Vitamin B

Vitamin B

Aid Overall Health

Vitamin B is an essential complex of water-soluble compounds. B vitamins must be consumed in food or supplement form each day because the body doesn’t store them.

Most B complex supplements contain eight key nutrients in the B complex. These vitamins play key roles in maintaining cellular and muscle health, sleep patterns, mental function, metabolism and digestion. B vitamins such as folate are a crucial component in prenatal nutrition. The B vitamins also play a role in helping your body absorb Vitamin C

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Vitamin B Complex Most B complex supplement formulas contain eight B vitamins needed each day, including: B1 or thiamin B2 or riboflavin B3 or niacin B5 or pantothenic acid B6 or pyridoxine B7 or biotin B9 or folic acid B12 or cobalamin ... more

Vitamin B Complex

Most B complex supplement formulas contain eight B vitamins needed each day, including:

  • B1 or thiamin
  • B2 or riboflavin
  • B3 or niacin
  • B5 or pantothenic acid
  • B6 or pyridoxine
  • B7 or biotin
  • B9 or folic acid
  • B12 or cobalamin

Other members of the B vitamin complex include B4 adenine, and B8, adenosine (also called myo-inositol). Both B4 and B8 are synthesized in the body. Vitamin B10, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA); B11, one of the five essential folates; B15, pangamic acid; B16, dimethylglycine; B17, nitrilosides; and others are included in the broad B complex.

Fruit and vegetables contain most of the B vitamins. Dark green and leafy vegetables like chicory, Swiss chard, spinach and arugula contain high levels of B vitamins. Vitamin B12 must be derived from meat, fish and eggs, so vegans—those who don’t consume meat, animal products or dairy foods—must supplement B12 in the diet.

Legumes and beans, such as chickpeas and lentils, supply folic acid that are crucial to fetal development. Oatmeal, brown rice, nuts, Brewer’s yeast, berries and bananas are also good sources of vitamin B9. Cereals, breads, pastas and the flours used to make these products are often fortified with B vitamins.

Meats, such as beef, chicken, turkey and fish—especially salmon and tuna—supply a variety of B vitamins in the diet. Eggs, milk, yogurt and cheeses are also good sources of B vitamins.

Vitamin B Benefits

The B complex vitamins help to convert energy in the form of glucose from carbohydrates. B vitamins also assist in the metabolic use of fats and proteins by the body. Cell regulation and health rely on them. The nervous system, brain and memory are affected by the B vitamins. Healthy skin, hair, nails and blood pressure rely upon their availability.

People that don’t consume enough fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products benefit from Vitamin B supplements. Stress, including the physical stress required to pursue a rigorous physical exercise program, can rob the body of B vitamins. Taking prescription or recreational medicals, drinking alcohol, exhaustion, anxiety, depression and lack of sleep also accelerate your body’s need for these essential nutrients.

Neurology published findings that B12 can protect you from Alzheimer’s disease. B12 protects the body from the overproduction of homocysteine.

Vitamin B Deficiencies

Your doctor performs a blood test to determine a vitamin deficiency. Your blood panel tells the doctor if you’ve got a healthy red cell count or anemia. If your doctor discovers a B vitamin deficiency, supplements and shots may be in order to bring your body back to health. Eating healthy meals and getting regular sleep also assist in an ideal health regimen.

If your doctor discovers high cholesterol, niacin supplements can help to reduce your bad cholesterol (LDL-C) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL-C). Your doctor prescribes a high dose supplement as part of a cholesterol treatment program. Some doctors prefer to use a natural course when treating high cholesterol. Better nutrition and exercise sometimes help the patient avoid strong prescription medicines.

Vitamin B Side Effects

Vitamin B supplements are considered safe for most people. If you’re pregnant or nursing a baby, your doctor prescribes a prenatal supplement with folate and essential B vitamins.  Take B vitamins with a meal to avoid stomach upset or nausea. Niacin, taken in therapeutic doses, may cause tingling or flushing symptoms. Your face may feel hot and turn red for a short time. Tell the doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Because your body doesn’t store B vitamins, take only the dosage your doctor prescribes. Larger doses of B vitamins can cause stomach upset.

Vitamin B Dosage

Ask your doctor if you’re getting enough B vitamins. If he or she confirms a deficiency, the amount of B vitamins you need each day depends on your weight and general health.

USANA Health Sciences recommends that the USDA increase the RDA for some vitamins, including B vitamins. Vitamin B6 and some micronutrients may be lacking from your diet.

According to the National Institutes of Health, pregnant women shouldn’t consume more than 2.6 mcg of B12 per day. Lactating women may consume up to 2.8 mcg of B12 each day.

Use the supplement finder provided to compare Vitamin B sources, and other supplements, right now!


  • Side Effects
  • Other Names
  • Uses
Stomach Upset
Alzheimer's Prevention
Blood Pressure
Brain Function
Cell Health
Hair Health
Nail Health
Nervous System Health
Prenatal Care
Skin Health
Vitamin C Absorption