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8 Surprising Health Benefits of B Vitamins

Good nutrition is tied to good health, as well as to the prevention and treatment of many conditions. Getting the recommended amounts of vitamins each day is an important part of the nutrition equation, and B vitamins are essential for preventive care. Abundant in green vegetables, whole or enriched grains, dairy, and meats, B vitamins help promote a healthy metabolism and are also linked to a reduced risk of stroke, research shows.

Take vitamin B12, for example. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, plays a significant role in nerve function, the formation of red blood cells, and the production of DNA. While most people get plenty of vitamin B12 benefits in a varied, balanced diet, if you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, you are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. Also, elderly adults and people with GI disorders lack adequate B12.

Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Anemia
  • Confusion
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Fatigue
  • Intestinal problems
  • Mood disturbances
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Poor memory
  • Soreness of the mouth or tongue

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is vital for normal brain development and for keeping the immune system and nervous system working properly. Most people who eat poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, and bananas have enough vitamin B6. But certain illnesses, such as kidney disease and malabsorption syndromes, can lead to vitamin B6 deficiency. Lack of B6 can result in a reduction of red blood cells, which take oxygen to tissues throughout the body. People with vitamin B6 deficiency may experience symptoms such as:

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Weakened immune system

It’s been known that some people with B vitamin deficiencies experience depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Folate (vitamin B9) is in the forefront of mood management. Findings show that many people with depression have lower levels of folate in the blood. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts, and other legumes, and citrus fruits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring manufacturers to add folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours, cornmeal, pasta, rice, and other grain products in 1998.

Additionally, folic acid (the synthetic form of folate in supplements and fortified food) is essential during early pregnancy to prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine such as spina bifida. Taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid three months before conception and eating folic-acid fortified foods can help women get plenty of this essential B vitamin.

Your doctor can determine if you are deficient in one of the B vitamins and may prescribe a vitamin B complex supplement. Even if you’re taking a supplement, a varied and balanced diet is essential to avoiding a B vitamin deficiency and reaping the health benefits of these important vitamins.

Read on to learn about the daily doses of different B vitamins you need, natural sources to include in your diet, and the health benefits you can expect to reap.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Information | Mount Sinai

Antoon AY, Donovan DK. Burn Injuries. In: Behrman RE, Kliegman RM, Jenson HB, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company; 2000:287-94.

Bruno EJ Jr, Ziegenfuss TN. Water-soluble vitamins: research update. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2005 Aug;4(4):207-13. Review.

Colombo B, Saraceno L, Comi G. Riboflavin and migraine: the bridge over troubled mitochondria. Neurol Sci. 2014;35 Suppl 1:141-4.

Cumming RG, Mitchell P, Smith W. Diet and cataract: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology. 2000;107(3):450-56.

Fishman SM, Christian P, West KP. The role of vitamins in the prevention and control of anaemia. Public Health Nutr. 2000;3(2):125-150. Review.

Head KA. Natural therapies for ocular disorders, part two: cataracts and glaucoma. Altern Med Rev. 2001;6(2):141-166. Review.

Jacques PF, Chylack LT Jr, Hankinson SE, et al. Long-term nutrient intake and early age-related nuclear lens opacities. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(7):1009-19.

James. Andrews’ Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011.

Katuzna-Czaplinska J, Socha E, Rynkowski J. B vitamin supplementation reduces excretion of urinary dicaroxylic acids in autistic children. Nutr Res. 2011;31(7):497-502.

Keligman. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011.

Kuzniarz M, Mitchell P, Cumming RG, Flood VM. Use of vitamin supplements and cataract: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Am J Ophthalmol. 2001;132(1):19-26.

MacLennan SC, Wade FM, Forrest KM, Ratanayake PD, Fagan E, Antony J. High-dose riboflavin for migraine prophylaxis in children: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Child Neurol. 2008 Nov;23(11):1300-04.

Magis D, Ambrosini A, Sandor P, Jacquy J, Laloux P, Schoenen J. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of thioctic acid in migraine prophylaxis. Headache. 2007 Jan;47(1):52-57.

Maraini G, Williams SL, Sperduto RD, Ferris FL, Milton RC, Clemons TE, Rosmini F, Ferrigno L. Effects of multivitamin/mineral supplementation on plasma levels of nutrients. Report No. 4 of the Italian-American clinical trial of nutritional supplements and age-related cataract. Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2009;45(2):119-127.

Mauskop A. Alternative therapies in headache. Is there a role?. Med Clin North Am. 2001;85(4):1077-84. Review.

Ramu A, Mehta MM, Leaseburg T, Aleksic A. The enhancement of riboflavin-mediated photo-oxidation of doxorubicin by histidine and urocanic acid. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2001;47(4):338-46.

Silberstein SD, Goadsby PJ, Lipton RB. Management of migraine: an algorithmic approach. Neurology. 2000;55(9 Suppl 2):S46-S52. Review.

Zhao H, Yang X, Zhou R, Yang Y. Study on vitamin B1, vitamin B2 retention factors in vegetables. We Sheng Yan Jiu. 2008;37(1):92-96.

B Vitamins: Causes and Symptoms of Deficiency – Blog

Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on March 27, 2020. Written by Jordana White. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Nutrition tip: make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins because they’re so important to many aspects of your health and well-being. Vitamin B benefits the body by maintaining the health of cells and nerves as well as aiding in the production of DNA. (You can now check your vitamin B levels at home with the Everlywell B Vitamins Test.)

Read on to learn more about B vitamins: what they can mean for your health, symptoms and causes of deficiency, and more.

What is Vitamin B?

Vitamin B refers to several different types of vitamins that, together, are known as the B-complex vitamins. Vitamin B benefits the nerves and cells within the body and also helps with the production of DNA (the chemical substance that genes are made from).

There are 8 kinds of vitamins in the vitamin B complex: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9, also known as folic acid), and cobalamin (B12). Deficiencies in these B vitamins can lead to a number of different symptoms over time (if the deficiency isn’t reversed).

Each of these eight B vitamins play important roles in the body. B vitamins are needed to drive the chemical reactions that support your body’s many functions. For example, cells use B vitamins to generate energy from sugar, fatty acids, and other nutrients. So without B-complex vitamins, the human body could not function well at all.

B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins. In other words, they can dissolve in water – so excess B vitamins your body doesn’t use are washed out through urination, for example.

Benefits of B Vitamins

Benefits of Vitamin B6

  • Helps the body build neurotransmitters (like dopamine), which are special chemicals your brain needs to function
  • Helps your body make red blood cells
  • Helps immune system antibodies work correctly
  • May help lower the risk of lung cancer (though more research is needed to firmly establish this benefit of B6)

Benefits of Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid)

  • Helps the body make and repair DNA (genetic material)
  • Helps your body make red blood cells
  • Supplementing with high-enough levels of B9 before pregnancy (as well as during pregnancy) significantly lowers the risk of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects like spina bifida

Benefits of Vitamin B12

  • Helps the body make and repair DNA (genetic material)
  • Helps your body make red blood cells – as well as nerve cells
  • Helps support healthy hair, skin, and nails

Think you might have a B12 deficiency? If you are showing signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency, it may be useful to get your B12 level checked. (Take the Everlywell at-home B Vitamins Test to learn your levels of 3 key B vitamins, including B12.)

Vitamin B12 can affect your red blood cell count, and can even lead to neurological symptoms in severe cases. If someone’s vitamin B12 status isn’t at a normal level, their healthcare provider may recommend a high-dosage B12 supplement or even—in some cases—B12 injections.

B Vitamin Deficiency: Symptoms and Causes of Low Vitamin B Levels

When it comes to vitamins needed for both a sound body and mind, the B vitamins aren’t something you want to ignore. Take, for example, vitamin B12: don’t get enough of this vitamin, and your energy levels throughout the day might sag – with your mind constantly turning, perhaps, to thoughts of sleep in your warm cozy bed.

