Wellness Spotlight: B vitamins

We’re deep diving into B vitamins. Keep scrolling to learn about the benefits of vitamin B complex, why they are important vitamins and how you can help avoid deficiency.

If you’re as into beauty and skin care as we are, then you’re probably familiar with the term niacinamide, panthenol or even folic acid. But did you know that these are all B vitamins?

In fact, there are 8 types of B vitamins, each with a specific role to ensure that the body’s cells are functioning properly. B vitamins are essential water-soluble vitamins that often coexist in food, known as vitamin B complex. Together they work to turn the food you eat into energy your body can use and help to maintain your overall cell health. Here’s the full list of B’s:
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic acid)
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

How does vitamin B help the body?
B vitamins are essential to helping maintain good health and are important for multiple reasons. Here are some key benefits that the vitamin B complex provides:
• Essential for a healthy functioning nervous system
• Helps maintain muscles
• Plays vital role in mental performance
• Helps to repair and protect DNA
• Supports vision health and skin health
• Plays a central part in metabolism health
• Promotes cell health and red blood cell growth
• Supports energy levels
• Helps promote cardiovascular health

A varied and healthy diet will help ensure you get the proper nutrition you need. Eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables daily should give your body the right amount of B vitamins. But how do you know if you should take a supplement?

This table provides the daily reference values (DRV) of B vitamins, according to the EFSA (European Food Safety Administration).


What’s the difference?
A look at vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and Folic Acid.
Here we provide a general guide to help you better understand the importance of B vitamins by giving you an in-depth look at three of the B’s. Below we answer your questions on vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid (vitamin B9).

Vitamin B6 deficiency symptoms
Vitamin B6 is good for supporting normal heart and brain functions. And is vital for your immunity. If levels aren’t adequately met, you may experience the following signs:
• Weakened immune system
• Depression
• Confusion
• Blisters or other skin disorders
Severe deficiency of vitamin B6 can lead to bone abnormalities, anaemia, and seizures. Always consult your physician to verify your levels to properly determine if you have a deficiency.

You may be more at risk for developing a vitamin B6 deficiency if you have one or more of the following conditions:
• Kidney disease
• Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, or other intestinal disorders
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Alcoholism

Where can vitamin B6 be found?
Vitamin B6 can be found in a variety of food sources from plant-based to animal-based. You can obtain vitamin B6 by eating:
• Salmon
• Tuna
• Poultry
• Chickpeas
• Dark leafy greens
• Oranges
• Papayas
• Bananas

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in neurological development and brain health and is essential to the formulation of red blood cells. And if you aren’t getting enough these symptoms may occur:
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Low energy
• Feeling weak
• Depression
• Confusion or memory loss
Always consult your physician to verify your levels to properly determine if you have a deficiency.


Where can vitamin B12 be found?
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in various animal products. Due to this, vitamin B12 is harder to obtain for vegans. If you exclude animal-based products from your diet try to eat more B12-fortified foods or support your nutrition with a vitamin B12 supplement.

The body does not make B vitamins, B12 can be obtained from food sources like:
• Beef
• Fish + shellfish
• Poultry
• Eggs
• Dairy products
• Fortified soymilk
• Fortified cereals

What is folate?
Commonly referred to as folic acid or vitamin B9, folate is part of the B vitamin complex. It is not stored in the body, and therefore must be obtained through food or supplements. Folic acid plays a vital role in foetal development and is essential for pregnant women. And is important in forming DNA and RNA.

Folate deficiency symptoms
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Heart palpitations
• Shortness of breath
• Problems concentrating
• Irregularities of skin, nail or hair
Always consult your physician to verify your levels to properly determine if you have a deficiency.

Folate rich foods
Folic acid can be found in a variety of plant-based foods, such as:
• Brussel sprouts
• Spinach
• Asparagus
• Broccoli
• Beans
• Peanuts
• Seeds
• Avocado
• Fruits

How to get more vitamin B?
Start by eating the rainbow! A well-balanced diet full of varied fruits, vegetables, legumes, plus dairy, eggs, lean meats and fatty fish will help you get the nutrition you need. And if you require more, a supplement can help to maintain adequate levels of nutrients but is not a substitute for a healthy diet.

Most of us know how to eat healthy, but sometimes life can come in the way. If you feel you are eating less or lacking nutrients, consult your physician to help verify your levels and properly determine a deficiency.

And to support your nutritional levels, give these a try:
Multivitamin & Mineral Man
Multivitamin & Mineral Woman
WellnessKids Multivitamins and Minerals