Vitamin B complex is a combination of vitamins that perform various functions throughout the body. These vitamins are sold in capsule and powder form and are often included as part of a multivitamin supplement. You can also consume individual B complex vitamins through food. B vitamins must be replaced regularly to keep you from becoming deficient, and some people may have to increase the dosage of certain B-complex vitamins due to medical conditions or health concerns.
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Vitamin B complex contains a combination of B vitamins, namely: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. These are considered essential vitamins, and they are water-soluble. You can purchase B-complex as an individual vitamin, mixed together in powder or liquid form or included in a multivitamin. Individual B-complex vitamins are found in plant and animal foods.
Each individual B vitamin has it’s own health benefits. Vitamins B1 and B2 produce energy surrounding the heart, nerves and muscles. Vitamin B3 produces energy in cells and promotes skin, nervous system and digestive system health. Vitamin B5 maintains general growth and development. Vitamin B6 has several functions; it helps break down proteins in the body along with vitamin B7 and maintains red blood cell health. Vitamin B9, better known as folic acid, aids in DNA creation and red blood cell production. Vitamin B12 is used for growth and development and nervous system function. It also directs how folic acid and carbohydrates are used in the body.
According to the American Cancer Society, eating the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables will supply the average person with all the B vitamins. Although many of these vitamins do not have to be consumed at the recommended value, when a woman becomes pregnant she will need to increase her recommended daily intake of folic acid, vitamin B9. Good sources of B-complex vitamins are grains, potatoes, kidney beans, peanuts, egg yolk and dairy products.
Each B vitamin comes with it’s own individual suggested dosage. The recommended dosage of vitamin B1 is 1.2 mg, B2 is 1.3 mg, B3 is 16 mg, B5 is 5 mg, B6 is 1.3 mg, B7 is 30 micrograms, B9 is 400 micrograms and B12 is 2.4 micrograms. Some supplements contain more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of several of these vitamins.