B Vitamins Benefits Your Body in These Specific Ways

Add more B vitamin-rich food to your meals for these reasons.

b vitamins benefits

A group of nutrients required from our diet, B vitamins’ benefits are numerous. These nutrients are essential to sustain life and maintain wellbeing. 

Present in a variety of foods, a few of them are easy to obtain, while others like vitamin B12 can be more challenging for those on vegan diets.

Deficiencies of certain vitamins like folate (vitamin B9) are common but are usually easily reversed with proper diet and/or supplementation. 

We encourage you to read below for recommended sources and the newly researched benefits of B vitamins. 

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What are B vitamins?

B vitamins are a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that include: 

  • thiamine (B1)
  • riboflavin (B2)
  • niacin (B3)
  • pantothenic acid (B5)
  • pyridoxine (B6)
  • biotin (B7)
  • folate (B9)
  • cobalamin (B12)

These vitamins are required in the final stages of metabolism – think ATP and CoA from high school biology class.

Many of the B vitamins are important for your body to obtain energy from carbohydrates and fat and for the breakdown of amino acids or protein. 

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Also, two of them are also essential for blood cell formation, helping to transport oxygen and nutrients throughout your body.

Since these vitamins are water-soluble, they are easily excreted by the body through urine and sweat when there is an excess. It is uncommon to overdose on them.

What are common sources of B vitamins?

B vitamins come from a wide variety of sources, from animal products to plant foods. 

They are also present in fortified grain products such as bread and noodles, or the case of vitamin B12, fortified non-dairy milk like soy and rice milk, and nutritional yeast.

Below are the natural sources of these essential vitamins.

  • Thiamine (B1)
    • Pork, fish
    • Beans, lentils
  • Riboflavin (B2)
    • Dairy milk, yogurt, cheese
    • Eggs
    • Lean meat, organ meat, salmon
    • Almonds
    • Spinach
  • Pantothenic Acid (B5)
    • Beef, chicken, organ meat
    • Mushrooms
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Potatoes
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
    • Beef liver, tuna, salmon, poultry
    • Chickpeas
    • Dark leafy greens
    • Banana, papaya
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Folate (B9)
    • Dark green vegetables
    • Legumes
    • Whole grains
    • Liver, seafood
    • Eggs
  • Cobalamin (B12)
    • Liver, red meat, seafood, poultry
    • Eggs
    • Dairy milk, yogurt, cheese

Health Benefits of B vitamins 

The eight B vitamins each have their own function and benefit in the body. 

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Generally, however, they are crucial to energy production inside the cell, as well as in the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen and other nutrients to all parts of the body.

How each vitamin helps the body

  • Thiamine (B1)
    • Energy production from carbohydrates, protein, and fat
    • Nerve structure
    • Helpful in the management of diabetes and its consequences, according to this study
  • Riboflavin (B2)
    • Energy production
    • Vitamin A metabolism
    • May reduce the risk of certain cancers, like cervical and colorectal cancer, as stated in this Cancer Research study
  • Niacin (B3)
    • Energy production
    • DNA synthesis and repair
    • Antioxidant
    • According to this study, niacin helps improve blood flow to the brain and may help manage depression
  • Pantothenic Acid (B5)
    • Energy production
    • Furthermore, pantothenic acid promotes gut health by helping the growth of certain strains of the probiotic lactobacillus, as stated in this study
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
    • Energy production
    • Supports the immune system
    • Pyridoxine helps reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, as found in this study
  • Biotin (B7)
    • Energy production
    • Gene activity and regulation
    • In this study in the Journal of Nutrition, biotin was found to help manage multiple sclerosis, a chronic autoimmune condition
  • Folate (B9)
    • Protein metabolism
    • Red blood cell formation
    • Reduces the risk of fetal birth defects
    • Important during periods of rapid growth, like pregnancy and infancy, due to its role in protein metabolism, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell production, as stated in this review study
  • Cobalamin (B12)
    • Red blood cell formation
    • DNA synthesis
    • Development of the brain and nervous system
    • Lower levels are correlated with a higher risk for gestation diabetes and high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, according to this study

Takeaway

B vitamins are crucial to health and well-being. They help your overall energy levels, are crucial to your brain’s health.

Also, they are important in the formation of red blood cells, which are essential for the transport of nutrients throughout the body.

Consuming a healthy diet and supplementing when needed will help you obtain B vitamins’ benefits to make you feel your best. 

We hope we have encouraged you to include more B vitamin-rich food in your diet and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

(Nutritionist-Dietitian, Blogger & Content Writer)

I like living a holistic, balanced lifestyle, one that takes health and personal preference into account. I also love to experiment in the kitchen, create new dishes and bake. I believe that the pursuit of health should lift us up, not be something rigid that holds us down.