Vitamin B-150, which is also known as vitamin B complex, encompasses the essential B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin). Together, the different B vitamins contribute to the body’s growth and development through the regulation of chemical reactions, enzymes, and proteins and conversion of food into energy. In addition to these vital functions, B vitamins can also relieve stress, anxiety, depression and PMS; increase energy; promote healthy skin, hair and nails; and reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, birth defects and colon cancer. Most healthy people can get adequate levels of B vitamins from a balanced diet and, if necessary, a low-to- moderate potency supplement. Always consult a physician before taking B vitamin supplements for medicinal purposes.
Nervous System Benefits
A B-vitamin deficiency can lead to increased feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. However, moderate-to-high potency supplements can help alleviate high stress, anxiety and depression thanks to the neurotransmitter-assisting qualities of B6 and the anti-anxiety and depression-relieving effects of inositol, another component of vitamin B-complex.
Increased Energy and PMS Relief
The same qualities that allow B6 to regulate the nervous system and improve anxiety may also help relieve mental and emotional PMS symptoms in some women. In addition, B3 can provide an energy boost while biotin can aid blood-sugar control, further combating common physical symptoms of PMS such as fatigue and food cravings.
Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
Because B vitamins are integral to cell growth and development, they are particularly helpful for improving the healthy regeneration and quality of skin, hair and nails (see Resources below). B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, B12, biotin and choline are all specifically related to strong and speedy nail and hair growth and supple, youthful skin.
Vitamins B6, B12, and B9, or folic acid, are crucial for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease. A deficiency in these vitamins can cause an increase in homocysteine, an amino acid that attacks blood-vessel walls and causes them to harden – a process linked to heart disease and heart attacks, stroke, depression and Alzheimer’s. The American Cancer Society also advocates the use of folic acid to prevent some types of cancer and birth defects. Pregnant women and women of child-bearing age, as well as those at risk for heart disease and other chronic ailments, should consult increase their intake of folic acid and consult a physician to determine appropriate B vitamin supplements for optimal preventative care.