B Vitamins: The complex role of what they do & how they work! - Blog
The B vitamins are actually a group of vitamins, called the B complex vitamins, which perform similar functions, and are often found together in the same foods. There are eight of them and they are all subtly different. Pretty much all Vitamin Bs play a role in cell metabolism – converting your food into energy, and in some cases storing it so it can be used by your muscles when needed. The B vitamins are often known collectively as the ‘stress vitamins’, because they play a role in regulating stress hormones and sex hormones, helping to stabilise mood, support learning and memory and calm the nervous system. They are involved in the production of neurotransmitters, and therefore essential for brain development and function. Other important areas of health are immunity, healthy digestion, adrenal function, red blood cell production, and the production and repair of DNA and RNA. B vitamins are involved in maintaining the health of skin, hair and nails, bone growth and muscle function. Some of the Bs also help to control inflammation and oxidation, supporting the health of the heart and arteries, promoting healing, and supporting mitochondrial health. Collectively they help the body to utilise other vitamins, including other B vitamins. The B vitamins are water soluble (as opposed to fat soluble, like some vitamins), so they are not stored well by the body and need to be consumed regularly. Individual roles of the B vitamins, and the foods they are found in: Foods containing B1: whole grain products, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, rice bran, beef, pork, trout, black beans and other legumes, mussels, tuna, milk, oranges, nuts, and seeds. Foods containing B2: dairy products, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, buckwheat, beef liver, chicken, clams, mushrooms, almonds, dark green vegetables.
B3 (niacin from nicotinic acid, or nicotinamide)B3 is involved in converting food into energy. It reduces the risk of heart disease, helping to balance cholesterol. It is also responsible for building and repairing DNA, the production of sex and stress hormones, healthy skin and digestive system, and helps the body use other B vitamins. Foods containing B3: eggs, salmon, tuna, broccoli, leafy vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, kumara, avocados, whole grains, nuts, dairy, mushrooms, chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, organ meats. Foods containing B5: found in many different foods, so deficiency is uncommon. Especially in whole grains, eggs, meat, avocado, legumes, yoghurt, mushrooms, dark green vegetables, organ meats, potatoes, chicken. Foods containing B6: chickpeas, beef liver, tuna, salmon, chicken breast, brewer’s yeast, bananas, carrots, spinach, peas, potatoes, whole grains, potatoes, turkey, milk products, eggs, sunflower seeds, beef. Foods containing B7: Supplementation is often recommended during pregnancy, but otherwise sufficient amounts are found in most diets, including in organ meats, barley, brewer’s yeast, corn, egg yolks, milk, royal jelly, soy, sardines, wheat germ, avocado, whole grains, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, chicken, fish, legumes, mushrooms, almonds, pork, beef, potatoes, and spinach. Foods containing B9: Spinach, beef liver, green vegetables, legumes, yeast, mushrooms, asparagus, bananas, melons, lemons, oranges, peanuts, avocado, salmon, whole grains, fortified cereals and mushrooms. Foods containing B12: mainly animal products, including organ meats, shellfish, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, and some fortified cereals.
B Vitamins as SupplementsUsually it makes sense to take the entire range of B vitamins together, and most multivitamins or B complex supplements do include the whole range. However, there are times when you might take individual B vitamin supplements, for example, B12 if you are taking Metformin for type 2 diabetes, or a stomach acid medication, both of which can cause B12 deficiency. We developed Multiva, a multivitamin for kiwi men & women that includes Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 - among many other essential nutrients. Element 12 Magnesium also contains B vitamins to help the body absorb Magnesium and provide support with stress and sleep.
December 3, 2019 Categories: Health and Well Being
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