You probably hear about them everyday and they have become even more talked about with all of the new energy drinks coming out. The group of vitamins known as the B vitamins are some of the most commonly misunderstood, simply because they are distinct vitamins that get lumped together. Additionally, they can be known by not only their letter and number but by their formal name as well which can be confusing to many people. These are the B vitamins that are found in the Vitamin B complex group.
• B1 is also thiamin
• B2 is also riboflavin
• B3 is also niacin
• B5 is also pantothenic acid
• B6 is also pyridoxine
• B7 is also biotin
• B9 is also folic acid
• B12 is also cobalamin
You should be aware that there are four additional substances in the B complex group, however they are not known as vitamins. These include choline, lipoic acid, PABA and inositol. When you purchase B complex vitamins, these four components are not included. Also, one or two of the recognized B vitamins may also be omitted. B5 and B7 are so widely available in food that most people get plenty of these vitamins even if they aren’t eating a healthy diet.
You may notice that there are gaps in the numbers of the B vitamins. This is because our understanding of B vitamins has evolved over time. There was initially only a single B vitamin. Scientists later recognized that what had been referred to as a single vitamin was actually made up of many components. These component parts where numbered 1,2,3,4, etc. It was later determined that some of these components (such as B4) did not meet the criteria for being classified as a vitamin and they were dropped. That’s how we ended up with 8 B-vitamins with non-sequential numbers.
One of the things that all the B vitamins share is that they are water soluble. If you consume excess vitamin B, it is not stored, but rather is excreted in the urine. That means that all the B vitamins need to be constantly replenished from our diets.
B vitamins can be found in a variety of whole unprocessed foods including grains, meats and vegetables. Although, the more processed that food is, the lower the content of all the B vitamins will be. A daily multi-vitamin can be a good way to ensure that you are getting the B complex Vitamins your body needs but the best way is to eat good nutritious meals on a daily basis, including 2 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
One of the biggest uses of the B vitamins is as an energy stimulus. Most of the popular energy drinks that claim to give you natural boost of energy without sugar or caffeine are usually high in B vitamin complex.
There are too many components in the Vitamin B complex to discuss the health benefits, deficiencies and Recommended Daily Allowance for the whole group in a single article so we will look at each of the B vitamins individually in future articles. There we will talk about each of these important nutrients.
If you have questions about your current nutrition and supplement plan, just ask. We are here to help!
Dr. Jason Schluter is a Chiropractor in Tulsa, OK at Schluter Chiropractic.
Schluter Chiropractic is conveniently located off Memorial Drive in Tulsa, Oklahoma and provides quality chiropractic care to Tulsa and the surrounding areas.
To schedule an appointment, call (918) 664-3571 or visit www.DrSchluter.com for details.