A Guide to the B Vitamins

A Guide to B Vitamins

The B vitamin family is made up of eight B vitamins. Although they are commonly recognized as a group and often work together in the body, each of the B vitamins performs unique and important functions. To help you better understand the roles of each of the B vitamins, we have put together a friendly guide to introduce you to each member of this important family of vitamins and to answer the common question, what are the roles of the eight B vitamins?

What is thiamin, or vitamin B1?
Thiamin (vitamin B1) is needed to help produce cellular energy from the foods you eat, and also supports normal nervous system function.

What are good sources of thiamin?
Thiamin is found in a wide variety of foods, from lentils to whole grains and pork. Thiamin can also be found in red meats, yeast, nuts, sunflower seeds, peas, milk, cauliflower, spinach and legumes.

What is riboflavin, or vitamin B2?
Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin supports cellular energy production.

What are good sources of riboflavin?
Riboflavin is found in a variety of foods such as fortified cereals, milk, eggs, salmon, beef, spinach and broccoli.

What is niacin, or vitamin B3?
Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, and supports cellular energy production.

What are good sources of niacin?
Good sources of niacin include beef, poultry and fish as well as whole wheat bread, peanuts and lentils.

What is pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5? Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is widely available in plant and animal food sources and helps support cellular energy production in the body.

What are good sources of pantothenic acid?
Rich sources include organ meats (liver, kidney), egg yolk, whole grains, avocados, cashew nuts, peanuts, lentils, soybeans, brown rice, broccoli and milk.

What is vitamin B6, or pyridoxine?
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is involved in several cellular reactions throughout the body and is instrumental in keeping various bodily functions operating at their best. Vitamin B6 is needed to metabolize amino acids and glycogen (the body’s storage form of glucose), and is also necessary for normal nervous system function and red blood cell formation.

What are good sources of vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 is fairly abundant in the diet and can be found in foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, bananas, fish, fortified cereal grains and cooked spinach.

What is biotin, or vitamin B7?
Biotin, or vitamin B7, supports carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism and may help support healthy hair, skin and nails in those that are biotin deficient.

What are good sources of biotin?
Biotin is commonly found in foods such as brewer’s yeast, strawberries, organ meat, cheese and soybeans.

What is folic acid, or vitamin B9?
Folic acid (vitamin B9) is most commonly known for its role in fetal health and development as it plays a critical role in the proper development of the baby’s nervous system. This important developmental process occurs during the initial weeks of pregnancy, therefore adequate folic acid intake is especially important for all women of childbearing age. Adequate folic acid in healthful diets may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a neural tube defect.

What are good sources of folic acid?
Fortified foods such as breads and cereals are good dietary sources of folic acid. Other good sources are dark green leafy vegetables such as asparagus and spinach as well as brewer’s yeast, liver, fortified orange juice, beets, dates and avocados.

What is vitamin B12, or cobalamin?
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, plays an important role in the pathways of the body that produce cellular energy. It is also needed for DNA synthesis, proper red blood cell formation and for normal nervous system function.

What’s a good source of Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is predominantly found in foods of animal origin such as chicken, beef, fish, milk and eggs. People who follow a vegan or strict vegetarian diet may benefit from a vitamin B12 supplement, such as Nature Made Vitamin B12 1,000 mcg Liquid Softgels.

What’s the best source for all of the B vitamins?
One easy way to make sure that you get your daily dose of these important B vitamins is to take a B complex supplement, such as Nature Made Super B Energy Complex, which contains 100% of the Daily Value of all eight B vitamins in one convenient softgel.