Or consider vitamin B9 (a.k.a. folate or folic acid): a deficiency in this vitamin and you might get sores on your mouth or a swollen tongue – among other possible symptoms.

Then there’s vitamin B6. If your levels of this key B vitamin are too low, then you could be looking at flaky, oily rashes on your upper body or face.

But these aren’t the only symptoms of B vitamin deficiency. So here’s a more complete list of vitamin B deficiency symptoms.


Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Signs of B6 deficiency include:

  • Getting sick from infections more often (because B6 helps support your immune system)
  • Getting cracks or sores in the skin around the corners of your mouth – or a swollen and sensitive tongue
  • Fatigue
  • A feeling of numbness or tingling in your hands and feet (this is known as “paresthesias”)
  • Depression, anxiety, and/or irritability
  • A red, itchy rash – often oily or flaky – that usually appears on the upper body or face. Small areas of your skin might also swell, resulting in white patches
  • Convulsions
  • Decreased alertness

Vitamin B9 Deficiency

Signs of B9 deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • More gray hair
  • Mouth sores
  • A swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Irritability

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Signs of B12 deficiency include:

  • A feeling of numbness or tingling in your hands and feet (or “paresthesias”)
  • A smooth-appearing tongue
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Mouth sores
  • Mood changes
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin

Are you deficient in key B vitamins? Check from the comfort of home with EverlyWell’s B Vitamins Test.

Vitamin B Deficiency Diseases and Conditions

Vitamin B deficiency can increase the risk of various diseases and conditions which can affect your heart health, brain health, mental well-being, and more. For example, both B9 and B12 deficiency causes anemia in some cases – a condition in which your body lacks healthy red blood cells (which makes it hard for different parts of your body to get the oxygen they need). Anemia can also lead to fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and even numbness and tingling in some cases.

Other conditions linked with vitamin B deficiency include:

  • Paresthesias – A “pins-and-needles” feeling often experienced around the arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Peripheral neuropathy – A nervous system condition that is often felt as a stabbing or burning pain
  • Psychosis – A mental condition in which one’s thoughts and perceptions are significantly altered, resulting in delusions, hallucinations, nonsense speech, or other symptoms
  • Heart attack and stroke – A deficiency in vitamin B12 may heighten the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke

What Causes Vitamin B Deficiency?

Here’s a roundup of 4 of the top causes of vitamin B deficiency: a non-balanced diet, excessive alcohol consumption, various medications (such as proton-pump inhibitors, or PPIs), and gut malabsorption conditions.


Your body can’t directly make B vitamins (unlike proteins, for example – which the body manufactures out of many smaller building blocks).

But that’s usually not a problem because your body gets B vitamins from the food you eat. If you follow a well-balanced diet that provides your body with the right level of nutrients, you can help avoid symptoms of vitamin B deficiencies.

However, for a variety of reasons, sometimes we don’t eat the right balance of food necessary to get enough of the vitamins we need. (For example, if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, then you might not get enough vitamin B12 – because vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal-based foods and dairy products.)

That’s when vitamin deficiencies – like vitamin B deficiency – can crop up. As such, dietary inadequacies are one of the key causes of vitamin B deficiency.

So, obvious follow-up question here: what foods contain a lot of B vitamins? Well, that depends on which B vitamin is under consideration – vitamin B6, B9, or B12. Here’s a quick rundown of foods you can eat to boost your levels of each of these B vitamins (source):

  • Vitamin B6 – Meat, fish, legumes, nuts, bananas, potatoes
  • Vitamin B9 – Leafy vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits
  • Vitamin B12 – Meat, fish, and other animal and dairy products


Whether your drink of choice is shaken and not stirred, includes a barrel-aged spirit, or is a humble mug of beer, there’s nothing especially harmful about (safely) having a drink every now and then.

Needless to say, though, excessive alcohol consumption can have its downsides – one of which is vitamin B deficiency. Alcohol, in short, makes your kidneys flush B vitamins out of your system much more quickly than usual. That means your body doesn’t have all the time it needs to make use of these B vitamins – so they, quite literally, go to waste.


Several types of prescription medicines can bump up the likelihood of a vitamin B deficiency:

  • Increased likelihood of vitamin B6 deficiency – anticonvulsants, isoniazid, hydralazine, corticosteroids, and penicillamine (common brand name: Cuprimine)
  • Increased likelihood of vitamin B9 deficiency – phenytoin (common brand name: Dilantin), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, methotrexate (common brand names: Rheumatrex, Trexall), and sulfasalazine (common brand name: Azulfidine)
  • Increased likelihood of vitamin B12 deficiency – metformin, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), antacids, long-term antibiotics, and antidepressants


Under healthy conditions, B vitamins are absorbed by the gut and into your bloodstream. The bloodstream then transports these much-needed vitamins throughout your body. So what happens if B vitamins don’t make it into the bloodstream? It’s simple: they can’t be put to good use by the body!

And that’s exactly what can go wrong if you have a gut malabsorption condition – like Crohn’s, for example, or ulcerative colitis or Celiac disease. These conditions prevent B vitamins from entering the bloodstream, significantly dropping your blood’s vitamin B levels – and potentially harming your well-being.


Since vitamin B deficiency is relatively common – some have even declared it a “worldwide problem” – it’s helpful to know some of its main causes (like the 4 described above).

There’s more you can do to reduce the health risks related to a low vitamin B12 level (as well as low levels of other B vitamins). For starters, consider checking your vitamin B levels with the Everlywell at-home B Vitamins Test. Then, if you are indeed deficient, you can consult with your healthcare provider on the next steps you can take.

It’s recommended that older adults who have deficient levels of vitamin B talk with their healthcare provider as soon as possible to come up with a treatment plan. If you are showing vitamin B deficiency symptoms, it may be because you do not have enough vitamin B in your diet. If you’re showing signs of tiredness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or other deficiency symptoms, consider checking your B12 level.

Find out if you may have a vitamin deficiency with the Everlywell at-home B Vitamins Test.

Learn More About Vitamin B

B Vitamins For Energy: Myth or Science?

At-Home B Vitamins Test


1. Lykstad J, Sharma S. Biochemistry, Water Soluble Vitamins. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020.

2. Kennedy DO. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy–A Review. Nutrients. 2016;8(2):68. doi:10.3390/nu8020068

Surprising Effects of Taking Vitamin B Supplements, Says Science — Eat This Not That

Although B vitamins are found in many foods, a few groups of people could benefit from taking additional vitamin B supplements. This includes older adults, those who have celiac disease, and even those who follow a vegan diet.

There are eight different kinds of B vitamins:

  • B1—Thiamine
  • B2—Riboflavin
  • B3—Niacin
  • B5—Pantothenic Acid
  • B6—Pyridoxine
  • B7—Biotin
  • B9—Folate (also known as folic acid)
  • B12—Cobalamin

If you suspect that you’re deficient in one of the B vitamins, you’ve likely experienced a few unfavorable symptoms. This is why taking vitamin B supplements can help with any deficiencies you may experience. Below, we outline four positive effects you could experience from taking a B-complex supplement or one a stand-alone B vitamin (such as a B12 supplement). After, be sure to read up on The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.


There are a few reasons why you may be experiencing tingling in either your hands, feet or both. For example, when you experience tingling or numbness, it could be a sign that you have prediabetes which occurs when the body has higher than normal blood sugar (glucose) levels but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. More specifically, this sensation is a big indicator of pre-diabetic neuropathy and if left untreated, it could result in a type of nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. However, Cedrina Calder, MD, MSPH, and member of our medical review board notes that numbness and tingling are more often signs of diabetes than prediabetes. In fact, this symptom could be a big indicator of diabetic neuropathy.

