There are eight different B vitamins – thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B8), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12)
B vitamins activate a host of different enzyme processes in the body, some of which are important for the fat and carbohydrate metabolism, digestion (including the production of gastric juice), stress threshold, and the nervous system.
B vitamins also help the pancreas produce insulin, which is needed for transporting glucose into cells.
Because B vitamins are water-soluble, they are absorbed and excreted rapidly. It is therefore important to get enough of the different B vitamins on a daily basis. B vitamin deficiencies are rather common because of inferior food quality, overconsumption of sugar and other stimulants, stress, and the widespread use of medicine.
Are you lacking any B vitamins?
Symptoms of getting too little B vitamin include thyroid disorders, fatigue, anemia, digestive problems, constipation, inner unrest, nervousness, sleeping disorders etc. These symptoms can, however, also be caused by other factors.
Mange vegetarians (vegans in particular) and older people lack vitamin B12 – often in combination with vitamin B6 and vitamin B9 (folic acid) deficiency.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by low levels of the nutrient in food. Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal sources such as meat, fish, and dairy products. A vitamin B12 deficiency may also be caused by digestive disorders and poor uptake of the nutrient, which depends on the stomach’s content of hydrochloric acid and a special protein in the mucosa of the stomach lining.
Your own doctor can easily test if you lack vitamin B12 or folic acid.
In nature, the B vitamins occur as a group in meat, fish, nuts, kernels, vegetables, fruit, brewer’s yeast etc.
For that reason, if you take a B vitamin supplement, you are better off taking them in combination – either in the form of a strong multivitamin tablet or as a separate complex with all the different B vitamins.
B12 vitamin can be administered as injections or taken as tablets.