Why We Need B-Complex Vitamins
B vitamins are a group of nutrients that have a number of important roles within the body. B vitamins can be found in a variety of foods, which means that most people can get the recommended amounts of these vitamins through their diet alone.
There are certain factors, however, that can mean your body needs more B vitamins. These factors include age, pregnancy, genetics, medications, dietary choices, medical conditions, and alcohol use.
In these scenarios, it may be necessary to supplement with B vitamins.
Below we have listed the health benefits of B-Complex vitamins, so keep reading below if you want to learn more!
What Are B-Complex Vitamins?
B-Complex vitamins include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12) and biotin. These are water-soluble essential nutrients that can be found in many foods such as whole grains, fruits and veggies.
All of these vitamins are crucial for a fully functional metabolism, and the main function of these B vitamins is to help the body metabolise carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and to use the stored energy in foods.
For example, thiamine (B-1) can help the body’s cells to convert carbohydrates into energy, meaning that lower levels of one or more of these vitamins can mean that your metabolism will not be working at its best, which can make losing weight a lot more difficult.
Generally speaking, dietary supplements that contain all 8 of the B vitamins are known as B-complex vitamins.
Who Should Take B-Complex Vitamins?
As B vitamins are found in most foods, you are more than likely not at risk of developing a deficiency as long as you follow a well-rounded diet.
Unfortunately, there are certain circumstances that can increase the need for B vitamins, making supplementation necessary.
As we age, our ability to absorb vitamin B12 can decrease as our appetite declines, which makes it harder for some people to get enough B12 through diet alone. On top of this, the body’s ability to release B12 from food so that it can be absorbed is dependent on adequate amounts of stomach acid.
It is estimated that about 10-30% of people over the age of 50 do not produce enough stomach acid in order to properly absorb B12. If you are taking medications to reduce stomach acid in order to treat acid reflux or heartburn your B12 absorption will also be inhibited.
Those who suffer from a B12 deficiency can be linked to an increased rate of depression and mood changes in older people.
B6 and folate deficiencies are also common in older adults.
Women Who Are Nursing Or Pregnant
The demand for B vitamins, especially B12 and folate, grows during pregnancy. This is due to the fact these vitamins are needed to support fetal development.
For those who are breastfeeding, and especially those who are breastfeeding while also following a vegetarian diet, supplementing with a B-Complex vitamin is very important.
If you suffer from a B12 or folate deficiency while pregnant or breastfeeding it can lead to birth defects for the infant or even neurological damage.
Those Who Suffer With Medical Conditions
People who suffer from certain medical conditions such as cancer, celiac disease, anorexia, Crohn’s disease, alcoholism, and hypothyroidism, are more likely than others to develop nutrient deficiencies – including B vitamins.
On top of this, those who have undergone certain weight loss surgeries are also more susceptible to being deficient in B vitamins.
In these particular circumstances, people tend to be advised to supplement with a B-Complex vitamin to correct or avoid deficiencies.
Vegans & Vegetarians
Vitamin B12 can naturally be found in animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy, and seafood. Those stricter vegans and vegetarians could be more at risk of developing a B12 deficiency if they do not get enough of this vitamin through their fortified foods or supplements.
Taking a daily B-Complex vitamin can help you ensure that those who choose to follow diets that eliminate animal products are getting enough of these very important nutrients.
If you’re interested in taking B-Complex vitamins, it is important to speak with your doctor first as not all supplements are safe or appropriate for everyone.
You can browse our B vitamins supplements by clicking here.
We have also listed our best-selling vitamin B supplements below:
Nature’s Aid Vitamin B Complex provides an excellent source of B vitamins to support normal energy-yielding metabolism and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Solgar Vitamin B-complex “100” is an extra high potency Vitamin B-complex. These supplements can help your body to properly digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and convert them into energy.