However, a less severe cause for tingling or numbness in the hands or feet may be a vitamin B12 deficiency. Inadequate consumption of B-12 (found primarily in meat and animal byproduct) is known to cause a “pins and needles” sensation in both the hands and feet. This is because vitamin B-12 helps to produce a substance called myelin, which acts as a protective coating for nerves and enables them to transmit sensations. Without this shield, nerves can become damaged.

But before you start taking vitamin B12 supplements, be sure to talk with your physician.


Another symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency? Mouth sores or ulcers. These can pop up on your tongue, gums, or on the inside of your mouth. This can also be indicative of a folate deficiency (vitamin B9). While mouth ulcers usually don’t need treatment, they can be quite painful, especially if you eat acidic fruits such as oranges, lemon, grapefruit, or something spicy. One way to decrease the pain and accelerate the healing process is to take vitamin B6 and B12 supplements.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), folic acid (vitamin B9) can help reduce birth defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly. A baby is diagnosed with spina bifida when its spine doesn’t develop correctly, which can ultimately lead to severe physical disabilities. Anencephaly is equally as serious, as it’s a condition in which the baby’s brain and skull do not form correctly. To prevent these serious birth defects, the CDC recommends that pregnant women take a vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.


Did you know a vitamin B deficiency could be the reason you constantly feel fatigued? As Cedrina Calder, MD, MSPH, and member of our medical review board informed us before, vitamin B12 deficiency lowers red blood cell count which could result in extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and rapid heart rate. Eating more meat, fish poultry, and eggs could solve this issue. However, a vitamin B12 supplement may be the most effective route, especially if you follow a plant-based diet.

For more, be sure to check out The 9 Most Essential Vitamins You Need in Your Diet, According to Yale Experts.

Can You Take Too Much Vitamin B?

Vitamins are required for life. A minimum daily dose of each vitamin is necessary to maintain good health. Significantly exceeding this dose, however, can cause illness. In general, the symptoms of vitamin toxicity include nausea, gastrointestinal problems like constipation and diarrhea, hair loss, rashes, and nerve damage.

It is unusual to overdose on vitamins through megadose supplements, but people sometimes receive an unsafe dose of some vitamins by combining fortified foods with supplements.

Foods containing vitamin B 6: hazelnuts, potatoes, oatmeal, raisin, buckwheat, walnuts – Image Copyright: Elena Hramova / Shutterstock

Vitamin overdose and toxicity rarely leads to death or serious illness. In 2012, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 59,028 exposures and only one death.

As B vitamins are often given as supplements and found in fortified foods, there is some risk of taking too much B vitamin. There are eight B vitamins; thiamine, ribovlavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamine. Each functions as an enzymatic cofactor or is a precursor to an enzymatic cofactor enabling many of the basic functions of metabolism in the body.

Vitamin B1

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin B1 (thiamin) is 1. 5 mg per day for an adult, and 0.7 mg for children age 1 to 4. Thiamine is generally nontoxic.

Vitamin B2

The RDA for vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is 1.7 mg for adults and 0.8 mg for children age 1 to 4. Vitamin B2 is also generally nontoxic.

Vitamin B3

The RDA for vitamin B3 (niacin) is 20 mg for adults, and 9 mg for children between 1 and 4. There is no toxic dose established in humans. However, at doses higher than 50 mg per day, some side effects such as skin flushing can occur. Therapeutic doses of 1500 to 1600 mg per day can be given, but with a risk of liver toxicity, especially in the presence of pre-existing liver disease. There were 1374 exposures to niacin toxicity reported in 2015.

Vitamin B5

The recommended adequate intake of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is 5 mg per day for adults. It is not known to be toxic in humans and there is no tolerable upper intake level established. Diarrhea has been documented at intakes of 10 to 20 g per day.

Vitamin B6

The RDA for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is 1.3 mg for adults between 19 and 50 years.  . An acute toxic dose has not been established but it is known that vitamin B6 may cause neurotoxicity at a dose of 300 to 500 mg per day over time. In 2015, 189 toxic exposures were reported for Vitamin B6.

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 (biotin) is a cofactor for key enzymes in the process of gene regulation. The recommended intake of biotin is 30 mcg per day in adults. Biotin is not considered to be toxic, and no tolerable upper intake level has been established.

Vitamin B9

The RDA for vitamin B9, folic acid, is 400  mcg per day for people over 14, 600 mcg for pregnant women, and 500 mcg for lactating women. Requirements for children are dependent on age. The safe upper limit of folic acid for adults is 1000 mcg from fortified foods and supplements. Taking more than that could conceal the signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency in older people.

Vitamin B12

The RDA for vitamin B12 (cobalamine) is 2. 4 mcg for people over age 14. The RDA for children is dependent on age. No tolerable upper intake level for vitamin B12 is established.


  1. Emedicine, Vitamin Toxicity, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/819426-overview
  2. Getting Too Much of Vitamins and Minerals, http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/effects-of-taking-too-many-vitamins#1
  3. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center, Pantothenic Acid, http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/pantothenic-acid
  4. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center, Biotin, http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/biotin
  5. MedlinePlus, Niacin, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002409.htm
  6. National Institutes of Health, Riboflavin: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Riboflavin-HealthProfessional/

Further Reading

Amazon.com: Doctor’s Best Fully Active B Complex, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Vegan, Soy Free, Supports Energy Production, 30 Veggie Caps : Health & Household

The B-complex vitamins group is comprised of eight water-soluble B vitamins that are known to be essential for normal physiological functioning and are key contributors to the maintenance of optimal human health. B vitamins play important roles in cell metabolism, supporting DNA and enzyme functions and energy production, and are keys in maintaining healthy skin and hair, as well as supporting bone, cardiovascular and cognitive functions.*

B vitamins are not synthesized by the body and must come from foods, fortified foods, and dietary supplementation. Doctor’s Best Fully Active B Complex contains all eight important B Vitamins, a full spectrum designed for optimal absorption and utilization to support overall health and well-being. This formulation provides the B vitamins in their safest, best tolerated, and most biochemically active forms and includes vitamin C for added stability. It is hypoallergenic, with no unhealthy colorants or additives.

Quatrefolic is the glucosamine salt of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the most bioavailable form of folate, that provides greater stability and water solubility. * Folate is an essential vitamin to support DNA, proper cell division, cardiovascular, mental and emotional well-being.*


B vitamins are essential for normal growth, metabolism and reproduction. They are water-soluble micronutrients and therefore are readily absorbed from the gut and easily eliminated via renal excretion. In general, individual B vitamins are referred to by their specific name. Dietary supplements containing all eight vitamins are usually referred to as vitamin B complex: Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folic acid/folate), and vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin). B vitamins are essential because certain chemical reactions cannot happen in the body without them and any deficiency of one of them can lead to disorders specific to the deficient B vitamin.1 For each B vitamin, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) has listed the daily RDA (Recommended dietary allowances of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals).

Helps Support Energy Production*

Vitamins are micronutrients that are vital to our health. Like all other vitamins, B vitamins are needed in relatively small amounts but must be obtained on a daily basis because the body cannot manufacture them (or cannot make adequate amounts).

Many of the enzyme systems that manage energy generation, methyl group transfers, antioxidant defense, and numerous other metabolic pathways require more than one B vitamin in order to function. As examples, two key energy enzymes (pyruvate dehydrogenase and ketoglutarate dehydrogenase) require vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5 to do their jobs. The methyl transfer enzyme that recycles homocysteine (methionine synthase) must have both fully active folate and fully active vitamin B12 available, in order to carry out its pivotal function. The microscopic “power plants” of our cells (mitochondria), which generate over 90 percent of our life energy, need all the B vitamins to make energy. In particular, mitochondria cells require thiamin to generate energy, but elsewhere in the cells it is also required for energy generation. Niacin (and niacinamide) is fundamentally essential for numerous enzymes that make and use energy.

