Types of B vitamins: Functions, sources, and more!

Vitamins are essential nutrients that aren’t produced in the body but are necessary for our survival. There are many types of vitamins that may be categorized into unique families. One of these is the B-complex of vitamins. Most recognize B vitamins for their energy boosting qualities. In fact, nearly every B vitamin has a positive influence on metabolic processes that support energy regulation. However, this is just one of many benefits of these powerful nutrients. Being well-informed regarding these simple yet impactful substances and the best methods of acquiring them can help you achieve greater health and overall wellness.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin or Thiamine)

Thiamin or vitamin B1, regulates several important enzymes. Specifically, thiamin influences the activity of enzymes involved in the catabolism of sugars and amino acids. Getting an adequate supply of B1 helps ensure that these energy-regulating processes are maintained. Like other B vitamins, thiamin also helps convert food into energy and is needed for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the most widely used form of energy in the body.

Sources of Vitamin B1 include: bread, cantaloupe, green peas, lentils, long-grain rice, pork, red meats, spinach, and seeds.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Several B vitamins interact with a variety of systems. Riboflavin, vitamin B2, is one of them. Riboflavin is a precursor to two coenzymes necessary for oxidation-reduction reactions. These processes support a variety of metabolic functions that produce energy. B2 also combats free radicals and supports the functionality of the nervous system, eyes, and thyroid.

Sources of Vitamin B2 include: beef, broccoli, eggs, fortified cereals, green vegetables, milk, salmon, and spinach.



Vitamin B3 (Niacin or Nicotinic Acid)

Niacin, vitamin B3, is a critical component of a coenzyme required for the metabolization of carbohydrates and protein. The process facilitated by B3 improves energy production in multiple systems. B3 is also used in the production of many stress-related hormones, which helps facilitate a healthy response to mental and physical stress. Tryptophan, a sleep-supporting hormone famously found in turkey, may be converted into niacin where it can better support cellular and cardiovascular health.

Sources of Vitamin B3 include: protein-rich foods such as beef, fish, poultry, pork, and veal, as well as coffee, lentils, lima beans, and whole wheat.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5, is used in the production of coenzyme A. Coenzyme A supports cellular health and is necessary for various metabolic functions. Fortunately, this vitamin, whose name originates from the Greek word pantothen meaning “from everywhere,” is abundant in many common foods.

Sources of Vitamin B5 include: avocados, broccoli, brown rice, cashews, egg yolk, fish, kidney, liver, and whole grains.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine, vitamin B6, promotes the utilization of amino acids and glycogen during the metabolization of carbohydrates and proteins. Studies show that supplementation with vitamin B6 may improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia. In part, this is because vitamin B6 promotes melatonin production.

Sources of Vitamin B6 include: bananas, cooked spinach, eggs, hazelnuts, pistachios, potatoes, salmon, and turkey.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Biotin, vitamin B7, is a well-recognized vitamin that is often referred to as “the beauty nutrient.” This is because B7 supports hair, skin, and nail health. As with most B vitamins, biotin also improves the metabolization of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and amino acids.

Sources of Vitamin B7 include: cheese, organ meat, pork, raspberries, soybeans, and whole wheat bread

Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid)

Folate or folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9. Both forms are well-recognized for their positive impact on fetal health and early development. The influence of folate on nervous system development is so prominent that expectant mothers are often encouraged to increase their folate intake as early as two weeks after becoming pregnant. Studies show increasing folate levels in expectant mothers reduces the risk of certain neurological defects in their child. Greater folate values are also associated with improved DNA repair and maintenance, which may improve general wellness and longevity.

Sources of vitamin B9 include: avocados, beans, beets, dates, fortified breads and cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, liver, nuts, and seafood.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Cobalamin, vitamin B12, interacts with metabolic reactions that supply DNA and amino acids with the energy they need to facilitate essential functions throughout the body. Some benefits associated with improvement of these functions include greater DNA synthesis, enhanced red blood cell production, and improved nervous system regulation. 

Sources of Vitamin B12 include: beef, eggs, chicken, fish, and milk. 

B12 is found in tiny amounts in vegetables. Those following a vegan diet usually have difficulty maintaining an appropriate level of B12 without supplementation.

Getting All the B’s You Need

Because B vitamins are not produced or stored in the body, they must be acquired through an external source. The type and amount of B vitamins your body needs depend on several factors including medical and familial history, current health, and diet. One of the best ways of ensuring that your body gets all B vitamins it needs is through proper supplementation. 

Mega B is a supplemental product produced by HoltraCeuticals that is formulated specifically to help people reach their daily recommended intake of B vitamins. Mega B supports many areas including but not limited to the heart, nervous system, thyroid, and metabolism. If you are looking for an easy way to support your body with the powerful family of B-Complex vitamins, then Mega B by HoltraCeuticals may be the supplement for you.

Resources

1. Greenberg, J. A., et al. “Folic acid supplementation and pregnancy: More than just neural tube defect prevention.” Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Summer; 4(2): 52–59.
2. CDC. “Folic acid.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3. Kennedy, D. O. “B vitamins and the brain: Mechanisms, dose and efficacy—A review.” Nutrients. 2016 Feb; 8(2): 68.
4. Langan, R. C., & Goodbred, A. J. “Vitamin B12 deficiency: Recognition and management.” https://www.aafp.org/
5. Nishimoto, A., et al. “Vitamin B12 deficiency: Recognition and management.” In Vivo. 2017 Jan-Feb; 31(1): 121–124.
6. NIH. “Vitamin B6.” National Institutes of Health.
7. NIH. “Vitamin B12.” National Institutes of Health.

Leave a Reply

  Subscribe  
Notify of