If you’re a person who takes great care to improve your health whenever possible, or a person who would like to start doing so, then you’ve likely asked yourself: “What is vitamin B good for?” We have all the answers to your most burning questions.
Before we can answer the question “What is B complex good for?” you must first understand that it’s actually eight different B vitamins. Each has its own unique benefits. We’ll cover the benefits of vitamin B 1 through 12 and let you know what you can expect.
B1, also known as Thiamine, helps your body make new, healthy cells. Some people refer to it as the anti-stress vitamin because it works so hard to protect your immune system. Some people who carb load, either for running purposes or simply because they love donuts, swear by it to break down carbs.
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is best known as an antioxidant. It fights free radicals – which are particles in your body that can damage your cells – and studies have shown that it can help both prevent the signs of early aging and prevent the development of heart disease.
It’s also a part of the process that produces red blood cells, which work to transport oxygen all through your body. Studies have shown that B2 can have a host of other benefits, including preventing migraines.
One thing to keep in mind about B2 is that UV light can reduce its content if you’re getting it solely from food. For example, if you buy milk you should choose opaque containers. Otherwise, if you choose a clear container and it ends up in direct sunlight, the vitamins will break down.
One of the best benefits of vitamin B3 is that it can help boost your HDL cholesterol – your good cholesterol. The higher your HDL is, the lower your bad cholesterol count will be. Though B3 deficiency is relatively rare in development countries, it is common among alcoholics.
Another benefit of niacin is that researchers have had some success using it both topically and via ingestion for acne treatment.
You can find small amounts of B5 in almost every food group. Not only does it break down carbs and fats to convert them to energy, but it also produces sex and stress-related hormones like testosterone. Studies have shown that B5 can help encourage healthy skin, reduce signs of aging, and prevent skin spots.
B6 works in conjunction with B12 and B9 to regulate the levels of a certain amino acid, homocysteine, which is associated with a higher risk of heart disease. It’s also an important part of your sleeping and mood patterns because it’s responsible for producing serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin.
There have been studies showing that people with rheumatoid arthritis can find some relief and experience a reduction in inflammation when taking B6.
B7 is well known as exceptional vitamin to improve the health of hair, nails, and skin – which is why it’s often referred to as “the beauty vitamin.” It’s got a lot of other benefits too, like helping diabetics control their high glucose levels.
Pregnant women can get extra B vitamins benefits from biotin because it’s vital for the normal growth of their baby.
Many people are more familiar with the term “folic acid” than they are with the term folate or vitamin B9. That’s because folic acid is a synthetic form. It’s used in many supplements and it’s also added to fortified cereals and breads.
Studies have shown a lot of B complex vitamin benefits that include B9. For example, it’s been shown to help prevent memory loss and to keep depression at bay. Pregnant women can count on it to help their baby grow properly and to even help prevent certain neurological birth defects.
When you think of vitamin B12 think of the ultimate team player. It works together with vitamin B9 to create those essential red blood cells your body needs. It works with iron to create hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through your body.
One thing that’s important to realize is that B12 is only found naturally in animal products. As a result, most people with a deficiency are either vegetarians or vegans. The good news is that there are vegan supplements out there that offer all the benefits of B complex vitamins with the animal products.
Some sources claim that B12 stays in your system for years – some say up to eight years – so there’s rarely a reason to take a supplement for it. However, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, all B vitamins are water-soluble – which means the body can’t store them.
Together, the B vitamin complex plays an essential role in keeping your body running. Think of yourself like a machine. The B vitamins are the oil that keep it well-oiled and performing correctly. They help every part of the machine to run better.
B vitamins also help to convert the food you eat into fuel. As a result, you’re able to stay energized throughout the day. Though these vitamins all have their own unique benefits, as outlined above, together they work to promote healthy hair, healthy skin, and preventing memory loss.
Are you getting enough vitamin B? Remember that together there are eight B vitamins and each one has its own daily value that you want to be sure to hit. If you’re not up for logging your daily values of all eight vitamins – plus the other nutrients you need – then a supplement is likely the best choice.
Most people find that choosing a supplement with both their vitamin B complex and other nutrients is the best way to ensure they’re getting 100% of what they need.