Vitamin B: where it is found, what is it for, deficiency

Vitamin B: where it is found and what it is used for

The vitamin B it represents one of the essential elements for the proper functioning of the human organism. Yet talking about vitamin B might be inappropriate, as it is actually a group fed on different vitamins. But what are these important micronutrients for, what are the foods that are richer in it and what are the main contraindications to its use?

Useful for both the body and the mind, the B vitamins they are essential to ensure a good level of health and avert the risk of even serious diseases. As a rule, a normal diet guarantees a more than sufficient intake of the vitamins of this group, while supplements should be taken only after having examined the doctor’s opinion. Here are some useful tips.

What is Vitamin B

The generic term of vitamin B identifies a complex of water-soluble vitamins, known for the good functioning of the human organism. Discovered in the first decades of the 20th century, scientific evidence has shown how these micronutrients contribute to normal cellular functions, in the regulation of metabolism and in the production of red blood cells.

The group of vitamins B is distinguished in ben 8 different specimens. However, in common parlance they are considered as a whole since they are often present in the same foods. Some of these, such as B9, also see different names: it is the example of folic acid, also known as vitamin M.

The B vitamins are taken daily with food, as they are widespread in many foods. A healthy and balanced nutritional regimen, such as that based on Mediterranean diet, ensures that the body is never deficient. However, new eating habits are pushing experts to specific supplements: some privative diets are lacking, others – such as the vegan diet, for example – may not always offer a sufficient supply of B12. In any case, it is always possible to recover these vitamins with special supplements.

Vitamins of group B

Pregnancy woman

As already mentioned, it is more correct to speak of B vitamins rather than B vitamins. But what are the micronutrients that make up this family?

  • B1, Thiamine: a coenzyme essential for the metabolism of sugars and amino acids;
  • B2, Riboflavin: an enzymatic precursor, essential for the activation of other vitamins;
  • B3, Niacin: a coenzyme used in all metabolic processes in the body;
  • B5, Pantothenic Acid: a precursor of coenzyme A necessary for cell metabolism;
  • B6, Adesin: always a coenzyme necessary for cell metabolism;
  • B7, Biotin: also known as vitamin H, it is essential for the metabolism of fats and is known above all for its regenerating role at the level of tissues, such as skin and hair and deficiencies of this element, as well as vitamin C and vitamin E, can have effects negative effects on the beauty and health of the epidermis and hair;
  • B9, Folic Acid: a very important precursor of all cellular processes, including those concerning the synthesis and repair of DNA, as well as in cell division;
  • B12, Cobalamin: widely contained in foods of animal origin, it is used in all cellular functions of the body, in particular those involving the muscles and the brain.

What is Vitamin B for?


Already in the definition of the 8 vitamins that make up group B, it is evident that it is essential for most of the cellular processes of the organism. In particular, they are present in metabolic processes and, therefore, in the transformation and storage of energy taken also at the food level. But, in fact, what are theirs practical functions?

  • Energy: vitamins of group B help the body to convert nutrients into energy, immediately available or to be stored, consequently they reduce the sense of tiredness, confer resistance and reduce muscle problems;
  • Protection of the organism: by contributing to the processes of cellular duplication and multiplication, they intervene on the correct DNA transcription process, preventing errors and therefore also serious health problems;
  • Concentration: vitamins of group B are the main ones responsible for the proper functioning of the brain, in fact they help concentration, reduce stress, limit anxiety and depression, protect brain matter from external attacks and reduce the risk of serious neurovegetative pathologies;
  • Pregnancy: vitamins B, in particular folic acid, ensures the correct growth of the fetus, reducing the risk of even very serious malformations;

What foods contain vitamin B

Foods rich in vitamin B

Fortunately, as already mentioned, B vitamins are abundant in many foods of really common consumption. This peculiarity ensures a more than sufficient intake for a large part of the population, even if there are cases of deficiencies or even overdose.

Below, the foods which are richer in each of the B vitamins:

  • B1: cereals, brewer’s yeast, seeds, legumes, dried fruit, milk, white and red meats;
  • B2: milk, eggs, brewer’s yeast, green leafy vegetables, liver;
  • B3: cereals, seeds, nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, fish, white and red meats;
  • B5: cereals, legumes, honey, royal jelly, brewer’s yeast, eggs and fish;
  • B6: cereals, fruit, dried fruit, brewer’s yeast, tubers, cabbage and crucifers in general;
  • B7: cereals, mushrooms, legumes, rice and pasta, brewer’s yeast, cabbage and crucifers;
  • B9: green leafy vegetables, salads, legumes, seeds, citrus fruits, berries, liver, white and red meats;
  • B12: white and red meats, fish, cheese, eggs.

When and how to take vitamin B


As a rule, a healthy and balanced diet guarantees all the vitamin B intake that the body needs. However, there may be cases of deficiency or excess of these vitamins which may require appropriate management.

L’integration it is always established by the doctor or specialist and, as a rule, involves the daily intake of:

  • Supplements in capsules;
  • Water-soluble powders;
  • Injections, in rare cases;
  • Special restorative diets.

Ma when B vitamins are taken? There is no univocal answer to this question, as much depends on the condition of the individual and his or her pathologies. In general, the intake is recommended by experts in the following cases:

  • Pregnancy: in particular with folic acid supplements, useful for ensuring the correct development of the fetus;
  • Homocysteine ​​reduction: when the values ​​are high in the blood, supplementation with vitamin B9 is recommended;
  • Tiredness and difficulty concentrating: in these cases, supplementation of vitamin B12 may be suggested.

Vitamin B deficiency and excess

But how to notice the deficiency or excessive intake of vitamin B? To measure the blood values ​​of these vitamins, it is sufficient to undergo a common blood test. However, there are symptoms that should cause alarm bells to sound, suggesting that you seek advice from your doctor:

  • Shortage: tiredness, chronic fatigue, tingling of the limbs, difficulty concentrating or memory loss, difficulty moving, anemia, peripheral circulation problems, paleness, sleep disturbances;
  • Excess: tremors, nervousness, aggression, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, frequent urination, cold sweat, insomnia, sexual disturbances, anxiety.

Of course, all these conditions could also be associated with other dietary deficiencies or specific pathologies, consequently the diagnosis rests solely with the doctor or specialist.

Contraindications of vitamin B

There are no details contraindications to the intake of vitamin B, as it is well tolerated by a large part of the population. More than specific contraindications, reference is made to side effects due to excess, as listed in the previous paragraph.

Source: GreenStyle by

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