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Clinical research has demonstrated that the B complex vitamins are especially important for our health.

The following vitamins make up this group: vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cobalamin).

Vitamins belonging to the B group vitamins are water-soluble, so they can be quickly assimilated. However the excess is expelled in the urine, so we must therefore eat a daily minimum amount to avoid a deficiency.

Vitamin B increases energy, helps the muscle function, helps keep our immune and cardiovascular systems healthy and is essential for strong hair and healthy and beautiful skin.

Those who are under constant stress need a lot of B-complex vitamins. Vitamin B helps to calm the nerves, increases intellectual energy and allows you to deal with everyday stress.

With the term vitamin B, we are referring to several different types of vitamins. Most of them are involved in the metabolism of almost all areas of the human body. In that sense, the range of action of B-complex vitamins is very extensive.

What types of vitamin B are there?

  • Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine.
  • Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin.
  • Vitamin B3, also known as niacin or nicotinic acid, or vitamin P.
  • Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid.
  • Vitamin B6, which is also known as pyridoxine, the active form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate, the most important coenzyme in the metabolism of amino acids.
  • Vitamin B7, also known as vitamin H or biotin.
  • Vitamin B9, also known as vitamin B1, vitamin M, or folic acid.
  • Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products.

How does vitamin B work?

The B group vitamins have many functions in the body.

  • Vitamin B1 acts on the nervous system, helps to generate energy, strengthens the heart and promotes muscle growth.
  • Furthermore, vitamin B2 helps with the transformation of proteins and fats, and we receive it not only through food but also intestinal bacteria. Vitamin B2 also helps to detoxify the liver and is involved in the creation of red blood cells in the blood as well as antibodies.
  • Niacin is also important for the nervous system, to increase the production of sex hormones, to maintain cholesterol at a good level as well as a strong mind.
  • Vitamin B5 ensures optimal use of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the body, as well as a good level of energy and vitality. It is known as the "anti-grey" vitamin since it is responsible for the formation of the hair colour pigment.
  • Vitamin B6 is important in every phase of operation of protein and in the metabolism of amino acids. Almost no other substance is involved in so many bodily functions. Vitamin B6 is also involved in the functioning of the nervous and immune systems, as well as in the formation of haemoglobin, the carrier of oxygen in the blood.
  • Vitamin B12 is an essential element in the formation of blood and cell structure and is involved in important processes involving carbohydrates and protein as well as in fat metabolism.

Vitamin B is recommended for:

  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy and menstrual cramps
  • When taking contraceptive pills and with oestrogen treatments
  • When taking antidepressants
  • In cases of hair loss
  • When suffering from nervousness, insomnia, and increased irritability
  • In cases of poor nutrition
  • When we are subjected to a high level of stress
  • When exercising regularly
  • For lack of concentration
  • When suffering from tremors
  • For smokers

What foods contain vitamin B?

B group vitamins are not a uniform class, they differ in their chemical composition and in their effects. B vitamins are found in almost all animal and vegetable-based foods, especially in whole-grain cereals, legumes, meat, fish, nuts, bran and sunflower seeds, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli; as well as in beans, peas, and carrots. Unlike other B vitamins, vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin.

What symptoms occur due to a lack of vitamin B?

  • Headaches (B1)
  • Memory and concentration (B1)
  • Nerve and muscle excitability disorders (B1)
  • Inflamed and dry skin (B2 and B6)
  • Loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea (B6)
  • Lack of red blood cells in the blood (B12)
  • Damage to the mouth and throat (B12)

Dosages and application of vitamin B:

The B vitamins are mainly taken in the form of a vitamin B complex combination, as pills or tablets. The daily recommended dosage for vitamin B1 is between 1 and 2 mg, whereas in the case of vitamin B2 it is between 9 to 15 mg per day. A quantity of 1 to 2 mg daily is usually sufficient for vitamin B6. The recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 is 5 microgrammes per day, equivalent to 150g of camembert.

Who is vitamin B especially important for?

  • For pregnant women and lactating mothers
  • For athletes
  • For people who suffer from chronic fatigue
  • For people with hair and nails growth problems
  • For smokers
  • For alcoholics
  • For people who do a high level of physical work and undergo stress

The opinion of experts on vitamin B:

Several clinical studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between vitamin B deficiency and reduced cognitive performance. In particular, it was found that low levels of folic acid and homocysteine may have a direct relationship with neurodegenerative brain processes, as in the case of Alzheimer's disease for example.

It has similarly been shown that a high dose of vitamin B6 and B12 may decrease age-related brain mass reduction.

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