MediUpdates article- Unique & Diverse Functions of Vitamin B Group in Health & Well-Being | B vitamins are among the least well-known of the important vitamins. For starters, they’re water soluble, which means we obtain all of our B from the meals, beverages, and supplements we ingest, and our systems excrete the rest. This might create the idea that they aren’t as necessary to the body as they are, which isn’t the case.
It’s not every day that all eight B vitamins are included in a complete, high-potency multivitamin, So it was a no-brainer that a complete B complex including those B’s in their bioactive forms merited a place in our diverse vitamin and mineral lineup.
Health advantages of B-group vitamins
The B vitamins (also known as the B complex) help with everything from brain health and mood to cell metabolism, DNA synthesis, methylation pathways, immunological function, cardiovascular health, and even healthy ageing and lifespan. It’s no surprise that we need these multifunctional B vitamins on a regular basis.
On a cellular level, one of the most important functions of B vitamins is to act as key coenzymes in the processing of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates. (In other words, B vitamins are important because they aid in the conversion of food into energy, which is required for our bodies’ many responses and complicated activities.)
Thiamine – B1 (Vitamin B Group)
In the early 1900s, thiamin was the first of the B vitamins to be identified (hence its nomenclature: B1).
Thiamin is essential for the creation of DNA, RNA, and ATP (the body’s principal energy currency) and plays a vital role in glucose metabolism.
On a broader scale, its primary role is to provide energy to nerve cells (as well as for the creation of neurotransmitters and myelin, the protective coating surrounding neurons) so that the brain and central nervous system can operate properly.
Riboflavin – B2 (Vitamin B Group)
Riboflavin is also important for ATP creation from protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism; it’s also beneficial to the vitamin B complex since it slows down the metabolism of vitamin B6 and folate, making them more readily available to the body.
Vitamin B2 also functions as an antioxidant and boosts red blood cell synthesis and, as a result, oxygen transfer to cells, which is a lesser-known fact. Check your B2 levels if you want to boost your hair and skin health—riboflavin is also required for proper collagen formation. (You’ll want to eat riboflavin-5-phosphate, which is the beneficial form of B2.)
Niacin – B13 (Vitamin B Group)
Niacin plays a critical function in all cells when it is incorporated into the necessary coenzymes nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). In fact, 400 enzymes in the body require NAD to catalyze processes!
These niacin-dependent activities include DNA metabolism and repair in addition to the vital cellular energy metabolism. Niacin is an antioxidant that helps the heart by keeping LDL and HDL cholesterol levels in check.
Pantothenic Acid – B5 (Vitamin B Group)
The Krebs cycle, also known as the citric acid cycle, requires pantothenic acid (together with niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin). Through the oxidation of acetate (aka acetyl-CoA), which is generated from food, a series of chemical events create energy for storage (ATP).
Pantothenic acid is also important for brain cell structure and function, as well as heart health.
Vitamin – B6 (Vitamin B Group)
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal 5-phosphate in its active form) is required for the production of neurotransmitters that regulate emotions and signal a variety of pathways in the central nervous system. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid are examples of these neurotransmitters (GABA). Translation? When it comes to maintaining a balanced mood, B6 is a team player.
And speaking of collaboration, vitamin B6 is one of three B vitamins (hi, folate and B12!) that helps promote a healthy immune system by regulating lymphocyte migration into the colon. This vitamin B6 + B9 + B12 combination is also important for maintaining a proper methionine cycle, maintaining healthy homocysteine levels, and providing daily methylation support.
Biotin – B7 (Vitamin B Group)
Biotin is well known for its cosmetic advantages, most notably its involvement in hair and nail development (it does this by aiding the production of keratin, the protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails).
Biotin’s ability to strengthen your nails and make your hair shine isn’t its sole benefit. Biotin is also important for maintaining metabolic balance: It is essential for the creation of lipids, the metabolism of amino acids, and a fancy thing called gluconeogenesis as a required cofactor in numerous carboxylase enzymes (i.e., making glucose from non-carb starter compounds, like fat and protein).
Folate – B9 (Vitamin B Group)
Folate is needed for a variety of bodily processes, but it’s especially vital during periods of fast growth (such as pregnancy) since it’s essential for the appropriate growth and development of cells in the central nervous system.
However, optimal folate levels aren’t simply for expectant moms.
Folate is involved in everything from DNA and RNA creation to methylation and maintaining adequate homocysteine levels, all of which are important for heart and brain health. When it comes to methylation, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) is the most bioactive and premium form of folic acid in supplement form, therefore seek for it in high-quality B complex formulations.
This B vitamin is also necessary for appropriate red blood cell production, which impacts oxygen and nutrition transport throughout the body (and thus, energy levels). As previously stated, folate (together with vitamins B6 and B12) helps regulatory T-cells survive in the small intestine, which is beneficial to the immune system.
Vitamin – B12 (Vitamin B Group)
The vitamin B12 is the last but not least. Because animal products have the highest quantities of B12, acquiring enough of the crucial vitamin is a hot problem among plant-based societies. (Spoiler alert: you can obtain enough B12 from meals and/or a good supplement if you forgo animal products.)
Protein synthesis, as well as lipid and glucose metabolism, are all aided by vitamin B12 (i.e., for energy). This vitamin collaborates with folate to help carry out DNA and red blood cell production. Vitamin B12 is a cofactor for metabolic pathways in the gut microbiota, which is important for immunological function.
Similarly to folate, enough vitamin B12 (in the bioactive methylcobalamin form) is a must for appropriate methylation pathways and homocysteine levels, a biomarker with far-reaching consequences for overall health.
As you can see, B vitamins are important for overall health and well-being since they help the body perform a variety of important everyday processes.
You’ve discovered the correct supplement if you’re seeking for energy, immunological, metabolic, heart, brain, methylation, mood support, and more—all in the shape of two daily capsules.
Consult your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen if you are pregnant, nursing, or using medicines. When deciding which supplements are ideal for you, it’s always best to talk with a health care expert