Helps Support Body Metabolism and New Cells*

Among a diverse range of biological functions, B-complex vitamins act as important co-factors or co-enzymes in many metabolic processes in the human body. Vitamin B1 is fundamental to human metabolism because it is essential for the metabolism of oxygen. This B vitamin is important for metabolizing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins but is especially important for managing sugar and other carbohydrates, and can be depleted by high-carbohydrate diets. Vitamin B3 helps the liver maintain healthy cholesterol levels, as verified by multiple proven trials. It is also essential for detoxifying alcohol and is readily depleted by excessive alcohol intake or by smoking. Vitamin B6 is essential for at least 112 enzymes that metabolize carbohydrates, amino acids, and fatty acids—some 3% of all the known human enzymes. It is also essential for routing potentially harmful homocysteine along the “trans-sulfuration” pathway to produce glutathione and other important sulfur antioxidants.16 Pantothenic acid is an essential B vitamin involved in the making of coenzyme A (“CoA”), a fundamental metabolic factor. Our cells use CoA to make amino acids, proteins and hormones, to metabolize fats into useful fatty acids, and to build cell membranes. CoA with its pantothenate component is also an absolute requirement for the major energy-generating enzymes. Because freezing, canning, and refining deplete this vitamin from foods, people are at risk of having low level of pantothenic acid vitamin in their body.

Helps Support DNA, the Body’s Genetic Blueprint*

Folate (as methyl-tetra-hydro-folate or MTHF, Quatrefolic) is a major dietary source of methyl groups that are essential for a number of enzymes that make DNA, repair damaged DNA, and regulate gene activity via epigenetic actions. Folate’s central importance for such “housekeeping” functions make it crucial to the health of all our cells, tissues, and organs. Folate is also crucial for a healthy pregnancy.* This need arises soon after conception, so that all women of reproductive age are well advised to have sufficient folate intake. The brain especially needs methyl from folate to make cell membranes that go to form the nerve cell connections (synapses).

B Vitamins Boost Health | Health and Wellness

If health-essential vitamins took part in a popularity contest, B and its many components probably wouldn’t make it to the final round.

Other vitamins and supplements – think C, D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids – tend to attract the industry spotlight and help account for the $88.3 billion (U.S.) Euromonitor International says we spend globally on vitamins and supplements each year.

But without the eight different and individually important elements of the Vitamin B family, we’d have far less energy.   We’d feel more anxious and irritable. And we’d find it much harder to maintain healthy hair and skin.

“B vitamins can affect your whole body, from the top of your head to your mood, to intestinal constipation to tingling in your extremities in more severe cases,” says Kerstin Koenig, M.D., associate medical director for Abbott’s diagnostics business based in Wiesbaden-Delkenheim, Germany.  Also a nutritional therapist, Koenig is on a team of scientists and doctors who work with immunoassays that run on Abbott’s ARCHITECT system in medical laboratories used by hospitals and outpatient facilities. These assays determine the presence of and measure substances in people’s blood.

In this case, the Abbott-tested Active-B12 test measures the amount of this vitamin that can readily be used and absorbed by our bodies – and can detect early if we’re deficient. Because Vitamin B tests aren’t always included in routine blood screenings – and because deficiency symptoms aren’t always obvious – people often don’t know their levels are low, says Abby C. Sauer, a registered dietitian in Abbott’s Columbus, Ohio-based adult nutrition business.

“B vitamins are not top of mind, which is unfortunate because they help all the other functions in our bodies work,” says Sauer. “They’re in the background, and are not exciting or sexy. Because there are so many of them, it’s harder to connect to what they do. Many adults 65 and older are low in B12 because of their bodies’ (reduced) ability to process and use the vitamin.” While Sauer says most people get the Vitamin B12 they need from a well-balanced diet – or can supplement their intake with balanced nutritional drinks such as Ensure – she says people with gastrointestinal or digestive conditions, strict vegetarians and vegans (because B12 nutrients come from meats, eggs, and dairy products) also need to make sure they get enough.

Here are seven reasons why the different forms of this wonder vitamin really do help you live a healthier life.

They help our bodies process energy from foods we eat.  

Essentially, says Abbott registered dietitian Abby C. Sauer, B vitamins “help the body to burn fuel” from carbohydrates, fat and protein, “working with enzymes that help make energy.” Vitamins B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), and B3 (Niacin) are the superstars here. You’ll find Thiamine in everything from lentils to red meats to sunflower seeds; Riboflavin in nuts, green veggies, meats, and dairy products; and Niacin in foods including beans, nuts, and fish. Without them, we may feel run-down and fatigued.

They keep our brains and nerves functioning well. 

B vitamins – and especially B-12 (Cobalamin) – are essential “for repairing your DNA and for the function of nerves,” says Abbott’s Kerstin Koenig, M.D. If we don’t get enough, the deficiency can lead to increased mental anxiety and tension, fatigue, poor memory, and even depression.

They help babies develop properly. 

Pregnant women and those who might become pregnant especially need Vitamins B9, more commonly known as folate or the man-made folic acid (400 daily micrograms for women of childbearing age and 600 micrograms for expectant moms) and B-12, because “we want to make sure the cells in the baby are growing,” says Sauer. These vitamins play a critical role in helping develop a fetus’s brain, spinal cord, and nervous system – and also are key in preventing spinal cord defects.

They assist women who are “eating for two.” 

It’s critical that women who are breastfeeding consume Vitamin B9 – the B component that’s folate, or the man-made folic acid. It’s essential to ensure cellular growth both for the growing baby and for Mom, as her body recovers from pregnancy. While this vitamin is found naturally in foods such as leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and whole grains, breastfeeding women need folic acid supplements to ensure they’re getting the recommended 500 micrograms each day.

They help regulate digestion. 

Different B vitamins keep our digestive systems in good working order. B1 (Thiamine) may help regulate and enhance appetite, while B3 (Niacin) is required for the proper function of fats and sugars in the body. B6 (Pyridoxine) gives your system an assist by helping process proteins you eat, and B7 (Biotin) also helps you produce cholesterol and process carbs and fats.

They’re good for cell regeneration and repair. 

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and B12 “help cells to multiply – especially those that have short life spans like red blood cells,” says Sauer. And since it’s involved in dozens of the body’s cellular and enzyme reactions, B6 is key in helping with the proper growth and development of parts of the nervous system. It shows up in plenty of foods including poultry, bananas, and fish, while you’ll find B12 in fish, dairy products, meat, and fortified cereals. If you don’t get enough, you may feel weak, fatigued, and develop anemia.

They keep our hair and skin looking good.

Vitamins B2 (Riboflavin) and B7 (Biotin) play a role in maintaining healthy hair, skin – even our nails. While you’ll find Riboflavin in everything from fortified cereals to salmon and spinach, Biotin comes from sources including strawberries, cheese, and soybeans. And the reality is that when we feel that we look our best, it gives us confidence, helping us get more out of life.

90,000 Why do you need B vitamins?

The word “vitamin” comes from the Latin “vita” – life, and for good reason, because without these substances, life is simply impossible. All known vitamins are divided into two groups: fat-soluble and water-soluble.

The difference between them is that fat-soluble vitamins accumulate in the body and do not need to be consumed daily, while water-soluble ones, on the contrary, require constant support.

Water-soluble includes a wide group of B vitamins.They are involved in cellular metabolism and are of great importance for immunity and the health of the nervous system. The daily diet must necessarily include foods containing vitamins from this group. Let’s consider them in more detail.

