If B vitamins were people, they would be some of the happiest people you ever met. And they are all team players.
B vitamins are so popular, everyone wants to be a B. Actually, there’s an entire group of happy little B’s.
Because the B’s are such a pleasant and jovial bunch, the foods containing the B’s are considered potent morale foods because they promote a feeling of general well-being and increased energy. Especially the first B, vitamin B1, and B5.
Vitamin B1 is also called thiamine. A deficiency of thiamine is associated with diseases of the nervous system and poor digestion. Many Eastern cultures suffer with these types of illnesses because they eat predominantly polished/enriched rice where the hulls are removed, and these are devoid of vitamin B1.
- helps you maintain a normal appetite;
- promotes good digestion and enhances the absorption of nutrients;
- fights constipation;
- plays an important role in burning carbohydrates;
- is essential for normal reproduction and lactation.
Vitamin B1 is found in the outer coats and embryos of grains. Refining rice, and the manufacturing processing of breads and cereals removes this vitamin. In American processed foods, the manufacturers of white flour and refined cereals add thiamine back into their processing, but this isn’t the same as eating this vitamin in its natural, original state.
Have you ever wondered where these “enriched vitamins” come from? If it’s from the “original” food sources, then why enrich the food in the first place? I suspect that these “vitamins” are merely more chemical reproductions of the real thing.
The second B to join the group is riboflavin, B2.
Riboflavin helps your body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein. B2 is fundamental for red blood cell formation, antibody production, and cell respiration. It is important for the prevention and treatment of cataracts, and is specifically important during pregnancy to help promote healthy fetal growth.
People who take antibiotics or oral contraceptives, drink alcohol daily, or exercise heavily have an increased need for vitamin B2. Riboflavin facilitates the utilization of oxygen for skin tissues, mucous membranes, nails, and hair.
This is a helpful little guy who just wants to keep you young and beautiful.
Vitamin B3 is commonly known as niacin, and niacin is proven to regulate blood sugar levels, is critical for the synthesis of sex hormones, and detoxes the body of most man-made drugs and chemicals.
Riboflavin and niacin, B2 and B3, are very good friends because B2 is needed to properly metabolize B3. So, to get the health benefits from B3, you must also have B2 present.
With B2’s help, B3 lowers cholesterol and is a vasodilator. It is necessary for healthy mental function, and for red blood cell formation and blood circulation. Like all of the B vitamins, B3 is happy to assist you in the maintenance of your skin, nerve, and blood vessels. Basically, niacin keeps your pores clean and your skin young-looking and vibrant.
B3 is not found in corn, so people eating a corn-based diet are usually deficient in niacin. In 1942, niacin was first added to enriched flour and other commercially-made products.
Like the rest of the B group, B3 helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
B4 joined the B group, but it didn’t stay a member of the clan for very long. B4’s real name is adenine, which is one of the nucleic acids that makes up the structure of your DNA. Once B4 realized that it is produced by the body, it dropped out of the B vitamin gang and refused to go into the B-Complex bottle.
Vitamin B5 is also known as Pantothenic Acid, and is essential for growth, reproduction, and normal body function.
Most plant and animal foods contain B5, and it is very abundant in whole foods.
B5 assists your body in making bile, building red blood cells, and is necessary for the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. B5 has also been found helpful in treating depression.
Another happy B vitamin.
Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 is one busy fella’. B6 is involved in more body functions than almost any other nutrient.
Like its other B friends, B6 helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, but it also supports your immune system, nervous system, and mental function. B6 is vital for nerve impulse transmission within the brain, and is necessary for antibody production.
Pyridoxine maintains your body’s sodium-potassium balance, it aids in the formation of red blood cells, and helps synthesize RNA and DNA. (Occasionally, B6 will bump into B4 hanging out in your DNA.) B6 protects the heart by inhibiting the formation of homocysteine, a toxic chemical that attacks the heart muscle, and contributes to cholesterol deposits around the heart.
B6 is heart-healthy.
Commonly known as biotin, vitamin B7 is most famous as a moisturizing agent in shampoos, conditioners, and skin creams. Like most of the B vitamins, B7 is happy to keep you young and beautiful.
B7 joins the other B’s in metabolizing carbs, fats, and proteins, but it also promotes normal function of the sweat glands, nerve tissues, bone marrow, and helps relieve muscle pain.
Inositol is actually vitamin B8, but like vitamin B4, B8 dropped out of the group because it prefers to go by its more popular name.
B8 enjoys its own spotlight.
Vitamin B9 is folic acid, another popular name in health markets. B9 is important in many ways, but it gets most of its notoriety from its importance in the development of a healthy fetus, preventing low birth weights and premature birth.
B9 is a real team player, and joins the B group in aiding a healthy nervous system, and in the formation of red blood cells. It also helps manufacture white blood cells, but B9 is dedicated to cell division and replication; hence, its importance during pregnancy.
B10 and B11
Vitamins B10 (once known as Vitamin R) is commonly known today as PABA. Vitamin B11 was first identified and named Factor S, but scientists discovered that it is a form of folic acid, vitamin B9, so they kicked B11 out of the B-Complex line-up, and they relabeled B10 with its more popular name.
Both B10 and B11 are essential to our health, but they didn’t last as B-Complex members.
Vitamin B12 is a shining star in the B-Complex family of friends. B12 is best known for its role in preventing anemia.
B12 is a real team player, and it works with folic acid, B9, to help form and regulate red blood cells,and absorb and utilize iron. It also works with the other B vitamins to aid cellular longevity and maintain fertility.
Also known as cobalamin, B12 is essential in producing myelin, a fatty substance that forms a protective sheath around your nerves, known as the myelin sheath.
B13 – B17
B13 and B14 went AWOL, and they haven’t been seen for decades. No one knows what happened to them, but maybe they’ll return one day.
B15 and B17 will be the subject for another article because these two B vitamins are some of the most critical nutrients in preventing cancer. These healthy B-vitamins have been manipulated for decades, and were removed from the B-Group at the hands of politics and Big Pharma.
All-in-all, you’ll discover for yourself how wonderful the B vitamins are, and that they do relax your body, and leave you with a feeling of less stress, more vitality, and wholeness.
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.