All About B Vitamins Part 2

Thanks in advance for sharing! Jeanne :)

In part 2 of this article about B Vitamins we will continue our discussion to include Vitamins B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12.

Vitamin B5 – (Pantothenic acid)

All About B VitaminsThis essential nutrient creates and absorbs fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It has a wide variety of uses, including acne, yeast infections, alcoholism, baldness, ADHD, asthma, allergies, depression, dandruff, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, MS, insomnia, celiac disease, cystitis, colitis, osteoarthritis, nerve pain, PMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, dizziness, and skin disorders.

Food Sources
There are many foods which are great sources of vitamin B5 including eggs, legumes, avocados, meat, legumes, and yogurt.

Vitamin B5 has several health benefits and practical uses, mainly: the metabolism. It’s great for energy, as the carbs released by the body are broken down into converting energy. It’s also useful for maintaining healthy hair, skin, eyes, and a properly functioning liver.

It also helps the body in the production of red blood cells, and sex hormones and is associated with relieving stress. It keeps the gastrointestinal tract healthy; because it helps the body produce healthy cholesterol, thus reducing the bad cholesterol.

The recommended daily allowance, according to The National Academy of Sciences:
• Men age 18 and older – 5mg
• Women age 18 and older – 7 mg
• Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant – 6 mg

Vitamin B6 – (Pyridoxine)

All About B VitaminsVitamin B6 helps regulate levels of homocysteine, an amino acid, which are associated with heart disease. It’s a major player when it comes to sleep patterns and mood, because it assists the body’s production of melatonin, serotonin, and the stress hormone norepinephrine. It can also be helpful in reducing inflammation for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

It assists in many systems within the body, it’s vital for the health of the nervous system, immune system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, and the muscular system. It’s also necessary for the proper development of the brain, and in producing the neurotransmitters, serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin.

Food Sources
Food sources that contain vitamin B6 include: carrots, chicken, cheese, turkey, sunflower seeds, salmon, brown rice, tuna, beef, lentils, bananas, papaya, beans, spinach, whole grains, and chickpeas.
Vitamin B6 deficiencies feature short-term memory loss, muscle weakness, lack of focus, nervousness, depression, and irritability.

The recommended daily allowance, according to The National Academy of Sciences:
• Men and women between the ages of 19 and 50 – 1.3 mg
• Men age 50 and older – 1.7 mg
• Women age 50 and older – 1.5 mg
• Breastfeeding women – 2.0 mg
• Pregnant women – 1.9 mg

Vitamin B7 – (Biotin)

All About B VitaminsVitamin B7 is associated with healthy nails, skin, and hair and often referred to as the beauty vitamin hence it being a main ingredient in many skin creams. It can also benefit diabetics in controlling their glucose levels and in pregnancy to encourage the baby’s development.

Vitamin B7 is important because the body requires it to process amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates. It’s also often found in cosmetic skin and hair products.

Food Sources
The ideal food course for vitamin B7 include: barley, nuts, egg yolks, liver, pork, cauliflower, yeast, fish, pork, chicken, potatoes, Swiss chard, bananas, mushrooms, milk, and oats.

Vitamin B7 Deficiency
Deficiencies are incredibly rare, however, can be caused by consuming raw egg whites over the course of a few years. This is because raw eggs whites contain avidin, a protein that binds to the vitamin. People who have genetic disorders are also susceptible to deficiencies.

The symptoms of B7 deficiency include anorexia, birth defects, fungal infections, hair loss, brittle hair, muscle pain, hallucination, anemia, mild depression, rashes, and lethargy.

The recommended daily allowance, according to The National Academy of Sciences:
• Men and women age 19 and older – 30 mcg a day
• Pregnant women – 30 mcg daily
• Breastfeeding women – 35 mcg

Vitamin B9 – (Folic acid)

Vitamin B9 is more commonly known as folic acid, the synthetic from that is used in fortified foods and in supplements. It can also prevent memory loss, relieve symptoms of depression, and is vital for the growth and development of babies during pregnancy.

All About B VitaminsB9 works with B12 and B6, as well as other nutrients, to control the levels of homocysteine in the blood. High homocysteine levels are linked to heart disease, though researchers don’t know whether it’s simply a market indicating the presence of heart diseases or the cause of it.