Thiamine (B1)

Thiamine B1 is needed to convert the body’s energy to fats, is responsible for the transfer of genetic information to new cells. It positively affects the normal functioning of the brain, the state of the central nervous system, increases the body’s resistance to infections and other unfavorable environmental factors. Thiamine is found in cereals, white and black bread, beans, green peas, potatoes, carrots, and apricots.

Riboflavin (B2)

Vitamin B2 is involved in many metabolic processes, as well as in the synthesis of hemoglobin. It is of particular importance for the organs of vision, the state of the epidermis and mucous membranes. We consume riboflavin together with meat, eggs, whole milk, fish. In addition, it is found in mushrooms, cabbage, rice, buckwheat, white bread, leafy greens. It must be borne in mind that it does not withstand freezing and is destroyed in the sun.

Niacin (B3 or PP)

Nicotinic acid is needed for the conversion of energy from food, the synthesis of proteins and fats, the production of sex hormones, insulin and cortisone. It reduces blood pressure and normalizes the nervous system. Sources of vitamin: pineapples, rye bread, cereals, legumes, meat, liver. It is a persistent vitamin that can withstand heat, UV radiation, and drying.

Pantothenic acid (B5)

This vitamin is needed for the synthesis of antibodies, the restoration of damaged tissues. It is indispensable for the healing of various wounds. With its lack, the body is more susceptible to colds. B5 can be obtained from nuts, legumes, leafy vegetables, buckwheat or oatmeal. It is also found in yolks, milk, kidneys, and fish roe. To preserve the vitamin, products should not be exposed to prolonged heat treatment.

Pyridoxine (B6)

Pyridoxine is involved in carbohydrate metabolism, and is also needed for the production of hemoglobin and polyunsaturated acids. Regulates the activity of the nervous system, has an immunostimulating effect, helps in the formation of antibodies, the regeneration of erythrocytes.Most of all it is in walnuts, hazelnuts, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, citrus fruits. It can also be obtained from meat, potatoes, cereals.

Biotin (B7 or H)

Biotin plays an essential role in metabolism. It normalizes the sugar content, is directly involved in the transfer of carbon dioxide, the production of fatty acids. Vitamin regulates the state of the nervous system, reduces muscle pain, and has a beneficial effect on the appearance of the skin and hair. Contained in fatty fish, beef liver, milk, eggs, citrus fruits, bananas, parsley.

Folic acid (B9)

Folic acid (B9) is the most important vitamin for pregnant women, because it participates in the formation of the main organs and systems of the fetus. Also, folic acid is necessary for the development of the immune and circulatory systems, the growth and division of cells, the preservation and transmission of genetic information, and protein synthesis. To get it, you need to eat plant foods: green vegetables, tomatoes, beets, bananas, potatoes.

Cyanocobalamin (B12)

Cyanocobalamin is essential for the production of red blood cells and affects the growth and proper functioning of the nervous system.Responsible for blood clotting, reduces cholesterol, strengthens the immune system. B12 comes exclusively from livestock products, so vegans need to take it additionally.

If you suspect a lack of B vitamins, you must consult a doctor and take tests, according to the results of which the specialist will prescribe an additional intake of the necessary vitamins.

You can buy vitamin complexes in Stolichki pharmacies.

90,000 Useful properties of B vitamins and their role in the human body

B vitamins are water-soluble substances that are vital for the human body. They are involved in the functioning of all systems and organs, help to normalize digestion and the functioning of the nervous system, are part of cell membranes.

Attention! The peculiarity of B vitamins is that they are not able to accumulate in the body and must always be taken with food.

Role of B vitamins

B-vitamins perform the following functions:

  1. Strengthening defenses and resisting infections.
  2. Active participation in the growth of muscles, the work of all cells, energy production.
  3. Normalization of the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
  4. Decrease in the level of depression, improvement in mood.

The entire group of substances under consideration is divided into two subgroups – directly vitamins and vitamin-like substances. Each element has its own health benefits.

List of vitamins

Each substance from this group has its own name and number, as well as unique beneficial properties.Therefore, it is important that a person’s diet contains foods containing all these elements.

Thiamin (B₁)

Designated with the letter B followed by the number one, since it was opened by the very first of the entire group. Has thiamine and another name – “vitamin of vivacity and spirit.” It has a positive effect on:

  • brain work;
  • functioning of the nervous system;
  • the process of storing information;
  • organs of the digestive tract;
  • Transfer of genetic information during cell division.

Attention! This substance is contained in greens, sprouted grains, cabbage, carrots, nuts, bran, beans.

Riboflavin (B₂)

Able to be synthesized in the large intestine, but the bulk of the substance comes from food. Useful properties of vitamin B₂:

  • assists in the formation of red blood cells;
  • iron is better absorbed with it;
  • optimizes vision function;
  • helps the liver to function normally.

Attention! Riboflavin-rich foods – eggs, many types of cheese, whole milk, liver, buckwheat, oatmeal, leafy greens.

Niacin or nicotinic acid (B₃)

Of all the substances in the group under consideration, it is the most resistant to alkali, temperature, drying, ultraviolet radiation. Helps to establish enzymatic processes, participates in carbohydrate and cholesterol metabolism. Promotes the successful absorption of all nutrients.

Helps to produce many hormones, primarily insulin. Niacin also helps lower blood pressure. Contained in the following products:

  • Offal – liver and kidney;
  • 90,059 eggs;

  • tomatoes;
  • 90,059 mushrooms;

  • legumes;
  • fish (especially in the sea).

Panthenol (B₅)

Essential for wound healing.Performs other important functions for health:

Contained in nuts, mushrooms, legumes, as well as cauliflower, green vegetables, beets.

Biotin (B₇)

Most important for blood sugar regulation. Performs other functions as well:

  • reduces muscle pain;
  • promotes the synthesis of fatty acids;
  • optimizes the condition of hair, nails, skin;
  • is an important participant in the transportation of carbon dioxide.

Attention! To replenish the supply of biotin in the body, it is necessary to regularly consume bananas, peas, brown rice, apples, oranges, fish, and egg yolks.

Folic acid (B₉)

Particularly important substance for women during pregnancy and at the planning stage. Folate is directly involved in the formation of the fetal neural tube, which means that its deficiency can cause the most severe pathologies of the child’s development. Folate is also involved in the transmission of hereditary information, reduces the risk of developing cancer.

B₁₂ – cyanocobalamin

Promotes the formation of nucleic acids. And also:

  • helps assimilate amino acids;
  • carries out the synthesis of protective sheaths of nerve fibers;
  • lowers cholesterol levels;
  • stimulates blood clotting.

Contained strictly in animal products.90,000 for what is needed, where

is kept

Group B – these are water-soluble vitamins, that is, in order for them to be well absorbed by the body, fats are not needed. Another feature is that they do not accumulate in the body (with the exception of B12), so they need to be obtained from food daily.

Vitamins of group B regulate metabolism, normalize blood sugar levels, strengthen immunity. But their main property is to maintain the functioning of the nervous system.

How to save when cooking?

B1, or thiamine , is found in large quantities in pork (without fat), liver, kidneys, buckwheat, oatmeal, and rye bread. In a slightly smaller volume – in bran, hazelnuts and walnuts, yeast, beans, potatoes, corn, sprouted wheat grains.

Thiamine breaks down in an alkaline environment, so the ideal way to cook the above products is dishes with “sour” ingredients, for example, vegetable soups with tomatoes.

B2, or riboflavin , can be obtained from liver and kidney by-products. It is also found in sufficient quantities in hard cheeses and curd products, apples, almonds, tomatoes, cabbage, fresh peas, eggs, green beans, and whole grain wheat.

Like its predecessor, riboflavin is better preserved in an acidic environment, worse in an alkaline one. Therefore, the ideal option is to cook the same offal, for example, with lemon juice, in order to surely preserve the valuable vitamin in food.

