Guide To B Vitamins

B vitamins are water-soluble! The body needs them to metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates effectively. These vitamins are also essential for the synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA. They also support skin and nervous system health, as well as promote healthy muscle tone! Signs of a lack of B vitamins include confusion, fatigue, weight loss, weakness, and constipation. Patients also experience memory problems and mouth sores in certain cases.

B vitamin supplements are essential for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Many individuals choose a B-complex tablet, vitamin B12 supplement, or biotin pills! Injections of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 injections, are also options. Individuals also take vitamin B supplements for other reasons. One example is biotin for hair growth! However, it is crucial for individuals to understand the various B vitamins first.


Biotin is vitamin B7. It is also called vitamin H! It helps the body break down protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Some evidence claims that biotin can help reduce insulin resistance. The best food sources of this vitamin include salmon, avocados, almonds, nutritional yeast, and egg yolks. Other examples of foods with high levels of biotin are brewer's yeast, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds! The good news is that Western diets make biotin deficiencies rare. In fact, such a diet includes a daily biotin intake of thirty-five to seventy micrograms. Current guidelines state that thirty micrograms is a good daily intake for adults! Breastfeeding women should be consuming thirty-five micrograms of this vitamin each day.

Of course, certain groups are at a higher risk of developing a biotin deficiency. Examples include patients taking certain seizure medications and those who drink significant amounts of alcohol regularly. Symptoms of a lack of biotin include skin lesions and hair loss. Severe cases often trigger neurological issues! Patients need to see a doctor if they believe they lack biotin. Thankfully, a blood test can check their biotin levels. The doctor will then prescribe an appropriate dose for a biotin supplement!

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Folate is vitamin B9! In many cases, it is also referred to as folic acid. This vitamin is crucial in red blood cell formation. It also supports the healthy function of the adrenal glands. Individuals need this vitamin to maintain their brain and nervous system health as well! Pregnant women need folate early in their pregnancy. This is because it helps them reduce the risk of congenital disabilities. Amazing sources of this vitamin include nuts, peas, bananas, oranges, and dark green vegetables! Other examples are beans, lemons, and strawberries. In addition, this vitamin is common in fortified foods. This includes cereal! Adults need to have a daily folate intake of four hundred micrograms. Pregnant women need four to eight hundred micrograms daily!

Most individuals do not experience a folate deficiency. However, certain groups are at an increased risk, such as celiac disease patients. Folate is vital, as research shows it can reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer and depression. Of course, these supplements can trigger side effects. Examples include appetite loss, confusion, nausea, irritability, and sleep problems. In addition, the supplements interact with some medications. Thus, patients must talk to their doctor about their current medications first! Doses often need to be adjusted.

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Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid is also called vitamin B5, and it helps the body use fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It is an essential nutrient! Vitamin B5 is commonly found in most animal products, such as eggs, dairy, and meat. Plant sources of this vitamin include legumes, grains, vegetables, and cereals. Supplements are available for individuals with low vitamin B5!

This vitamin is common in cosmetics and skincare products. The reason is that it helps improve nail, skin, and hair health! Research shows that topical vitamin B5 reduces acne breakouts and the risk of nail breakage. Adults need five micrograms of vitamin B5 daily. Doctors recommend that individuals get it through food rather than supplements whenever possible. The good news is that there are no known medication interactions with vitamin B5 supplements. However, individuals still need to talk to their doctor first!

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Niacin is vitamin B3! Some also refer to it as nicotinic acid. The body makes this vitamin and uses it to convert food consumed into energy! Ideal food sources include passionfruit, potatoes, mushrooms, and peanuts. Women who are nineteen years old and older need fourteen milligrams of niacin daily. Men in the same age group need sixteen milligrams each day! Evidence indicates that this vitamin increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This is the healthy type. High cholesterol patients who cannot take statins are often prescribed niacin supplements. Unfortunately, these supplements do not reduce the risk of strokes or heart attacks. It is also worth noting that pregnant women cannot take niacin supplements. In addition, they are unsafe for patients with severe liver disease or stomach ulcers!

The most common doses of niacin supplements are between one to three thousand milligrams daily. Side effects of prescription niacin include dizziness, nausea, and a rapid heartbeat. Other examples are diarrhea and pain in the abdomen! In addition, diabetes patients often find that prescription niacin makes blood glucose control more challenging. There is also an increased risk of gout for individuals on these supplements! The side effects are typically seen at doses between two to six thousand milligrams daily. Of course, these supplements have certain interactions. Examples include zinc and diabetes medications. This is why patients must review their current medications and supplements with their doctor before adding this one!

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Cyanocobalamin is vitamin B12. Specifically, it is a synthetic version of vitamin B12! Patients can receive it as an oral tablet, liquid, or injection if they are low in vitamin B12. Individuals at a high risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency include those with cancer or pernicious anemia. Malnutrition also increases this risk! However, those with Leber's disease or cobalt allergies should not receive vitamin B12 injections. In addition, individuals need to talk to their doctor about their medical history first. Points of concern include a history of heart disease, bleeding conditions, and gout. Others are ulcerative colitis and diabetes. The reason is so that doctors can make certain that this medication is safe for these patients!

Of course, injections and supplements of this vitamin come with side effects. Examples of side effects include headaches, itching, diarrhea, and joint pain. Additional side effects are nausea and an upset stomach! An injection of this vitamin also carries specific side effects, such as swelling, pain, and redness at the injection site. This medication can trigger a fever or swelling feeling spreading over the body. Patients must be monitored closely when they are taking this medication. They must inform their doctor if they notice any side effects!

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