B-Complex Vitamins : Myth or Science – 1
Modern people live on a tight schedule, with irregular eating habits and life styles, an over-tired condition has become the norm for many. There’s already been a lot of media hype about the B Vitamins, and B-Complex Vitamins seem to be considered as the top choice for refreshing and recharging energy. To understand whether the B Vitamins toward energy supplement is a myth or a science, you must first understand what B-Complex Vitamins are.
B-Complex Vitamins refer to the eight water-soluble B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12, Nicotinic Acid, Folic Acid, Biotin and Pantothenic Acid). Each of the eight vitamin Bs has different responsibility, they help “convert” the ingested nutrients into the energy needed by the body. In other words, B vitamins cannot provide energy “directly”; rather, they help convert dietary energy into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the form of energy that our body uses.
The following list shows the effects of each of vitamin Bs on our body:
Vitamin B1 – helps maintain normal energy metabolism. Helps maintain the normal function of the skin, heart and nervous system. Helps maintain a normal appetite.
Vitamin B2 – helps maintain normal energy metabolism. Helps maintain skin health.
Vitamin B6 – helps maintain normal metabolism of amino acids. Helps the formation of purple matter in red blood cells. Helps red blood cells maintain their normal form. Increase the health of the nervous system.
Vitamin B12 – contributes to the formation of red blood cells. Improve the health of the nervous system.
Nicotinic Acid – helps maintain normal energy metabolism. Improves the health of the skin, nervous system, mucous membranes and digestive system.
Folic Acid – contributes to the formation of red blood cells. Helps the formation of nucleic acids and nuclear proteins. Helps the normal development and growth of the fetus.
Biotin – helps maintain the normal metabolism of energy and amino acids. Helps the synthesis of fat and glycogen. Helps the synthesis of cockroaches. Improves the health of the skin and mucous membranes.
Pantothenic Acid – helps maintain normal energy metabolism. Helps the health of the skin and mucous membranes. Helps body fat, cholesterol synthesis and metabolism of amino acids.
Let’s put it this way, B vitamins are indeed essential for our body, but this does not mean that the supplementation of B vitamins will give us a powerful and significant energy surge. The real benefit of getting a sufficient amount of B vitamins is to provide cells and tissues with the nutrients needed to sustain energy, day after day, which is beneficial to the long-term health and well-being of the our body.
As for whether you need to supplement B vitamins, or who are more likely to lack of B vitamins, you can use the following information as the reference:
1. People with unbalanced diet are prone to lack of B vitamins:
There are many foods containing B vitamins. All kinds of vegetables, fruits, milk, eggs, beans, fish, meat and nuts contain different vitamin B. A healthy, balanced diet is the best way to ensure adequate B vitamin intake.
Vitamin B1 – can be found in whole grains such as brown rice, oats, corn, and lean meat.
Vitamin B2 – rich in milk, dairy products, liver, alfalfa and dark green vegetables.
Vitamin B6 – can be found in lean meat, liver, cabbage, egg beans, wheat germ, oatmeal and peanuts.
Vitamin B12 – exists in animal foods such as beef, pig, chicken, clams, fish, eggs and their products.
2. For vegetarians and the elders, it is better to add B vitamins supplement:
Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal foods. Vegetarians who do not consume eggs, dairy, or fish are thought to be at particular risk of vitamin B deficiency. In addition, for elders, long-term antacids users, or people have partial gastrointestinal removal are very likely limited in their ability to absorb vitamin B12. Under this circumstance, the need of Vitamin B12 supplement is increased.
3. For drinkers and pregnant women, the demand for B vitamin is higher:
B vitamins can help metabolism, so it is good to supplement more B vitamins for people who drink alcohol a lot. In addition, the need for vitamins is increased for pregnant women than the normal adults. In particular, folic acid helps the normal development and growth of the fetus, so it is recommended to take enough vitamin Bs during pregnancy.