The Ultimate Guide to B Complex Vitamins – Sources, Supplements, and Benefits

Healthy nutrition is related to good long-term health, as well as prevention and treatment of different conditions. Getting the recommended amounts of vitamins each day is an important part of nutrition and that is why we are advised to make sure our meals contain foods that provide vitamins to our bodies.

A vitamin B complex supplement helps to combat deficiencies.
A vitamin B complex supplement helps to combat deficiencies.

There are various types of vitamins including B complex vitamins which are responsible for ensuring the body cells are functioning properly. There are eight types of B vitamins, which collectively are called Vitamin B complex, each with its own function. 

If people do not obtain enough B vitamins from their diet, they may develop deficiencies. Those who are unable to satisfy their daily requirements can take vitamin B supplements.

Ready to learn more about vitamin B complex? Keep reading to find out about obtaining Vitamin B naturally, B complex vitamins benefits, and supplement options.

What Does Vitamin B Complex Mean?

The vitamin B complex is a type of non-antioxidant vitamin. It consists of eight water-soluble vitamins, which means your body doesn’t store them, and for that reason, your diet must supply them daily. 

The B Complex Vitamins List Includes Eight B vitamins:

  • Thiamine (vitamin B1)-helps convert nutrients into energy. Food sources include pork, white germ, and sunflower seeds.
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) – Helps convert food into energy and also acts as an antioxidant. Foods with riboflavin include beef, mushroom, and organ meats.
  • Niacin (vitamin B3) – Cellular signaling, metabolism, and DNA creation and repair are all aided by this compound. Tuna, poultry, and lentils are some of the foods available.
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)– helps your body obtain energy from food and is also involved in hormone and cholesterol production. Food sources include avocado, fish, yogurt, and liver.
  • Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) – is involved in amino acid metabolism, red blood cells production, and the creation of neurotransmitters. Food sources include potatoes, chickpeas, and salmon.
  • Biotin-regulates gene expression and is essential for carbohydrates and fat metabolism. Food sources include cheese, eggs, yeast, salmon, and liver.
  • Folate (Folic acid or vitamin B9) – needed for white blood cell and red blood cell production, cell growth, amino acid metabolism, and proper cell division. Food sources include beans, leafy greens, liver, or supplements like folic acid.
  • Cobalamins (vitamin B12) – responsible for DNA production, red blood cells development, and neurological function. Food sources include eggs, dairy products, seafood, and meats. 

Each member in the B complex vitamin list has a unique structure and performs different functions in the human body. Except for vitamin B12, which can be stored in your liver for up to four years, your body stores all water-soluble vitamins for a brief period then gets rid of them through the urine.

If you cannot access all the B vitamins from your diet, you can opt for a vitamin B complex supplement to improve your overall micronutrient intake and prevent deficiencies.

Best Sources of B Complex Vitamins

Every day your body needs to get the right amount of vitamins and nutrients to keep it healthy and working well. Most of the B complex vitamins help the body turn energy-yielding nutrients into fuel. This means that without them your body would not have enough energy.

Seafood

Seafood is rich in vitamin B12.
Seafood is rich in vitamin B12.

Have you been feeling exhausted most of the time? Or do you wake up tired? All these are signs and symptoms of a deficiency of the essential vitamin B12. Seafood is not only healthy and lean; it also packs a bunch of vitamin B12 into your meal.

Vitamin B12 is needed for many bodily functions including providing energy to your body, protecting the nervous system, forming and dividing the red blood cells, synthesis the DNA, and much more. Seafood rich in vitamin B12 includes clams, shellfish, scallops, mussels, and oysters.

Beans

Beans and legumes are commonly eaten by most people across the globe and are a rich source of fiber and B vitamins. While they may be low in calories, beans contain a lot of essential nutrients that provide several health benefits.

They are full of antioxidants, flavonols, kaemferol, quercetin, and vitamin C. Because of their high concentration of health-promoting vitamins, consuming beans more often could improve your overall health and decrease the risk of developing certain diseases like obesity and heart disorders.

Poultry

Meat and poultry are great sources of proteins but they also provide humans with vitamins like vitamin B12. White meat from chicken contains vitamins B12 and choline, which work together to promote brain development in kids, help the nervous system function properly and aid cognitive performance in adults.