B3, aka PP, is also found in the liver and kidneys. In small amounts, it is present in vegetables and fruits, bread, chicken eggs, brewer’s yeast, mushrooms, oatmeal, corn and wheat porridge.

B3 is poorly soluble in cold water, so it is recommended to cook all products containing it. Otherwise, it is a very persistent vitamin that tolerates even the most careless handling.

B5, or pantothenic acid, is found in yeast (bakery and beer), offal, yolk, greens, oatmeal, yolk and corn porridge, as well as in any fermented milk products.In principle, you shouldn’t worry about the preservation of the vitamin when preparing dishes – it is so widespread in nature that, most likely, you already get enough of it.

B6, or pyridoxine , can primarily be obtained from liver, meat, whole grain bread, chicken egg yolks, yeast, legumes, dairy products. It tolerates high temperatures, therefore it is perfectly absorbed from soups and other hot dishes. The same can be said about vitamin B7 (other names – H, biotin).

B9, or folic acid , is found in large quantities in leafy green vegetables. Moreover, like most vitamins of this group, this is a fairly persistent chemical compound. Therefore, feel free to add greens to soups or stews – this way folic acid is better absorbed by the body.

B12, or cyanocobalamin, is synthesized by bacteria and other microorganisms. It enters our body together with food of animal origin (meat, liver, eggs), since it is practically not contained in the plant.There is a misconception that B12 can be obtained from spirulina or yeast, but it actually contains pseudovitamin, a substance similar to cyanocobalamin. That is why vegetarians and vegans should definitely take B12 in the form of dietary supplements. Everyone else can safely bake the listed products in the oven, cook, stew – the vitamin is not afraid of high temperatures.

Remember that B vitamins are directly involved in many processes in the body, so a lack of them can provoke serious health problems.This means that you need to regularly replenish their “reserves” with food or supplements.

Vitamins of group B: which products contain, what are they responsible for

Every girl who has ever wondered how to grow long hair probably knows about one of the forms of vitamin B – biotin. It is called the vitamin of beauty for a reason: a deficiency of biotin provokes increased hair loss. However, taking it as a dietary supplement does not mean that you can be lenient with all other forms of B vitamins.

What you should know about them, we learned from the nutritionist-endocrinologist of the Samoylenko Clinic of Dietetics Anna Belokoz.

Useful properties of B vitamins

“B vitamins play a huge role in human well-being. As building blocks of a healthy body, they directly affect energy levels, the functioning of the brain and cellular metabolism. In addition, B vitamins help fight infections, resist anemia, and participate in growth. red blood cells, are responsible for excellent digestion, healthy appetite, good conduction of the nervous system, participate in the synthesis of cholesterol and help maintain muscle tone.

B vitamins are extremely important for girls who are preparing to become mothers, as well as during breastfeeding. They are responsible for the correct formation of the fetal neural tube, reduce the risk of developing intrauterine disorders. These vitamins also provide pregnant women with an additional source of energy and help to cope with nausea.

For men, B vitamins are also indispensable: they increase testosterone levels, which decreases with age, and also maintain good muscle tone and help to increase physical endurance.

How do you know if you have a deficiency of B vitamins?

This appears:

Skin rashes, cracks or seizures in the corners of the mouth, flaky lips, severe dry skin, swollen tongue, fatigue, anemia, anxiety, depression and all kinds of emotional disorders, nausea, cramps, stool problems (diarrhea and constipation), numbness and tingling in arms and legs.

Severe deficiency of B vitamins leads to anemia, impaired absorption of trace elements, depressing skin condition, frequent infectious diseases, and also such a disease as peripheral neuropathy (when the tips of the fingers and toes lose sensitivity).

What foods contain B vitamins

Milk, dairy products, eggs, offal (liver, kidneys), red and white meat, fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon), seafood (oysters, shellfish), dark green vegetables (spinach, cabbage), beets, potatoes, avocados, cereals, cereals, legumes (beans, beans, chickpeas), nuts, seeds, bananas, citrus fruits, watermelons, soy products (soy milk, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

Vitamins of group B are water-soluble, therefore the body successfully removes their excess through the urinary tract.In this case, you should be aware that the additional intake of large doses of B vitamins can lead to intoxication.

Signs of an overdose of B vitamins: thirst, skin rashes, convulsions, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, frequent urination.

There are 8 main B vitamins that play an invaluable role in our health.

Vitamin B1 (thiamin)

Responsible for energy in the body, mood, stability of the nervous system.Contained in peas, fruits, dried fruits, eggs, whole grains, liver. The daily dosage of vitamin B1 is 1 mg for men and 0.8 mg for women (meaning adult men and women, 19 years and older). Thiamine does not accumulate in the body, so we need to consume foods containing it every day.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Responsible for the excellent condition of the skin, vision, nerve conduction, strength and energy. Contained in milk, eggs, rice.Ultraviolet radiation breaks down riboflavin, so ideally these foods should not be stored in direct sunlight. The daily dosage of vitamin B2 is 1.3 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women. He does not have a depot in the body, so you need to replenish their diet daily.

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

Helps the body get energy and promotes the smooth functioning of the nervous system. Contained in meat, fish, cereals, eggs, milk.The daily dosage of vitamin B3 is 16.5 mg for men and 13.2 mg for women.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Also responsible for nerve conduction and energy exchange in the body. Contained in chicken, beef, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, oatmeal and other whole grain cereals, wild rice, eggs, by-products. The daily dosage of vitamin B5 is 5 mg.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Deficiency of this vitamin quickly leads to anemia, and it is also responsible for excellent memory, nerve conduction, energy.It is indispensable during pregnancy to help manage nausea. There are studies that prove that vitamin B6 helps the body resist environmental pollution. Contained in pork, poultry (turkey, chicken), fish, whole grain cereals, eggs, soy products, peanuts. The daily dosage of vitamin B6 is 1.4 mg for men and 1.2 mg for women. Read more on how to grow long hair.

Vitamin B7 (biotin)

Biotin is one of the main responsible for the health of the skin, hair, excellent eyesight and the functioning of the nervous system.It is one of the critical nutrients for the normal development of the fetus during pregnancy. The bacteria in the gut are capable of producing biotin. Therefore, if you have a good microflora, you need to get it from the outside in very small quantities. Vitamin B7 is found in egg yolks, offal, nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts), nut oils, soybeans and other legumes, whole grains, cauliflower, bananas and mushrooms, as well as in foods that accelerate metabolism. By consuming 100 to 300 mcg, we get a daily dose of biotin.

Vitamin B9 (folic acid)

Plays a huge role in cell growth and DNA formation. Deficiency of vitamin B9 provokes diseases of the cardiovascular system, anemia, impaired formation of the neural tube of the fetus and miscarriage, and also increases the risk of cancer. It is important to know that our body needs an extremely active form of folic acid – 5-MTHF, into which the taken vitamin B9 is usually transformed.The daily allowance is approximately 200-400 mcg. When folic acid is consumed with other B vitamins (for example, with vitamin B6), its conversion to the active form is much better. Found in asparagus, avocado, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens (lettuce and spinach). Folic acid supplementation is mandatory throughout pregnancy.

Vitamin B12

Participates in the formation of red blood cells (erythrocytes), the synthesis of fatty acids, energy production, is responsible for nerve conduction and mood – however, like almost all B vitamins, and is also necessary for the synthesis of new DNA in cells.Its deficiency threatens with psychoemotional disorders, dementia, impaired concentration, loss of weight and appetite, weakness, depression, menstrual irregularities. Vitamin B12 is found exclusively in animal products: beef, pork, veal, chicken, fish (especially tuna), milk, cheeses, yoghurts, eggs. Vegans who completely avoid such foods in their diets need to take vitamin B12 supplements.

Of all the B vitamins, vitamin B12 can accumulate in the body.Therefore, if you drink a course of this vitamin once a year, this will be quite enough.

