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All You Need to Know about Vitamin B: Benefits and Advantages

Dr. Ajay KohliNov 22, 2022

Naturally occurring in food, vitamins are needed for various body functions, such as the production of energy and the formation of red blood cells.

Needed for maintaining good health and well-being, vitamin B has a crucial impact on energy levels, brain functioning, and cell metabolism. Playing a vital role in the normal functioning of the human body, some of the group B vitamins are needed by the body to help cells to multiply by making new DNA.

These vitamins are water-soluble and quite delicate and hence get easily destroyed, especially by alcohol. Thus, it is necessary to maintain a nutritious diet to get these vitamins in an adequate amount and avail of various vitamin B benefits.

Vitamin B Benefits

Contents

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Vitamin B Benefits and Advantages as Per the Type

There are various types of vitamin B. Following are the benefits of each of its types:

1. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Beneficial for diabetics: As per certain studies, high blood sugar and insulin levels are regulated after taking vitamin B1 for 6 weeks. It also helps in reducing hypertension, nerve pain, and heart complications in individuals with diabetes. 

Good for memory: Also known as the ‘morale vitamin’ due to its positive effects on attitude and brain function, getting vitamin B1 in adequate amounts helps improve concentration and memory.

2.  Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Lower risk of corneal disorders: Important in the synthesis of niacin (higher levels of niacin are linked with low cataract risk), riboflavin is essential for good eye health.

Preventing cancer: Certain cancers, such as esophageal cancer and cervical cancer, may be prevented with the help of riboflavin by stabilising the structure of cellular DNA.

3.  Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Regulates cholesterol: Though not a primary treatment for cholesterol, niacin is beneficial in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.

Improve skin health: When used orally or applied as a lotion, niacin can be useful in protecting skin cells from sun damage. It may also aid in preventing certain types of skin cancer.

4.  Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Formation of red blood cells: An important function of vitamin B5 is that it helps in the formation of red blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Maintaining a healthy nervous system: Vitamin B5 is responsible for the creation of an important molecule called acetylcholine, which plays a crucial role in a robust nervous system.

5.  Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Promoting brain health: Vitamin B6 is said to promote brain function by creating neurotransmitters. As per a few studies, older adults with high levels of pyridoxine in their blood seem to have better memory, thus reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Reduce the risk of heart disease: By preventing clogged arteries, vitamin B6 plays an important role in the reduction of heart disease. It also regulates the homocysteine level, thereby promoting heart health.

6.  Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Stabilising blood sugar: Biotin helps in lowering blood glucose levels in individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes by stimulating insulin secretion.

Assists with thyroid function: In order to maintain adequate thyroid levels, biotin is important. It can also help if you are experiencing issues such as constant fatigue, insomnia, and weight gain.

7.  Vitamin B9 (Folate)

Reduced risk of congenital deformities: Consumption of folate is essential during pregnancy as it reduces the risk of neural tube birth defects such as anencephaly, spina bifida, etc.

Proper cell function: Vitamin B9 is important for basic cell functions in the body as well as in the creation of RNA and DNA that tell our cells what to do.

8.  Vitamin B12 

Lowering the risk of macular degeneration: Vitamin B12 is said to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, an eye disorder affecting central vision, leading to blindness. 

Preventing loss of neurons: Consuming vitamin B12 in adequate amounts, lowers the risk of brain atrophy (loss of neurons in the brain), thus reducing the risk of dementia or memory loss.

Effects of Vitamin B Deficiency

Vitamin B deficiency can be caused due to multiple factors. Depending on the type of vitamin B you are deficient in, the symptoms and disorders may vary.

Following are the warning signs and certain disorders caused due to vitamin B deficiency: 

  • Anaemia

  • Ulcers of the mouth

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Difficulty in walking

  • Nervous system damage

  • Poor memory

  • Constipation

  • Vision problems

  • Sleep disorders

  • Convulsions

  • Lack of concentration

  • Gastric cancer

  • Congenital abnormalities

  • Stomach aches

  • Skin cancer/skin disorders

  • Gingivitis

  • Depression

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Heart failure

  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Sources of Vitamin B

As the body cannot store vitamin B for long, it has to be replenished regularly with a diet. There are a lot of food items that contain vitamin B. If you wish to increase your vitamin B content, have a look at the list mentioned below:

Fruits

  • Avocadoes

  • Raw bananas

  • Dried mangoes

  • Watermelon

  • Oranges

Vegetables

  • Green peas

  • Spinach

  • Mushrooms

  • Asparagus

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Broccoli

  • Yam

Grains

  • Brown rice

  • Millet

  • Buckwheat

  • Quinoa

  • Oat bran

Dairy Products

  • Tofu

  • Cheese

  • Milk

  • Plain yoghurt

  • Buttermilk

Animal or Non-Vegetarian Food Sources

  • Salmon

  • Chicken

  • Beef

  • Eggs

  • Pork

  • Tuna

Lentils and Legumes

  • Green soybeans

  • Black beans

  • Red kidney beans

  • White kidney beans

  • Lima beans

Side Effects of Vitamin B Overconsumption

While vitamins are important compounds and play a crucial role in metabolic activities, as we all know, anything in excess is harmful.

If consumed in adequate amounts, vitamin B benefits are plenty. However, an overdose of vitamin B is harmful, and can lead to certain harmful side effects, such as:

  • Headache

  • Upset stomach

  • Weakness

  • Hypotension

  • Convulsions

  • Frequent urination

  • Diarrhoea

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Swollen face and tongue

  • Insomnia

  • Jaundice

  • Liver damage

  • Severe dizziness

  • Calcification of arteries

  • Irritability

  • Skin rashes

  • Blood clots

  • Tingling and numbness

  • Severe allergic reactions

  • Extreme mood swings

Seeing both vitamin B benefits as well as the side effects of vitamin B overdose, it’s important to consume vitamin B regularly in the prescribed amount for the benefit of your health. 

Summing Up

There are multiple vitamin B benefits for the human body as it plays a vital role in several body processes.

From enhancing brain and cardiovascular health to red blood cell formation and healthy eyes, vitamin B plays an important role in almost every organ system.

Deficiency of such a versatile vitamin can land you in several health problems that can be draining financially.

A health insurance plan from ACKO can help you protect yourself and your family from health emergencies and get timely medical assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of common questions and answers about vitamin B benefits

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What are the vitamin B benefits for the skin?

Vitamin B2 improves the skin tone, makes the skin radiant, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and balances the natural oils.

Can vitamin B help to lose weight?

Yes, vitamin B benefits weight loss. Vitamin B12 is the best for weight management, especially for losing excess weight.

Is vitamin B good for hair?

Yes, vitamin B benefits the hair by helping hair growth. Biotin or vitamin B7 is a widely promoted treatment for hair loss.

Is it okay to take vitamin B every day?

Yes, B vitamins are water-soluble and hence can be taken daily. However, they should be consumed in recommended amounts, as overconsumption of these vitamins can lead to harmful side effects.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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