Vitamin B - Why Is It Important?
Vitamin B is not one vitamin, but is a complex of 8 vitamins, which not only are essential for good health but also facilitates the smooth functioning of our body. Further, each component of vitamin B aids in specific body functions from managing our metabolism to hair health to prevention against migraine.
Vitamin B is a complex of following vitamins B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folate), B12. It is widely present in food sources and a person who eats a well-balanced diet will have the requisite amount of B complex in the body.
- Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is required for the body to make new cells and so has a significant role in the immune system. It is also known as the anti-stress vitamin as it helps in improving immunity and is required for the breakdown of carbohydrates.
- Vitamin B2, chemically known as riboflavin, is essential for red blood cell production and transporting oxygen throughout the body. It also has antioxidant properties and is known to reduce free radicals and reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is essential for cholesterol regulation. It promotes the formation of good cholesterol and so is essential for preventing the onset of heart disease. It also known for its anti-acne effects.
- Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid, is essential for fat and carbohydration metabolism. It also is required for the production of hormones including testosterone and cortisol (stress hormones). It is also beneficial for the skin by reducing anti-aging effects including reducing brown spots.
- Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, has a major role to play in sleep and mood regulation. It produces various neurotransmitters like serotonin, melatonin, and norepinephrine which are essential for emotional well-being. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is useful in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Vitamin B7 or biotin is known as the beauty vitamin, as it has major hair, skin and nail benefits. It is also essential for glucose level maintenance. It assumes great importance in pregnancy as it is important for the normal growth of the baby.
- Vitamin B9 or folate or folic acid is again very essential in pregnancy as a deficiency can lead to neurological defects in the developing baby. It also plays a major role in carrying oxygen to the cells through the RBCs.
- Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is essential to ensure that other vitamins are functioning properly. B12 deficiency leads to anaemia, as it enables the red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. It is mostly present in non-vegetarian foods and Vitamin B12 Supplements. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a neurologist and ask a free question.