Read also: Flows through the veins: Why the trend for vitamin beauty-droppers conquers the world

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Read also: Healthy habits: About the benefits and daily intake of vitamin E

See also: How to Replenish Vitamin D Deficiency

What vitamins does a child need? Advice from doctors-immunologists

To date, the World Health Organization has developed the recommended daily intake of vitamins for children of various ages, which fully satisfy the needs of the body.

These norms are average, and therefore rather arbitrary values, since in practice it is impossible to accurately calculate the dosage of vitamins supplied with food. This can only be done approximately. However, the approximate content of vitamins in the daily diet should not be lower than the values ​​recommended by the World Health Organization. In this case, you can be sure that the child receives all the necessary vitamins in the amount he needs.

Daily intake of vitamins for children:

The child most of all needs vitamins of group B, as well as A, C, E and D.These vitamins can be given to a child of any age, either individually or in the form of a multivitamin complex.

When purchasing multivitamin complexes for a child, you should pay attention to the fact that it contains the listed vitamins in a daily dosage. Vitamins provide not only harmonious physical, but also mental development.

In addition, vitamin PP is useful for children of any age. It is vitamin PP that improves the functioning of the immune system, reducing the severity and severity of allergic reactions to which many children are prone.

The most favorable time for taking vitamins is in the morning, right after breakfast. Vitamins should not be given to a child on an empty stomach, as this can provoke unpleasant and uncomfortable manifestations, such as nausea, heaviness and burning sensation in the abdomen, and others, as a result of which he will generally refuse to take useful pills. While taking vitamins, it is advisable for a child to drink about 2 liters of clean drinking water.

Children’s vitamins

General characteristics of vitamins for children of different ages:

  • Vitamin D (D3) – is necessary for the growth of bones and muscles, the formation of teeth and nails, for the optimal functioning of the local immunity of the mucous membranes.Taking this vitamin has long been not considered only as the prevention of rickets in children, it has been clinically proven that the active metabolite of vitamin D3 is involved in many metabolic processes in our body, and the growth of various diseases is associated with its deficiency: colds, cardiovascular and even cancer. Therefore, it was not for nothing that earlier children were given fish oil without fail, even today it has not lost its relevance.
  • Vitamin A – is necessary for normal growth, good vision, and excellent condition of the skin.
  • Vitamin E – is necessary for the formation of the immune system and prevention of severe acute infections, it contributes to the formation of elastic and resistant to negative environmental factors of the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Vitamin C – is necessary for normal growth of muscle mass, as well as for increasing the strength of all organs and tissues.
  • Vitamin PP – essential for the normal functioning of the digestive tract, as well as for effective cellular respiration.
  • Vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B6, B12) for children are necessary for the regulation and provision of normal and adequate metabolism and blood circulation. These vitamins ensure efficient functioning of the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

Who needs vitamin D and why

According to many studies, more than 80% of our population, regardless of age, and experience a lack of vitamin D .But this is one of the few substances, without which neither good physical health nor a stable working psyche can be achieved. We urgently need to do something about this!

Recently I visited an endocrinologist and discussed my problems with being overweight. He prescribed vitamin D . I don’t understand why I need it? With the bones, everything seems to be in order for now.

Vitamin D is necessary for the whole body, not only for strengthening the skeleton and muscles, although it is for the prevention of rickets that it is most often prescribed to children, and to protect against osteoporosis – to the elderly.Nevertheless, it has been proven that with a normal supply of this vitamin, the passage of most processes in the body improves. After all, this substance is only partly a vitamin, in fact it is a prohormone, with the help of which many important hormones are produced in the body. With its regular adequate intake, the risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome is reduced. By the way, Vitamin D is also considered to be an oncoprotector – a substance that prevents the development of cancer.

I read from one blogger that it is useless to take pharmacy vitamin D , it is better to get it naturally: under the sun or in a solarium.Or at least with food. What and how much do you need to eat for this?

Vitamin D, indeed, can enter the body with food or be produced in the skin under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. But we have little sun, and doctors do not approve of regular visits to tanning salons. In addition, it must be borne in mind that the use of sunscreen prevents the skin from producing vitamin D, and sunbathing without such means is too dangerous in terms of the risk of melanoma. You can get this substance from food, but in order to reach the daily norm, you will have to eat 4.5 kilos of cheese, 2 kilos of salmon or 100 egg yolks per day.

I heard on TV about the benefits of vitamin D , and decided to buy it at the pharmacy. But I was confused, because there it is both in oil and in an aqueous solution, and the forms are different: D2 and D3. Which one is better to choose? And how do I know if I have a deficiency of this substance or not, so as not to waste money on the wind?

There are several variants of natural vitamin D. They differ in chemical structure. D 2 (ergocalciferol) is a vegetable vitamin, and D3 (cholecalciferol) comes from animal products.However, upon entering the body, all forms of provitamin D turn into a universal form: 25 – OH vitamin D. This form is stable, circulates in the blood for a long time and reflects all metabolic transformations of vitamin D in the body, therefore it is considered the main marker by which one can judge. whether or not a person has enough of this substance. In addition, a blood test for 25 – OH vitamin D will help to calculate the optimal dose of the drug, an overdose of which can be dangerous. In some cases, it is also required to assess the balance of different metabolic variants of the substances of the vitamin D group – to make a comprehensive analysis for the vitamins of the D group.There are separate laboratory tests for this. But it makes sense to do them only at the request of a doctor. For example, in patients with chronic kidney disease, synthesis of the active metabolite of vitamin D – 1.25 (OH) 2 D is usually reduced.

Is it mandatory to take a blood test for vitamin D on an empty stomach? And in what cases is this research done?

The test for total vitamin D (25-OH vitamin D) is needed for those who have signs of a lack of this substance.There are many such symptoms, and they are very diverse: asthenia, depression, nervousness, irritability, excessive sweating of the back of the head and hair loss, sleep disturbances, problems with coordination. But most often the reasons for the study are complaints of muscle weakness, fragility of bones and frequent fractures, especially alarming if blood tests record a decrease in calcium levels. It also makes sense to study the content of vitamin D for people with bowel and gallbladder diseases, since vitamin D is fat-soluble and should normally be absorbed in the intestines with fats that cannot be absorbed if the digestive tract is not healthy.Also, periodic monitoring of vitamin D levels is necessary for those who regularly take certain medications (for example, anticonvulsants and glucocorticoids), which can increase the need for vitamin D.

The test can be taken no earlier than 3 hours after a meal or in the morning on an empty stomach, excluding the intake of drugs and dietary supplements containing vitamin D 3-4 days before donating blood. You can drink clean water. The analysis will be ready in 1-2 days.

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Still have questions?

90,000 If you have a B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the functioning of the nervous system and its deficiency leads to a number of related changes, including personality disorder, irritability, depression, dementia and even psychosis
People with depression who have high B12 levels, better responding to treatment
Vitamin B12 also helps regulate homocysteine ​​levels, the rise of which is associated with B12 deficiency and depression
Vegans or vegetarians who abstain from animal products and do not supplement their diet with vitamin B12 are often deficient and as a result, may face an increased risk of neuropsychiatric and neurological problems
The only reliable and absorbable sources of B12 are animal products; however, even meat eaters may have a
deficiency.If you are mildly deficient, increasing your intake of B12-rich foods such as herbivore beef liver, wild rainbow trout and wild salmon may help, but more severe deficiencies may require weekly injections of vitamin B12 or daily high doses of the supplement.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is essential for your body to build red blood cells, as well as for the normal functioning of the nervous system and DNA synthesis. If you are deficient, you will experience a range of physical symptoms ranging from numbness to fatigue, but your mental health can be severely impaired as well.

In fact, vitamin B12 is increasingly recognized as an important tool in the fight against mental illness, and its deficiency, which is common in older people, can be a prerequisite for depression, dementia, cognitive decline and more.