Your body needs vitamin B12 to help keep your red blood cell count and nervous system healthy and make DNA, the genetic material in your cells.

Meat

Red meat is a nutrient-dense food providing important amounts of protein, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. It is a major source of five of the B complex vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

To get the most vitamins from your meat, you are highly advised to eat pork as it is a good source of thiamin, which is responsible for regulating the metabolic reaction necessary to produce energy.

Eggs

Eggs provide high quality protein.
Eggs provide high-quality protein.

Eggs are a very good source of high-quality protein and vitamins. They are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, and minerals such as iron, copper, and zinc.

According to the Australian Eggs Organization, consuming two eggs per day provides your body with 82% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential in absorbing calcium and phosphorus in your body making it essential for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.

Certain Green Vegetables

Vegetables are important for human health because of their minerals, dietary fiber content, and vitamins. Certain green vegetables like spinach, romaine lettuce, chard, chicory, and purslane are high sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and riboflavin. Adding them to your meals provides your body with antioxidant vitamins which help the cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Sunflower Seeds

Like all seeds and nuts, sunflower seeds are a good source of B vitamins. These seeds provide a significant amount of folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6 in only a small amount of food. The insoluble fiber in the sunflower seeds also helps keep you regular and serves up a dose of magnesium, zinc, and copper.

Fortified Cereals

Fortified cereals contain high doses of essential vitamins and minerals.
Fortified cereals contain high doses of essential vitamins and minerals.

Is eating fortified cereals healthy? Yes, some fortified breakfast cereals made with whole grains contain high doses of vitamins and minerals which are essential in the human body. Fortified cereals and foods made contain minerals and vitamins that are added manually rather than occurring naturally. The vitamins B commonly added to fortified breakfast cereals are niacin, B6, folate, riboflavin, thiamine, and B12.

Vitamin Supplements

The best approach is to make sure you get a variety of vitamins from healthy foods however, if you are finding it difficult to get enough vitamins from food alone, then it’s time to consider the vitamins supplement.

If you need to supplement your diet, look for a multivitamin or vitamin supplement that can fill in the gaps. A healthcare professional can definitely recommend a few.

B Complex Vitamins Benefits

Here are some of the B complex vitamins benefits that you need to know. The eight B vitamins are vital for your body’s optimum function.

1. Immunity

Are you looking for ways to help your body fight off illnesses? Look no further. Consuming foods that are rich in vitamins helps boost your overall immune health. The most essential vitamins required to boost your immunity are vitamin C, B6, and E. Foods rich in vitamin C include spinach, kale, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, and tangerines.

Food sources for vitamin B6 is a green vegetable and for vitamin E is nuts and seeds which contain powerful antioxidants that help the body fight infection.

2. Mental Health

Dietary nutrients and vitamins are very crucial for brain structure and formation. Consuming foods rich in vitamin B and vitamin D can have mood-boosting effects on you. They are responsible for producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions thus reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Older adults, vegetarians, and people with digestive disorders may have trouble getting enough B complex vitamins which can result in low levels of vitamins like B6, which is linked to depression.

3. Reduces Stress

Fatigue and stress are signs of a vitamin B deficiency.
Fatigue and stress are signs of a vitamin B deficiency.

Low energy and fatigue can contribute to irritability and increased stress levels. This is why you are advised to ensure your meals contain foods rich in B vitamins, which are known to keep energy levels high and improve cognitive performance. Vitamin B complex can help keep your activity levels high and stress low.

4. Healthy Cells

Vitamins are considered essential nutrients because they help shore up bones, heal wounds and repair cellular damage. You suffer an increased risk of developing anemia when your body has a shortage of vitamins needed to produce enough healthy red blood cells. Therefore, you need to eat foods rich in vitamin B12 like red meat, dairy products, and fish because they help in red blood cell production, which provide oxygen to body tissues.

Women of childbearing age are highly advised to consume B12 vitamins because they are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anemia due to the iron lost in red blood cells during menstruation.

Foods rich in vitamin B12 include red meats, dairy and fish.
Foods rich in vitamin B12 include red meats, dairy and fish.

