B vitamins are essential nutrients that are water soluble, so they need to be replenished daily.
There are eight B vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate [folic acid]), and B12 (cobalamin). “The B vitamins each have different functions in your body and for your health,” says Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD. “They help the functioning of the nervous system by coating the nerve cells so they can function properly. They help you use energy from food. Some of them help you absorb other vitamins. They help you digestion and muscle tone. They make red blood cells that carry oxygen through your bloodstream to your organs.” Here’s what happens when you take B vitamins every day, according to experts. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
B9 [folate] is very important for a healthy pregnancy. “The Food and Nutrition Council of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that all women of childbearing age take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily,” says Dr. Sutherby . “During pregnancy, you need 600 to 1,000 micrograms of folic acid daily. Folate is essential for the healthy development of the baby’s brain and spine. Consuming enough of this vitamin before and during your pregnancy helps to prevent certain types of birth defects.”
Thiamine is instrumental in converting energy for the body from nutrients. “Like other B-complex vitamins, thiamine is sometimes called an ‘anti-stress’ vitamin because it can boost the immune system and improve the body’s ability to withstand stressful conditions,” says Mount Sinai Health. “It is named B1 because it is the first B vitamin discovered. Thiamine is found in plants and animals and plays a crucial role in certain metabolic reactions. Your body needs it to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), that every cell in the body uses for energy.”
B12 is important for nerve function, brain function and more. “Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, occurs naturally in foods of animal origin. It can also be added to foods or supplements. Vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and DNA. It is also a key player in the functioning and development of the brain and nerve cells,” according to the Harvard TH Chan of Public Health.
B7 [Biotin] is important for a healthy metabolism. “Many systems benefit from biotin, including skin, nerves, digestive tract, metabolism, and cells,” says Dr. Sherry Ross, OB/GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “Biotin is necessary for the formation of fatty acids and glucose, which are used as energy in our body.”
B5 [Pantothenic acid] helps convert food into energy. “Pantothenic acid is typically used in combination with other B vitamins as a complex B vitamin formulation,” says Dr. Ross. “Pantothenic acid is used in the treatment and prevention of pantothenic acid deficiency and skin reactions due to radiation therapy. Other health benefits of pantothenic acid that have been suggested but not scientifically proven include the improvement in symptoms related to ADHD, arthritis, athletic performance, skin problems, alcoholism, allergies, hair loss, asthma, heart problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, lung disorders, nerve damage, colitis , eye infections, seizures, kidney problems, dandruff, depression, diabetic problems, immune function, headaches, hyperactivity, low blood pressure, insomnia, irritability, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and muscle cramps.”
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer passionate about making science and research-based information accessible to the general public. Learn more about Ferozan
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