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Thursday, October 13, 2016

B vitamins

The B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. The B vitamins were once thought to be a single vitamin, referred to as vitamin B (much as people refer to vitamin C or vitamin D).

List of B vitamins:
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin or niacinamide)
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, or pyridoxamine, or pyridoxine hydrochloride)
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin)
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
  • Vitamin B12 (various cobalamins; commonly cyanocobalamin in vitamin supplements)

The B vitamins are necessary in order to:
  • Support and increase the rate of metabolism
  • Maintain healthy skin and muscle tone
  • Enhance immune and nervous system function
  • Promote cell growth and division, including that of the red blood cells that help prevent anemia
  • Reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer - one of the most lethal forms of cancer - when consumed in food, but not when ingested in vitamin tablet form.

All B vitamins are water-soluble, and are dispersed throughout the body. Most of the B vitamins must be replenished regularly, since any excess is excreted in the urine.

Here is a friendly little guide to let you know what each B vitamin does for you and why they are essential to ensuring your health and energy level.

Vitamin B-6:
Involved in over 100 cellular reactions throughout the body, vitamin B-6 is instrumental in keeping various bodily functions operating at their best. B-6 is needed to metabolize amino acids and glycogen (the body’s storage form for glucose), and is also necessary for normal nervous system, hormone and red blood cell function. Vitamin B6 is fairly abundant in the diet and can be found in foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, bananas, fish, fortified cereal grains and cooked spinach.

Vitamin B-12:
Vitamin B12 plays a critical role the pathways of the body that produce energy. It is also needed to for the synthesis of DNA, for red blood cell formation and for healthy nervous system function. Vegetarians need to be especially alert in making sure they get enough B-12 because this vitamin is found mainly in animal products like chicken, beef, fish, milk and eggs.

Biotin is commonly found in foods such as brewer’s yeast, strawberries, organ meat, cheese and soybeans. For those who are Biotin deficient, studies show that Biotin may help in the health of hair, skin & nails. Biotin also supports healthy carbohydrate, protein & fat metabolism.

Also known as vitamin B-2, Riboflavin is a basic building block for normal growth and development. It is needed for healthy energy production and also supports the antioxidant activity throughout the body. Riboflavin is commonly found in a variety of foods such as fortified cereals, milk, eggs, cooked salmon, beef, spinach and broccoli.

Folic Acid:
Critical for the development of a healthy baby, folic acid should be taken before a woman becomes pregnant. This is necessary to ensure the proper formation and development of the fetal nervous system and spinal cord, which occurs in the initial weeks of pregnancy. While it is true that folic acid is very important for women of child-bearing age, all people should ensure adequate folic acid intake through the diet. Folic Acid is essential in the development of DNA and amino acid synthesis. Fortified foods such as breads and cereals are good dietary sources of folic acid. Other good sources are dark green leafy vegetables such as asparagus and spinach as well as brewer’s yeast, liver, fortified orange juice, beets, dates and avocados.

Also known as vitamin B-1, Thiamin plays an important role in producing energy for the body’s cells. Thiamin is found in a wide variety of foods, although the best sources of Thiamin are lentils, whole grains and pork. Thiamin can also be found in red meats, yeast, nuts, sunflower seeds, peas, milk, cauliflower, spinach and legumes.

Niacin is also known as vitamin B-3, and supports over 200 chemical reactions in the body, such as energy production. Niacin is commonly found in foods of animal origin as well as whole wheat bread, peanuts and lentils.

Pantothenic Acid:
Pantothenic Acid–also known as vitamin B-5—helps support fatty acid synthesis and energy production in the body. Pantothenic Acid is widely distributed in plant and animal food sources. Rich sources include organ meats (liver, kidney), egg yolk, whole grains, avocados, cashew nuts, peanuts, lentils, soybeans, brown rice, broccoli, and milk.

One easy way to make sure that you get your daily dose of these important B vitamins is to take a B complex supplement.

Here are the list of foods that are rich in vitamin B:
  • Potatoes
  • Avocados
  • whole grains
  • Tuna
  • Oats
  • Turkey
  • Bananas
  • Legumes
  • yeast, meat, low-fat dairy products
  • Brazil nuts
  • lentils and leafy greens.