Most people are aware that for proper functioning of the human body, B vitamins are essential. What you may not know is that it is important to take them as a group. Sometimes, separate B vitamins are used for certain purposes in addition to a full B-complex, but the full complement is needed as a base. B vitamins are needed for proper mood, for cognitive ability, for skin integrity, for vision, to prevent fluid retention, and for many other functions. Certain deficiencies of B vitamins may lead to all kinds of problems:
Vitamin B1 (thiamin) - B1 functions to help extract energy from food by aiding carbohydrate metabolism, and it is involved in the function of the nervous system. Thiamin is also required for proper functioning of the heart and other muscles.* A general deficiency may result in the following symptoms: headaches, muscle cramps, depression, nausea, fatigue, numbness, and anorexia. Severe deficiency can result in beriberi, a condition where there is muscle wasting, heart failure, and nervous system disease.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - Riboflavin helps obtain energy from food; it is necessary for vision; and it aids in the formation of red blood cells and in the functioning of the nervous system. Researchers are looking at the potential benefit of B2 to help protect against cataract formation.* A general deficiency may lead to cracks and sores of the mouth, weakness, fatigue, anemia, and seborrheic derrmatitis.
Niacin (B3) - Niacin helps increase levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol, and helps maintain total cholesterol by decreasing LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and triglyceride levels as well. Niacin also helps keeps the nervous system, digestive system, skin, hair, and eyes healthy. A deficiency in Niacin is rare in the developed world, but leads to a serious condition called pellagra, characterized by the "three Ds": dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - B6 is important for the proper function of the immune system and in the nervous system. This vitamin is also required for the creation of hormones and the formation of red blood cells. Researchers are investigating the use of B6 along with B12 and folic acid to help prevent elevated homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is now considered to be a factor in the risk of heart disease. It is also thought that B6 may:
A general deficiency of B6 may lead to anemia, depression, dermatitis, lesions of the mouth and even convulsions.
Folic Acid (B9) Folic Acid, also known as vitamin B9, helps the body make new cells and plays a major role in preventing birth defects of the spine. Crucial for a healthy nervous system, it is especially important to take folic acid if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant to prevent neural tube birth defects like spina bifida.
Folic acid is also needed for producing red blood cells and making DNA. One of the most important benefits of folic acid is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the body. High levels of homocysteine have been implicated in conditions such as coronary heart disease, vascular disease, and osteoporosis. Along with B6 and B12, folic acid helps break down homocysteine.
Vitamin B12 - B12 is essential for helping to maintain healthy brain, nerve, and red blood cells, and also assists in red blood cell formation. It's also used to rebuild important genetic materials called nucleic acids and is used with folic acid to help reduce homocysteine levels. A general deficiency in B12 may lead to impaired nerve function (including numbness, tingling, and burning sensations), impaired mental functioning, depression, anemia, and fatigue.
Take Bevko Vitamins' full Vitamin B complex today for better health!