Vitamins are essential to good health.
These trace nutrients have important biological roles in maintaining healthy metabolic function, acting as coenzymes or signaling molecules.
They also help maintain stable conditions internally within cells by acting as antioxidants.
Most vitamins that are essential to human health come with none or few variations.
Vitamin B however, comes in several different forms with unique roles and attributes
What is Vitamin B’s role
B vitamins are water-soluble. As we said, their similar names don’t take away from how different these vitamins are in structure and function.
Having said that, all the B vitamins have one of two roles.
They are either cofactors for metabolic enzymes or are precursors (important in the production of) to cofactors.
This article is going to look at each human essential B vitamin in number order, giving you a little insight into what it does for you and why you should be getting enough of it.
Before we get into that, please make a turn at our Life Renu store. We have some amazing deals on our healthy supplements range made just for you.
And with that said, let’s get into the world of B vitamins
Different B Vitamins and Their Benefits
Thiamine is an important cofactor for the enzymes that break down sugars and amino acids.
You can get thiamine from red meat, legumes (beans, peas, lentils) and some whole grains
Processed grains such as white flour have most B1 stripped away.
You can also get it in supplemental form as part of a B-complex or stand-alone.
Riboflavin is a precursor to the production of cofactors for flavoprotein enzymes.
These enzymes are important to essential function including electron transport among others.
Riboflavin is also essential for eye health.
Aside from supplementation, B2 riboflavin is sourced from almonds, eggs, mushrooms, leafy vegetables, and dairy products.
B3: Niacin, Nicotinamide, Nicotinamide Riboside
As if having so many different B vitamins wasn’t confusing enough, one of them comes in 3 different forms.
Let’s get into B3, one of the most unique ones on this list.
In the first form, niacin is a precursor for NAD and NADP synthesis, making it super essential for your metabolic activity.
Niacin is also good at repairing DNA and stunting the effects of aging
Nicotinamide is an important part of coenzymes NADH/NAD+. It is used in electron transfer in many essential energy pathways.
Nicotinamide riboside stands out from the 3 B3 vitamins. Its main functions include cellular defense and fortification, DNA repair and optimization of energy pathways.
You can get vitamin B3 and its 3 forms from dairy products, eggs, meat, and legumes.
B5: Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic acid is a crucial precursor in the synthesis of coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is vital for many metabolic functions.
These include providing resources for the Krebs cycle, the most fundamental metabolic pathway.
B5 also plays a role in the formation of many fatty acids, cholesterol and acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
Vitamin B5 can be sourced from mushrooms such as shitake mushrooms, some organ meats such as kidney and liver.
B6: Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine
Another B-vitamin with 3 subforms, B6 is found as pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine.
These forms are responsible for such things as anabolic reactions and have been shown to help manage or prevent diabetes.
B6 is obtainable through a diet that includes organ meats such as liver, fatty fish and dairy products such as yogurt
Biotin, or B7, is another essential nutrient with a major metabolic role.
Best known for its hair, skin and nail benefits, biotin is essential in the metabolism of carbs and fats.
It does this by acting as a coenzyme/cofactor to the enzyme necessary for these metabolic activities.
Biotin is also involved in the formation of cells and the synthesis of proteins from amino acids which makes sense considering its skin, hair and nail benefits.
You can get biotin from food such as liver, avocados, eggs, yeast, peanuts, salmon and sunflower seeds
Folate of vitamin B9 is a B vitamin converted from folic acid.
You may be familiar with this one if you’ve ever been or had to deal with pregnancy or pregnant women.
That’s because folate is one of the most essential nutrients to developing babies.
It is a crucial nutrient during periods of rapid cell division, which is essentially what happens when a baby is developing in the womb.
This is the point where a human being experiences the highest degree of cell generation.
Folate is also important during childhood development for this reason.
B9 can be sourced from animal livers, dairy products, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, lentils, asparagus, and broccoli.
It is also presumably produced by gut bacteria.
B12 is a vitamin also with many different forms. These are called cobalamins.
Cobalamins are involved in every metabolic process of the cell so you really do need B12.
B12 is also a coenzyme in the DNA building process and is also an essential part of the fatty acid and amino acid metabolism process.
Aside from supplements and fortified foods, Cobalamins are present in liver and meat as well as from sea algae such as chlorella. B12 is also produced by gut bacteria.
Getting enough B vitamins is a crucial step to leading a truly healthy life.
Often deficient from a regular diet, you might want to up your intake of the sources mentioned in this list and perhaps add a b-complex supplement to your daily routine,