7 Reasons Why Vitamin B Is Important

7 Reasons Why Vitamin B Is Important

Although camel milk has a lower amount of vitamin A and vitamin B2 than cow milk, it is high in immunoglobulin, vitamin C, and other B vitamins like thiamine, folate, and niacin. This makes camel milk great for pregnant women who need folate to help prevent birth defects, while thiamine helps the body metabolize food for energy, and niacin promotes heart health.

Everyone knows how we turn to vitamin C to boost our immune system, or vitamin E to nourish our skin and hair. But what about vitamin B? Unlike these single vitamins, vitamin B is a group of eight chemically distinct vitamins known as a vitamin B complex. You might recognize vitamin B behind their other names like riboflavin and thiamine. Don’t know much about them? Here are some reasons why vitamin B is important.

Lowers risk of stroke

Vitamin B supplements lower the risk of stroke, where a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, or when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. A study showed that supplements decreased risk by 7 percent for a large group of over 50,000 participants.

Vitamin B1 is important for preventing Beriberi

The recommended daily intake of vitamin B1, also called thiamine, is 1.1 milligram (mg) for women over age 18, up to 1.4 mg for those who are pregnant, and 1.5 mg for those who are breastfeeding. For men age 14 and older, 1.2 mg per day is recommended, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Vitamin B1 helps your body break down carbohydrates into sugars. B1 is found in whole grain cereals, yeast, beans, nuts, and meats. Too little vitamin B1 causes beriberi, a disease affecting the heart, digestive system, and the nervous system. Beriberi is found in patients who are malnourished, and also in those who are heavy drinkers of alcohol. Symptoms include difficulty walking, loss of sensation in the hands and feet, and paralysis of the lower legs — and it may even lead to congestive heart failure.

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Riboflavin for energy

A diet rich in vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is needed to avoid riboflavin deficiency. Recommended daily intake of B2 are 1.3 mg a day for men and 1.1 mg a day for women. Pregnant women need 1.4 mg daily, and breastfeeding mothers should have 1.6 mg each day. You can get this B vitamin from natural sources such as nuts, green vegetables, meat, and dairy products.

Riboflavin helps your body break down and use the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet. This type of B vitamin also functions to keep your skin, lining of the gut, and blood cells healthy. Getting enough riboflavin may be preventive for migraine headaches and cataracts, according to the National Institutes of Health. It may also increase energy levels, boost the immune system, and treat acne, muscle cramps, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Vitamin B3 benefits

We need vitamin B3, also called nicotinic acid or niacin, in our diets every day to break down the food we eat into energy we can use. Females who are 14 and older need 14 mg a day; males in this age group need 16 mg daily. Legumes, nuts, enriched breads, dairy, fish, and lean meats are all good sources of this type of vitamin B.

Not getting enough niacin in your diet causes the disorder known as pellagra. Symptoms of pellagra include both physical and mental difficulties, diarrhea, inflamed mucous membranes, and dementia. Pellagra can also result when the body is not able to absorb enough niacin because of alcoholism. Health benefits of niacin include its use as a treatment to help control high blood levels of cholesterol.

Vitamin B5 for growth

All people age 14 and older should get 5 mg of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) each day, according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. You can find vitamin B5 in vegetables of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and kale, as well as in avocado. In addition, whole-grain cereals, potatoes, dairy, and organ meats are good sources.

This type of vitamin B is needed for many of the biochemical reactions that go on in our cells each day, including breaking down carbohydrates and lipids for energy, while helping our bodies produce hormones, and growing. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, you need vitamin B5 in your diet every day.

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Vitamin B6 for blood

The recommended daily amount of vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is 1.3 mg for adults up to the age of 50, according to the National Institutes of Health. Pregnant or breastfeeding teens and women need even more vitamin B6 daily — about 2 mg. You can find this type of vitamin B in potatoes and fruits (except citrus), as well as in poultry, fish, and organ meats.

Getting enough vitamin B6 is important because it’s involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions in the body’s cells. These include helping the body metabolize amino acids from our food, and building new red blood cells, and even reducing risk for heart disease. Although deficiency in this vitamin is rare in the United States, it can lead to anemia and rash. It can also lead to depression and confusion.

Avoid anemia with vitamin B12

Adults need only 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12, also called cyanocobalamin, each day. Pregnant or breastfeeding teens and women need more: 2.6 to 2.8 mcg daily. Vitamin B12 is not naturally occurring in plant foods. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans might not get enough in their diets and may need to take a supplement.

Natural sources rich in vitamin B12 are dairy products, fish, meat, and — in particular — beef liver and clams, breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast.

Vitamin B12 is essential for building blood cells and maintaining healthy nerve cells in the body. Up to about 15 percent of people in the United States have vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia. Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, constipation, weight loss, and loss of appetite. Deficiency is also damaging to the nervous system and can cause depression, confusion, and dementia.

Let us know how else vitamin B is good for you!

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