B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in various biochemical reactions in the body. These vitamins are essential for maintaining good health and preventing certain health conditions.
|Vitamin||Proper Name||Key Roles in Health|
|B1||Thiamine||Helps convert carbohydrates into energy; important for nerve function, heart health, muscle function, and digestion (1)|
|B2||Riboflavin||Helps convert food into energy; important for eye health, skin health, hormone metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, and antioxidant activity through glutathione regeneration (2)|
|B3||Niacin||Helps convert food into energy; important for healthy skin, nerves, and digestion, and may improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risk (3)|
|B5||Pantothenic acid||Helps convert food into energy; important for the synthesis of hormones, cholesterol, and Coenzyme A (CoA), which is required for many cellular processes (4)|
|B6||Pyridoxine||Helps produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, and is important for immune function, cognitive development, and hemoglobin synthesis; may also reduce cardiovascular risk through homocysteine metabolism (5)|
|B7||Biotin||Important for healthy hair, skin, and nails; helps convert food into energy and is involved in fatty acid synthesis (6)|
|B9||Folate||Important for cell growth and development, DNA synthesis and repair, and red blood cell formation; may reduce the risk of neural tube defects, some cancers, and cardiovascular disease through homocysteine metabolism (7)|
|B12||Cobalamin||Helps produce DNA and red blood cells, and is important for nerve function and homocysteine metabolism; may also improve cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative disease (8)|
Thiamine (B1), for example, is important for converting carbohydrates into energy, and is essential for nerve function and heart health. Riboflavin (B2) helps convert food into energy and is important for eye and skin health. Niacin (B3) also helps convert food into energy and is important for healthy skin, nerves, and digestion. Pantothenic acid (B5) is important for the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol, and also helps convert food into energy. Pyridoxine (B6) helps produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, and is important for immune function and cognitive development. Biotin (B7) is important for healthy hair, skin, and nails, and also helps convert food into energy. Folic acid (B9) is important for cell growth and development, and helps prevent birth defects. Finally, cobalamin (B12) helps produce DNA and red blood cells, and is important for nerve function.
Deficiencies in B vitamins can lead to a range of health problems, including anemia, skin disorders, and nerve damage. Some groups of people may be at higher risk of B vitamin deficiencies, such as older adults, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions.
In conclusion, B vitamins are essential for maintaining good health and preventing certain health conditions. While deficiencies in B vitamins can lead to various health problems, most people can get enough of these important vitamins by eating a balanced diet and with supplementation.