine is very sensitive to heat, so if we cook these foods they lose a lot of their content.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Just as vitamin B1 is involved in the production of energy through food, it is obtained in the metabolism of fats, ketones, carbohydrates, and proteins. Also involved in maintaining vision and skin health. When these vitamins are taken it is normal for the urine to be more yellow.

What foods provide it? It is found in cereals enriched with this vitamin, in foods such as whole wheat bread, yogurt, milk, cheese, especially roquefort, eggs, meat, liver or kidneys, spinach and broccoli (leafy vegetables green), mushrooms and almonds. The Marmite yeast extract is also very rich.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

It is one of the vitamins most involved in different metabolic processes since they are precursors of the NADH and NADHP coenzymes, in metabolic processes in which energy is provided from carbohydrates, fats.

Helps preserve nervous health and the digestive system. It is also essential in the production of hormones produced in the adrenal glands. Helps lower cholesterol. Niacin is advised to prevent macular degeneration and by improving choroidal blood vessels. Niacinamide is often included in cosmetics to unify skin tone, as it helps to reduce sun spots and give light. Calms the skin, so it is recommended to avoid redness, soothes and reduces inflammation, helps to normalize it. Stimulates the production of fibroblasts and collagen. It is stable to heat, so cooked foods will provide this vitamin.

What foods provide it? Meat, fish such as salmon and tuna, poultry, milk, eggs, cereals, nuts such as peanuts, avocados, dates… Foods rich in tryptophan are a good source of niacin, since the body transforms tryptophan into niacin.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Like most B vitamins, this vitamin is involved in the formation of energy. Helps maintain proper function of the adrenal glands in the formation of steroid hormones. Precursor of coenzyme A, necessary to metabolize some molecules. We also recommend it together with biotin to stimulate hair growth.

As a cosmetic use, dexpanthenol is synthesized from pantothenic acid. This is effective to soothe the skin, both after sunburns, after tattoos, or simply in eczema or diaper rash, or after medical treatments in which it has been used. very irritated skin.

What foods provide it? We find vitamin B5 in foods such as whole grains, legumes (lentils), peanuts, milk, eggs, meat, broccoli, and royal jelly.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine acts as a coenzyme in several metabolic reactions, in the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins. It is responsible for the formation of red blood cells in the immune function, the nervous system. It is advisable in pregnant and lactating women, as it helps the good brain development of babies. Some drugs such as melatonin usually include vitamin B6 in their composition, it is included due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, thus acting as a vehicle.

It is also fundamental in the synthesis of enzymes, which act in different metabolic reactions. It is important in the synthesis of vitamin B3, which is formed from the amino acid tryptophan. Vitamin B6 is part of the formation of enzymes involved in the formation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA or dopamine. It may be effective as a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome of the hands. It is also used to prevent nausea in pregnancy, in fact lollipops and chewable tablets with this vitamin are recommended for this. To reduce premenstrual syndrome in women taking contraceptives.

What foods provide it? Cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, fish (tuna and salmon), eggs, bananas, chicken and turkey, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, pistachios, garlic or spices are an important source of vitamin B6. .

Vitamin B8 or H (Biotin)

It acts as a coenzyme in the formation of carboxylase enzymes, necessary in the synthesis of fatty acids and in gluconeogenesis. Fundamental for metabolic energy. Helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels. It helps to improve the condition and health of the skin, nails and hair, which is why it is recommended when hair is weaker and nails are brittle. Many hair supplements are sold specifically to stimulate hair growth with biotin.

What foods provide it? Cauliflower, peanuts, chicken, mushrooms, strawberries, cheese, soy, offal and yeast.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Folic acid is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. It helps the development of the nervous system of the fetus, so it should be included in the diet of pregnant women, in the synthesis of cellular DNA and DNA repair by acting as a co-factor in different metabolic reactions. Folic acid in pregnant women is important to reduce the risk of spina bifida in the baby, especially in the first weeks of pregnancy. It is usually advised in adults in low doses to prevent bone fractures. Helps reduce homocysteine levels.

What foods provide it? Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes, seeds, liver, eggs, poultry such as chicken and turkey, citrus fruits. Cereals are also a good source of folic acid when fortified, some orange juices are too.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

It is an important coenzyme involved in the cellular metabolism of the human body, specifically in the synthesis of cellular DNA, also in the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids in energy production. Helps produce and maintain myelin in nerve cells. Formation of red blood cells. Its function is linked to that of vitamin B9 in the synthesis of DNA and the formation of red blood cells. Some people use it together with vitamin B6 to reduce the negative effects of a hangover.

What foods provide it? They are mainly sources of animal origin, which is why 100% vegetarians usually need an extra supplement of this vitamin. It is found in liver, milk, meat, eggs, chicken. Some foods such as cereals are enriched in vitamin B12.