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Vitamin Focus: B

by Louise March 31st, 2010 | Vitamins
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There are 8 different B Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12. You might be familiar with that list of numbers; have you ever wondered why it had gaps? There are, in fact, substances, which were once thought to be vitamins,┬áthat fill these gaps. However, many of these “vitamins” had no nutritional value for humans or no reason to intake them, which betrays the definition of a vitamin (a substance essential in minute amounts for normal growth and activity of the body). For example, B4 (adenine) and B8 (adenosine monophosphate) are both synthesized by the body, which means there’s no reason to take it in. Vitamin B13 represents orotic acid, which was determined to have no nutritional value for humans.

Why do we need [the real] B Vitamins?

B vitamins all function a bit differently, but overall, they increase your rate of metabolism, promote cell growth and cell division (most importantly that of red blood cells), improve your skin and muscle tone, reduce your risk for pancreatic cancer, and enhance the function of your immune system and nervous system.

What happens if we do not take in B Vitamins?

Because each B vitamin serves a different purpose, not taking one will have a different effect than another. Lack of B1 can cause beriberi, and lack of B2 causes ariboflavinosis, while lack of B5 can cause acne. Logically, deficiency of the B vitamins on the whole causes effects that are the negative version of why we need them.

Can we have too many B Vitamins?
Most B Vitamins have no known toxicity level, because you body is able to get rid of excess B vitamins easily. More than 35 mg of B3 per day is not recommended. It can cause redness of the skin and with extremely high intake, nausea.

In what foods can I find B Vitamins?
B vitamins are found in whole, unprocessed foods. Examples include bananas, lentils, potatoes, beans, yeasts, and meat products, such as liver and turkey. B12 cannot be found in plants, which is a problem for vegans. Lack of B12 can cause neurological damage.

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Comments One Response to “Vitamin Focus: B”
  1. […] on the different vitamins. Other vitamins that have already been covered are vitamin A, the B vitamins, and┬ávitamin […]

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.