Thursday, August 18, 2011

B Vitamins

I've started a series on vitamins and minerals, what they are, where you get them and what they are good for. I've posted on Vitamin A and will be moving on to the B vitamins next.

The B Vitamins

What is it? The B vitamins are water-soluble and play a key role in cell metabolism. There are 8 distinct variations of the B vitamin: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 & B12.

Why do we need it? They support healthy hair, skin and muscle tone; enhance immune and nervous system, they break down carbs into glucose (energy) and support and increase the rate of metabolism. It is also believed but not proven to help with the symptoms of ADHD.

How much do we need?
There doesn't seem to be much info on how much is needed. Most sites referred to just eating a healthy diet and you could take a supplement as well. While some said if you are eating a healthy diet there was no need for supplementation. Since I didn't find anything about ideal amounts and this is a water soluble vitamin, my stance will be if I notice that I might be deficient then I'll take a supplement or eat more of where I can get it.
Due to it being water-soluble the risk of toxicity is unlikely .

Where do we get it?
whole grain products
leafy greens
sweet corn
brown rice
yeast (& no you don't get B by drinking beer as alcohol inhibits absorption of B)
organ meats
red meat

The symptoms range: aggression, insomnia, weakness, depression, high blood pressure, water retention & birth defects (folic acid=B9) as well as many others.
And those who drink alcohol frequently might want to increase their intake.

My sources
I was a bit disappointed in the info available on the B vitamins, so this is just a small amount of info.

This is just an overview of the vitamin and by no means is a comprehensive study with all information. Please consult your health care provider if you have concerns.

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