Vitamin B12 may help treat depression
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the nervous system and a deficiency leads to a number of related changes, including personality disorder, irritability, depression, dementia and even psychosis. Additionally, people with depression and high B12 levels have been shown to respond better to treatment. 90,093 In one study of nearly 200 depressed adults, those who took B12 supplements along with antidepressants had significantly reduced symptoms.
Specifically, over three months of follow-up, 100% of those taking B12 had at least 20% improvement in symptoms, compared with only 69% in the antidepressant alone group. Other studies have shown similarly impressive results, including that patients who received 0.4 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B12 per day had a reduction in depressive symptoms.

It has also been noted that up to 30% of patients hospitalized with depression may have a B12 deficiency, and among older people with depressive disorders, patients with B12 deficiency are 70% more likely to have depression.These researchers went further and said that vitamin B12 may have a causal relationship with depression.

When asked why vitamin B12 is so strongly associated with depression, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University explained several well-known theories: -adenosylmethionine (SAM). SAM is a methyl group donor for numerous methylation reactions in the brain, including neurotransmitters involved in metabolism, the deficiency of which is associated with depression.

Severe vitamin B12 deficiency in a mouse model has shown significant changes in the level of DNA methylation in the brain, which can lead to neurological damage. This hypothesis is supported by a number of studies that have shown that SAM supplementation can reduce depressive symptoms. ”

Vitamin B12 also helps regulate homocysteine ​​levels, and elevated homocysteine ​​levels are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency as well as depression. Homocysteine ​​is an amino acid produced by the body that, in large quantities, can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Vitamin B12 makes it so that the level of homocysteine ​​in the blood is successfully used throughout the body.

B12 protects against dementia and cognitive impairment
The role of vitamin B12 in suppressing homocysteine ​​is also one of the reasons why it protects brain health, as it is usually elevated if you have brain degeneration. Serum levels of more than 14 μmol per liter are associated with a doubled risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. As noted in a 2010 article:

“Deficiencies in the vitamins folate, B12 and B6 are associated with neurological and psychological dysfunction… In old age, cognitive impairment and dementia may be associated with a high prevalence of low vitamin B12 levels and increased plasma homocysteine ​​levels.

Potential mechanisms include homocysteine ​​neurotoxicity, vasotoxicity, and impaired S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methylation reactions vital to central nervous system function. With this in mind, it is imperative to find safe ways to increase vitamin B levels in older adults … ”

B12 has even been linked to decreased brain shrinkage. A 2013 study found that B vitamins not only slow down shrinkage, but they do so in specific areas of the brain that are most affected by Alzheimer’s. In addition, shrinkage is reduced by as much as 700 percent in these areas.

People with Alzheimer’s are also more likely to have lower levels of vitamin B12 in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to patients with other types of dementia, even with similar blood levels of vitamin B12.An entry in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry Researchers explained:

“Clinical trials have shown that vitamin B12 delays the onset of signs of dementia (and abnormal blood abnormalities) when administered at the clinically accurate time before symptoms appear.

Cobalamin supplementation improves cerebral and cognitive function in the elderly; it often contributes to the functioning of factors related to the frontal lobe in addition to the function of the tongue in people with cognitive impairments.Adolescents with borderline vitamin B12 deficiency develop signs of cognitive change. ”

Neurological problems associated with vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarians
Vegans or strict vegetarians who abstain from animal products and do not take vitamin B12 supplements often develop deficiencies and as a result may face an increased risk of neuropsychiatric and neurological problems. 90,093 When 100 vegetarians were compared to 100 omnivores, vegetarians had significantly lower B12 levels, as well as increased levels of depression, peripheral neuropathy, paresthesia (tingling sensation), and psychosis.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder has also been associated with vitamin B12 deficiency (and increased homocysteine). Neurological problems, in particular, are possible even in the “low normal” range of about 258 picomoles per liter (pmol / L). A level of 148 pmol / L or less is considered a deficiency condition. As the USDA notes:

“Deficiency can cause a type of anemia in which there are fewer larger red blood cells.It can also lead to gait and balance disorders, loss of sensitivity to vibration, confusion, and, in advanced cases, dementia. The body needs B12 to produce the protective coating that surrounds the nerves. Thus, low levels of it can lead to nerve damage. ”

Vitamins B6, B8 (inositol), and B12 in combination have been found to be very effective in reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia when taken in high doses, more so than exclusively standard drug treatment, perhaps because schizophrenics tend to have abnormalities in the B12 pathways and glutamate.

Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency Is Common
The only reliable and well-absorbed sources of vitamin B12 are from animal products; however, even meat-eaters can develop deficits for a variety of reasons. It is estimated that nearly two-fifths of Americans have less than ideal B12 levels, 9% have a deficiency and 16% have less than 185 pmol / L, which is considered partially satisfactory.

“Many people may have a deficiency at this level,” said Katherine Tucker, formerly of Tufts University in Boston, who currently heads the Center for Population Health and Health Inequality at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.”There is a question about the clinical limitation of the deficiency rate … I think there is a lot of undiagnosed deficiency … Not because people don’t eat enough meat … Vitamin is not absorbed.”

B12 is closely associated with proteins and high acidity is required to break this bond. Some people may not have enough stomach acid to separate B12 from protein.
Age can also decrease your ability to absorb the vitamin from your diet and increase your risk of deficiency, just like any of the following scenarios:
Vegetarians and vegans are prone to deficiency because B12 is derived from animal products.
-People who regularly drink alcohol because B12 is stored in the liver.
– Anyone with an autoimmune disease, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, that may prevent your body from absorbing B12.
-People who drink more than four cups of coffee a day are more prone to vitamin B deficiency than non-coffee drinkers.
– Those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery and alterations in the digestive system, as this can lead to impaired absorption of B12.
-People who are exposed to nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which can destroy all B12 stores in your body.
-Adults over 50 because your ability to produce intrinsic factor decreases with age.
-People with Helicobacter Pylori infection. Intrinsic Factor is a protein made by stomach cells that is required for the absorption of B12. H. pylori bacteria can destroy intrinsic factor, thereby preventing the absorption of vitamin B12.
-People who take antacids that tend to interfere with the absorption of B12, especially over time.
– Patients who take metformin for low blood sugar, as it interferes with the absorption of B12, doubling the risk of a deficiency.
– Anyone taking proton pump inhibitors such as Prevacid or Nexium or H2 blockers such as Pepcid or Zantac. Studies show that taking inhibitors for more than two years increases the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency by 65%.
– Women taking birth control pills for extended periods of time as estrogen reduces absorption.
-People who have taken antibiotics as they exacerbate vitamin B12 deficiency.

Signs that you may have a B12 deficiency
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency often begin gradually and worsen over time, culminating in a variety of physical and mental symptoms, including:
Numbness, tingling, sensation ” needles “in the hands or feet, which may indicate possible nerve damage.
-Red, swollen, “rough” tongue with fewer taste buds.
– Ulcers in the mouth.
Blurry or split eyes, shadows in the field of view, caused by damage to the optic nerve from B12 deficiency.
– Yellow skin (jaundice), a sign that red blood cells are degrading, releasing yellow pigment in the process.
– Feelings of instability, unsteadiness and dizziness, which are signs of a lack of oxygen in the blood associated with low B12.
– Loss of memory, which can be a warning sign in the absence of another potential cause.
Fatigue and weakness

In adults, B12 deficiency can develop within six years. Exactly how long it takes to deplete its supply in your body. It is important to be aware of your own consumption and recognize a deficiency as early as possible, since it is very difficult to recover from brain damage and nerve development if the damage has already been done.

The RDA for vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms (mcg) per day, but there is some controversy over whether this is sufficient, especially for the elderly.