5. Boost Energy Levels

One function of B complex vitamins is to boost the energy levels in the body. Boosting energy levels can help your mood, mental health, and productivity and therefore you need to find out which vitamins are best for energy production. All the vitamin B complex except folate are involved in energy production within the cell because they are key for the production of haemoglobin and healthy blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body.

These B vitamins help convert carbohydrates into energy thus boosting your energy levels. Smokers are highly advised to consume foods rich in vitamin C to grow and repair cells in their bodies as cigarette smoking speeds up the production of free radicals which causes damage to cells that can eventually lead to jeopardized skin health, cancer and other diseases.

6. Appetite and Digestion

When the inability to consume enough healthy foods starts affecting your health, it’s time to take action. Certain B vitamins like B1 can help stimulate appetite. Research indicates that thiamine deficiency causes appetite loss, weight loss, and other neurological symptoms thus making sure you have enough of it in your diet can be a great way to stimulate appetite.

The B complex vitamins are responsible for protecting the abdomen from distress and ensuring the intestines work perfectly. For example, vitamin C and D aids in digestion, immunity as well as promoting healthy gums and teeth.

7. Brain Development in Infants

Vitamin B promotes healthy infant brain development.
Vitamin B promotes healthy infant brain development.

Maintaining a healthy diet especially when you’re pregnant is essential because it not only benefits you as the mother but also your baby’s brain development. Everyone gets pregnancy cravings and you should pay close attention to your body and give it what it needs because cravings are said to be a sign of mineral deficiencies. 

Pregnant women should take food rich in vitamin B12, C, and D as they help with fetal development (particularly brain development). And since it might be hard to get all the vitamins your body needs from food alone, you can take the prenatal vitamins. Taking a prenatal vitamin will help ensure that you get the balance of nutrients your baby needs like vitamin B12 for red blood cell production and vitamin D for bone building. Getting enough folate or folic acid also helps prevent birth defects.

8. Reduces PMS Symptoms

Is it possible to manage and reduce symptoms of PMS with a healthy diet and nutrition?  Yes, you can easily manage to reduce your PMS symptoms by eating foods with several B vitamins. For many women who are at a childbearing age, PMS can include both physical and psychological symptoms. 

Several vitamins including vitamin B and D are responsible for neurotransmitters synthesis and hormonal balance, both of which are potentially involved in the underlying pathogenesis of PMS. Vitamin B6 helps to reduce the PMS symptoms by regulating the serotonin and norepinephrine in your body, which are the two hormones responsible for mood-boosting and relieving stress.

Recommended Dosage, Deficiency, and Side Effects

B Complex Vitamins Dosage

To get the best B complex vitamins, you need to focus on getting the specific vitamin you’re most likely to need and taking the right dose. Each vitamin is administered differently based on various factors like age, gender, and other factors like pregnancy.

A minimum daily dose of each vitamin is necessary to maintain good health but exceeding this dose can cause illness. It is unusual to overdose on vitamins but you will find people receiving an unsafe dose of some vitamins by combining fortified foods and vitamin supplements. For this reason, make sure you choose vitamin B complex based specifically on what your own body needs.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, older adults, pregnant and lactating women need higher amounts of B vitamins while children need less. Consult your doctor if you have failed to get certain vitamins through diet so that they can recommend a vitamin supplement with higher doses to correct the deficiency.

Vitamin B Deficiency

Considering age and other factors, it becomes harder to consume enough to receive all eight B vitamins. Therefore, a healthcare professional can administer a blood test and provide medical advice regarding your vitamins levels. Symptoms of a vitamin B complex deficiency depend on the type of vitamin you lack and since these vitamins are water-soluble, (your body doesn’t store them for long) you need to replenish them daily.

Vitamin B Deficiency Symptoms Include:

  • Nerve problems like feeling strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
  • Increases risk of developing anemia and other infections.
  • Weakness, tiredness, and shortness of breath
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas bloating
  • For women who are pregnant, your infant might be at an increased risk of developing birth defects.
  • Mental health issues like memory loss, depression, anxiety, and behavioral changes
  • The loss of vision
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath

If you find that you identify with one or more symptoms, that’s where dietary supplements come in. Consider consulting your healthcare provider and see about adding B complex supplements into your diet.

