Every component in the vitamin B complex helps regulate bodily functions — from carbohydrate break down to mood enhancement.
In this article:
- Food Sources of Vitamin B Complex
- 13 Vitamin B Complex Benefits
- Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
- Helps Break Down Carbohydrates
- Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
- Lowers the Risk of Macular Degeneration
- Improves Cognitive Function
- Helps Get Rid of Free Radicals
- Enhances Mood and Helps with Depression
- Improves Production of Sex Hormones
- Supports Fetal Development
- Improves Sleep Quality
- Promotes Gene Regulation
- Decreases the Frequency and Severity of Migraines
- Works as an Anti-Aging
What You Need to Know About Vitamin B Complex
Food Sources of Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex is a group of nutrients that help the body perform its everyday processes. It is made up of 8 different types of B vitamins:
- B1 (thiamine): found in whole grains, wheat germ, blackstrap molasses, kale, spinach, beans, and peanuts
- B2 (riboflavin): found in almonds, soybeans, spinach, Brussels sprouts, eggs, yogurt, milk, and wild rice
- B3 (niacin): found in yeast, green vegetables, beans, eggs, milk, and red meat
- B5 (pantothenic acid): found in avocados, legumes, meat, eggs, and yogurt
- B6 (pyridoxine): found in carrots, brown rice, cheese, sunflower seeds, lentils, salmon, tuna, turkey, and chicken
- B7 (Biotin): found in barley, nuts, egg yolks, yeast, cauliflower, potatoes, fish, chicken, pork, and liver
- B9 (folic acid): found in beans, bulgur wheat, milk, root vegetables, dark leafy greens, asparagus, beets, and salmon
- B12 (cobalamin): found egg, dairy, pork, beef, shellfish, and fish
13 Vitamin B Complex Benefits
1. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Vitamins B1 and B7 help the body maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The B7 vitamin is an essential nutrient for insulin production, as it regulates the genes responsible for metabolism.
At the same time, vitamin B1 can help with the management of type 2 diabetes.
2. Helps Break Down Carbohydrates
B vitamin complex supplements can help your body digest and break down food when you’re carbo-loading. Vitamin B1 is necessary for breaking down simple carbs, while the B5 vitamin helps turn carbs into energy and break down fats.
On the other hand, you need vitamins B2 and B3 to completely break down complex carbs into bioavailable products. The vitamins break down the carbs before absorption so the body can metabolize them faster.
3. Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Low levels of vitamins B6 and B12 can result in an increase of homocysteine levels in the blood.
Homocysteine Definition: An amino acid that comes from meat. High amounts of this chemical can damage the walls of the blood vessels and result in the cholesterol build up.
These two B vitamins can help strengthen the vessels and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamin B3 can also help regulate healthy levels of cholesterol in the body. This vitamin is essential for boosting HDL cholesterol, which also lowers the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
4. Lowers the Risk of Macular Degeneration
This type of eye disease is often found in older people because their digestive system can no longer properly convert vitamin B12. Again, low levels of B12 can lead to low levels of homocysteine.
The effect of vitamin B complex on the blood’s homocysteine levels can also lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
5.Improves Cognitive Function
Vitamin B12 is important for complete and healthy cognitive function. Low levels of this B vitamin can increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The consumption of vitamins B3 and B9 also help the B12 vitamin keep the brain healthy.
6. Helps Get Rid of Free Radicals
Free radicals are environmental particles which have entered the body and can cause damage to your cells. Vitamin B2 helps fight them, while vitamin B12 helps carry them out of the body.
7. Enhances Mood and Helps with Depression
Different kinds of nutrients in the vitamin B complex can help improve emotions. Vitamin B1 is an anti-suppressant vitamin that can improve your mood and protect the immune system at the same time.
Vitamin B6 also helps calm your mood and has effects similar to an antidepressant. It helps regulate the levels of serotonin in the body.
The B9 vitamin can also help manage depression.
8. Improves Production of Sex Hormones
The vitamin B complex can also help improve your sex life.
Vitamin B6 can help increase the production of testosterone and other sex-related hormones. It also boosts the body’s blood circulation to improve performance.
9. Supports Fetal Development
There are B vitamins essential for the development of the baby during pregnancy. Vitamin B7 is a vital nutrient for the normal growth of the baby.
At the same time, B9 vitamin helps prevent neurological congenital disorders.
10. Improves Sleep Quality
Vitamin B6 helps regulate the stress hormones serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin to make sure you get a full night’s sleep. Other B vitamins such as B3, B5, B9, and B12 play a role in the production of sleep-inducing melatonin in the body.
11. Promotes Gene Regulation
Most of the B9 vitamins you consume are broken down by the body to help synthesize new cells and genes. High levels of vitamin B9 can improve the body’s growth and healing process while it replaces any damaged cells or genes.
Vitamin B9’s gene regulation can also help suppress the production of cancer-promoting genes. At the same time, it can help prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
12. Decreases the Frequency and Severity of Migraines
Studies have shown that high doses of vitamin B2 can help prevent or lessen the severity of migraines. Further research is needed to know how the vitamin does it, but it may due to its effect on the energy metabolism of the cells.
You need at least a daily intake of 400mg of vitamin B2 to feel its effects. You can also take B2 with vitamin D for better prevention of migraines.
13. Works as an Anti-Aging
The B1 and B9 vitamins help the body replace dead and damaged cells, while vitamin B6 can help with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamins B12 and B5 can also help prevent early aging.
Vitamin B5 promotes healthy skin by reducing the visibility of skin spots and redness. The B7 vitamin helps promote healthy skin, nails, and hair. A study shows that vitamin B3 can help treat acne, whether it’s ingested or applied topically.
Find out more about the benefits of taking vitamin B complex in this video from ehowhealth:
If you’re not getting enough B vitamins from your diet, you may consider taking supplements. The best vitamin B complex supplement will give your body optimal and high doses of each B vitamin.
But do remember that before taking any supplement, you should consult your doctor. Supplements may interact with prescription medications, diet, and other forms of treatment.
What other questions do you have about the vitamin B complex and its benefits? Share them with us in the comments section below!