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How Can B-Vitamins Help?

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 14 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Vitamin B Vitamin Supplements Health

Many people look upon B vitamins as nature's way of helping us look, feel and perform better. Indeed, taking a vitamin B complex can supply our overall health with myriad benefits.

These natural vitamin supplements have been scientifically proven to help us have stronger hair and nails, provide us with better, clearer skin, and improve our moods. Sports supplements containing vitamin B complex are also believed to give athletes higher energy levels, and help them recover quicker and build up muscle mass.

Benefits of Vitamin B

  • Vitamin B for skin: Important for healthy skin, vitamin B has also been shown to be hugely beneficial to people suffering from acne. Indeed, a vitamin B deficiency is often a primary cause of severe acne.
  • Vitamin B for hair and nails: Vitamin B complex, or foods that are rich in vitamin B such as legumes, meats, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit and veg, are instrumental in getting shiny, healthy hair and strong nails. Many supplements containing vitamin B complex have been manufactured for women to provide exactly that.
  • Vitamin B For moods: An unrecognised deficiency in vitamin B12 has been shown to wreak havoc with people's moods – and even behaviour. Many people who have been diagnosed with depression show signs of nutritional deficiencies, and many swear that taking a vitamin B complex can help.
  • Vitamin B for fitness: Researchers have found that even a small deficiency of vitamin B can stop athletes from performing their best and recovering quickly. They also are less able to build muscle mass than those with enough vitamin B, and cannot repair muscle damage as quickly. Sports supplements containing vitamin B complex may help improve fitness performance as well as energy levels in people who do a lot of high-intensity exercise.

What is the Vitamin B Complex?

The Vitamin B complex is mainly composed of eight vitamins, all of which are water-soluble and stored in the liver. They are almost always grouped together as people believe a deficiency in one can signal a deficiency in another. They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Biotin (Vitamin B7): Important for fatty acids and also instrumental in releasing carbs.
  • Cobalamin (Vitamin B12): Is vital for the nervous system to function well, and also helps with the formation of red blood cells.
  • Folic Acid (Vitamin B9): Enables the body to form haemoglobin. Pregnant women find it crucial to stop neural tube defects in their unborn baby.
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Improves circulation. Helps body metabolise fats, carbs and proteins. A deficiency can result in acne.
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): This is crucial to help the adrenal glands function. Deficiency can cause acne.
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6): Vital for the functioning of the immune system. A shortage can result in acne.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Helps to maintain mucous membranes in the digestive tract, along with Vitamin A.
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Enhances the body's circulation and helps to rid your body of toxins.

Taking a vitamin supplements can help your body perform better, but be aware that many foods are naturally rich in vitamin B, so you may be getting all you need from your diet. As with any supplements, including sports supplements, be sure to consult a qualified health professional before taking, as they can interact with other supplements as well as prescribed medication.

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