|The vitamin B group includes B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin and niacinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), folic acid or folate, pantothenic acid, biotin, inositol, and PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid). Vitamin B complex improves the body's resistance to stress. Aids in digestion, promotes good muscle tone, healthy skin. Vitamin B complex reduces muscle spasms, leg cramps, hand numbness and helps regulate blood pressure. Vitamin B deficiency can cause beriberi, digestive disturbances, degeneration of the sex glands, and neurological problems.
Vitamin B1 is essential for the body to be able to use carbohydrate as an energy source as well as for metabolising amino acids. lack of sufficient thiamine in the diet can cause loss of appetite, poor digestion, chronic constipation, loss of weight, mental depression, nervous exhaustion, and insomnia. Vitamin B1 deficiency is usually connected to alcoholism, malabsorption diseases, and poor diet.
Vitamin B2 is needed to process amino acids and fats, activate vitamin B6 and folic acid, and help convert carbohydrates into the fuel the body runs on adenosine triphosphate (ATP). A deficiency of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) may result in bloodshot eyes, abnormal sensitivity to light, itching and burning of the eyes, inflammation in the mouth, a sore and burning tongue, and cracks on the lips and in the corners of the mouth.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) works closely with vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, and biotin to break the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food down into energy. A niacin deficiency often leads to a chronic illness called pellagra, characterized by gastrointestinal problems, lesions of the skin, and dementia. Vitamin B3 deficiency can occur in alcoholics, individuals with poor or irregular diets, and in individuals with medical conditions causing malabsorption from the intestinal tract.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is essential for human growth, reproduction and many normal bodily processes. Many foods contain vitamin B5, therefore a deficiency of this nutrient is rare. Vitamin B5 deficiency causes depression, personality changes, heart problems, increased risk of infections, fatigue, abdominal pains, sleep disturbances, numbness and altered sensation in the arms and legs, muscle weakness, cramps, increased sensitivity to insulin.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supports more vital bodily functions than any other vitamin. Vitamin B6 deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies. Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause impaired immunity, skin lesions, and mental confusion. A marginal deficiency sometimes occurs in alcoholics, patients with kidney failure, and women using oral contraceptives. Some of these symptoms can also result from a variety of medical conditions other than vitamin B6 deficiency.
Biotin (vitamin B7) helps in the synthesis of fatty acids, in energy metabolism, and in the synthesis of amino acids and glucose. Biotin deficiency results in fatigue, depression, nausea, muscle pains, hair loss, and anemia. Symptoms of a biotin deficiency include hair loss, a dry, scaly rash around the eyes, nose, mouth, and genital area, decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting and failure to thrive in children.
Folic acid (vitamin B9) is important for any stage of human life which involves growth such as pregnancy, lactation and early growth. Folic acid deficiency causes mood disorders and low levels may play a role in depression, possibly due to a reduction in neurotransmitter levels. Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk for neural tube defects including cleft palate, spina bifida, and brain damage.
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin, cobalamin) is considered the most potent vitamin and is one of the last true vitamins that has been classified. Vitamin B12 is essential for normal nervous system function and blood cell production. Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when there is an abnormally low level of vitamin B12 absorbed in the body. Vitamin B12 deficiency results in impairment of the activities of B12-requiring enzymes.