It’s necessary for the healthy immune, nervous, and digestive systems, and also for producing energy, red blood cells forming, cell division, and the synthesis of DNA and RNA. It’s necessary in replicating DNA, as well as sustaining the bone marrow’s healthy level of red blood cells.

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For pregnant women it’s vital, especially in early pregnancy, in preventing birth defects relating to the brain and the spine. Pregnant women who do not consume enough give birth to premature babies and deliver babies with low birth weights.

Food Sources
There are plenty of food sources that provide vitamin B9 including beans, dark leafy greens, bulgur wheat, asparagus, milk, salmon, beets, root vegetables, chicken, whole grains, nuts, citrus fruits, and broccoli.

Vitamin B9 Deficiency
Vitamin B9 deficiency is fairly common, and there are issues, which can cause the deficiency, including celiac disease, alcoholism, and inflammatory bowel disease. There are also medications that can reduce the levels of B9 in the system.

The symptoms or result of a vitamin B9 deficiency include: tongue inflammation, diarrhea, poor growth, gingivitis, mental sluggishness, irritability, loss of appetite, forgetfulness, and shortness of breath.

The recommended daily allowance, according to The National Academy of Sciences:
• Men and women over the age of 18 – 200 mcg
• Breastfeeding women – 350 mcg
• Pregnant women – 400 mcg

Vitamin B12 – (Cobalamin)

All About B VitaminsThis B vitamin is the quintessential team player. It works alongside B9 to produce red blood cells, and works with iron to get the job done. It is only in animal products, so vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to lack this vitamin. For those people supplements are a must.

The positive effects of vitamin B12 include preventing heart disease, managing dementia, boosting energy, and improving athletic performance. Dementia is a result of homocysteine, and vitamin B12 (in combination with vitamins B6 and B9) can reduce those levels. However, it is unknown whether B12 is effective in the treatment or the prevention of dementia. As far as athletic performance, you’ve probably heard references to B12 vitamin shots taken by athletes as a way to increase their energy and endurance levels.

Food Sources
Good food sources of B12 are shellfish, eggs, milk, beef, cheese, and fish.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Why do you need Vitamin B12? Well, deficiencies result in constipation, weakness, loss of appetite, tiredness, and megaloblastic anemia. In addition, it can also result in tingling and numbness in the feet and hands. That is just for starters, more severe symptoms include confusion, memory issues, depression, dementia, balance issues, and soreness in and around the mouth. It can result in severe damage to the nervous system, so it’s vital that deficiencies are dealt with immediately.

One of the hallmarks of a B12 deficiency is megaloblastic anemia, which can be hidden with large amounts of vitamin B9. However, this doesn’t correct the issue. Therefore, it’s vital to stick to the recommended daily allowance of all B vitamins, but especially folic acid.

The recommended daily allowance, according to The National Academy of Sciences:
• Men and women over 18 – 2.4 mcg
• Pregnant women – 2.6 mcg
• Breastfeeding women – 2.8 mcg

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember that the members of the vitamin B family are delicate, and water soluble, which means that they must be replenished daily. Our bodies have a limited capacity to store the majority of the group (the exclusions being vitamins B9 and 12, as they are stored within the liver), so a continued poor diet (over just a couple of months) will eventually result in a vitamin B deficiency.

All About B VitaminsWhat is clear is that healthy levels of the B vitamin complex (which is made up of eight water-soluble vitamins) can be obtained through maintaining a healthy, well balanced diet. They are vital in the body’s metabolic processes.

Also, note that because they are so delicate it is easy to destroy them during the process of cooking, and when mixed with alcohol. Processing foods reduces the presence of B vitamins, especially when making white breads, rice, and flours, which is why they are less healthy options compared to whole grain options.

It’s fairly uncommon for people living in developed countries to suffer from vitamin B deficiencies, however, it is of particular importance that strict vegetarians and vegans taken the necessary supplements to make up for the lack of vitamin B12 in their diet. These supplements can mask other vitamin deficiencies, however, so never self-diagnose your deficiency, see your doctor. If you take vitamins incorrectly, they can be toxic, so always speak to a medical professional before starting any regimen.

The main takeaway of this is that once again, a healthy diet is critical to your overall health and wellbeing, and the only way to get an adequate amount of the vitamins and minerals necessary for your health.

You can read part 1 of this article about B Vitamins HERE



Thanks in advance for sharing! Jeanne :)

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