Possible Side Effects of B Complex Vitamins Overdose

As with anything, there can be too much of a good thing. While taking the required amounts of vitamin B complex helps in maintaining the proper functioning of the body, an excessive intake of it in supplement form can lead to serious health complications. 

Possible Overdose Side Effects:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Tingling sensation or numbness
  • Insomnia and mood disturbances
  • Hypertension/hypotension
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurry vision

Time to Take a Vitamin B Complex Supplement?

When you take vitamins in the form of nutritional supplements, you introduce them to the body at levels that could never be achieved by eating even the healthiest diets. Still, it’s better to target the recommended dietary dosage. Check with your doctor if you need to take a B complex supplement.

These are our top picks of vitamin B complex supplements that’ll help you increase the B vitamin levels in your body.

Best Dietary Supplement: BLACKMORES Multi B

Blackmores Multi B - B Complex Vitamins - Shop Journey
Blackmores Multi B.

Blackmores provides all the essential B vitamins that will give you the energy boost you need. It acts as a coenzyme and helps in the metabolic processes of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in the body. The Blackmores Multi B has no additives like artificial flavors or preservatives. It also helps with the regular function of the body to prevent feelings of depletion. 

Best Energy Boosting Vitamins: Bio-Life Executive B Complex

Bio-Life Executive B Complex - B Complex Vitamins - Shop Journey
Bio-Life Executive B Complex.

This supplement has a combination of B vitamins that help in nutrition, growth, and vision. One tablet daily is enough to stimulate energy transfer reactions in your body and aid in any form of healing. The Bio-Life Executive B Complex plays an important role in red blood cell formation the overall health system.

The vitamin is suitable for people with energy deficiency and any form of underdevelopment. It makes up for regular unbalanced diets and converts foods like proteins and fats into energy.

Easy to Swallow Caplets: Puritan’s Pride Complete B (Vitamin B Complex)

Puritan’s Pride Complete B - B Complex Vitamins - Shop Journey
Puritan’s Pride Complete B.

It contains 7 vitamins in 2 tablets, making it a great and wholesome addition to your diet. Puritan’s Pride Complete B has no starch, flavors, or sugar added. The caplets enriched with B vitamins are coated, making them very easy to swallow.

These caplets are best taken with meals in the dosage of one to two tablets daily for adults. The ingredients in this supplement are high-quality and safe to promote a healthier life. Consult your physician if pregnant or have a medical condition.

Best Mood Stabilizer Vitamin: CCM Vitamin B Complex

CCM Vitamin B Complex - B Complex Vitamins - Shop Journey
CCM Vitamin B Complex.

This B complex vitamin improves your nerve function in the brain and entire body. The small round shape makes them easy to swallow and can be taken once a day to improve your health. The CCM Vitamin B Complex is easily absorbed into the body, meaning it takes a shorter time to take effect.

The B vitamins are mainly used for the conversion of proteins and other foods into energy. If your overall health is deteriorating, a dosage of CCM Vitamin B complex will keep you energized throughout.

Conclusion

The B complex vitamins are a collection of eight water-soluble responsible for various metabolic processes in the human body. To stay healthy, all you need to do is eat a varied diet filled with foods that are rich in B vitamins.  Such foods include beans, eggs, legumes, meat, poultry, whole grains, lean protein, leafy greens and certain fortified food.

If you are not getting enough B complex vitamins Malaysia from your diet, taking dietary supplements may be beneficial. Make sure not to self-diagnose a vitamin deficiency because some vitamins can be toxic when consumed incorrectly. For a quality and complete B Vitamin complex supplement, we recommend Blackmores Multi B as it’s very rich in folic acid and other B vitamins.

In case you have any questions or you would like to know more about B vitamins benefits, dosage, or the function of b complex vitamins, leave a question or comment and we will definitely get back to you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to take B complex every day? 

Yes, it is okay to take B complex every day provided you follow the recommended daily amount of each vitamin based on factors like age, gender and health condition.

Does B complex increase your appetite? 

Yes and this is because most of the B complex vitamins are involved in converting food into energy thus speeding up your metabolism food process causing you to feel more hungry.

Should I stop taking vitamins if my pee is bright yellow? 

No, even if your pee is bright yellow don’t skip your daily dosage of vitamin B complex unless it is recommended by your doctor.

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