The eight B vitamins are a group of water soluble vitamins that play an important role in the human body. Since they often coexist in the same foods, they were originally thought to be one compound.
The eight B vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamin)
What do the vitamins do?
The B vitamins play a wide role in maintaining the health of your body including helping to promote cell growth – especially red blood cell growth to prevent anemia. They help in many body processes that makes energy for the body to use from the food you eat. They maintain healthy skin, hair, muscle tone and enhance the immune and nervous system.
What happens if you do not get enough of the B vitamins?
Each B vitamin has a different deficiency effect. Some examples of vitamin B deficiency include anemia, dermatitis, pellegra, and beriberi. For more specifics of the different types of deficiencies – please ask!
Where are the B vitamins found?
The B vitamins are found in whole unprocessed foods. You can get B vitamins from proteins such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Some vegetables, beans, lentils and peas also have B vitamins. Many cereals and some breads are fortified with added B vitamins.
B12 is not available from plant products making it a nutrient of concern for some vegetarians, but especially vegans. It is recommended for vegans and some strict vegetarians to supplement their intake with a B12 vitamin.