Of all the vitamins our body needs and utilizes every day the B complex vitamins have been shown to be our best ally when it comes to many ailments suffered by people whether or not they eat a balanced daily diet.
The family of B vitamins consists of eight water soluble vitamins, each of which has an important role in the metabolism of our cells. Originally science thought that there was only one B vitamin but later research and study showed there to be eight distinctive vitamins that usually coexist (many times within the same foods). Vitamin B complex refers to all of the eight in the family known as vitamin B.
Individual B vitamins and the benefits gained by them
Research showed that among the distinctive B complex vitamins, there are chemical differences making each one of value for differing reasons, yet working well together when combined into B vitamin supplements and taken daily in addition to a balanced diet. The B vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. They can be further broken down into the individual vitamin names and the benefits we gain from each.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Deficient amounts of Thiamine or vitamin B1 can lead to beriberi. This disease affects the nervous system and symptoms can include emotional disturbances, weight loss, weakness in arms and legs, impaired sensory perception, irregular heartbeat, and even swelling of body tissues. Heart failure resulting in death has been known to occur in severe cases of beriberi.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Deficiencies of Riboflavin include becoming highly sensitive to sunlight, cracked lips, angular cheilitis, an inflammation of the tongue called glossitis, seborrheic dermatitis (a pseudo syphilis which often affects the scrotal area or mouth), pharyngitis, edema of the oral mucosa and pharyngeal.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Being deficient in niacin can lead to Pellagra particularly when there is also a lack of tryptophan in the body. Symptoms of vitamin B3 deficiency include diarrhea, dementia, and aggression. Among the vitamin B benefits Vitamin B3 has been shown to be effective relieving menstrual cramping and prevention of skin ulcers resulting from peripheral vascular diseases. B vitamin supplements containing B3 have reportedly helped increase joint mobility, decrease fatigue, and improve muscle strength in those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Lack of the B5 vitamin Panothenic acid can result in acne like symptoms and paresthesia (a condition that results in numbing, prickling, or tingling sensations of the skin. This is often referred to as a feeling of “pins and needles” or as if the person’s hand or foot is “falling asleep”.
The feeling may persist or come and go. Pantothenic acid is a water soluble vitamin involved in energy production and is essential in the transportation, production, and release of energy from fats. Pantethine (a byproduct of the vitamin B5) evidently lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Pyridoxine deficiency can lead to forms of anemia, high blood pressure, dermatitis, depression, elevation in the homocysteine levels, and water retention. B6 is considered the master vitamin for its use in processing amino acids which are the building blocks of every protein as well as some of the hormones. Some excellent sources of vitamin B6 include bananas, potatoes, turkey, tuna, liver, and cereals.
Vitamins B7 B9 & B12 fight off various forms of anemia
Among the B vitamins of proven value, each has its own specific use and benefit. Vitamins B7, B9, as well as B12 are valued for their ability to ward off certain forms of anemia. Also of benefit for controlling and even stopping heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other ailments of the human body.