B Group Vitamins are essential to proper human health.
As discussed in the last post, we need certain B group vitamins on a regular basis.
But what do each of the B Group vitamins do?
Here is a quick rundown of each of the B Vitamins and their function.
B1 – Thiamine.
Thiamine is vital for brain metabolism and the production of Acetylcholine.
Chronic Thiamine deficiency can cause debilitating diseases like Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome.
B2 – Riboflavin.
Riboflavin is used to synthesize Glutathione, which is essential for its important antioxidant and detoxification support within the body.
Because it is so closely linked with the production of Glutathione, B2 should be made a priority as an essential B-Vitamin.
B3 – Niacin
Niacin offers some degree of protection against Alzheimers and other age related cognitive decline issues.
Niacin also accelerates brain healing from certain types of stroke.
Niacin deficiency can cause diseases like pellagra.
B5 – Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic acid is a Co-Factor in the production of Acetylcholine.
Research has shown that supplementation can provide benefits for memory recall and concentration.
B6 – Pyridoxine
Pyridoxine is essential for the production of certain neurotransmitters e.g. Dopamine, Serotonin and Noradrenaline.
Pyridoxine deficiency is linked to depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
Biotin is a less well known member of the B group vitamins.
Vital for the metabolism of fatty acids in the brain, a deficiency of Biotin can lead to seizures.
B9- Folic Acid (Folate)
Expectant mothers are recommended to take folate to prevent neural tube defects.
Vital for the production of Serotonin, Folic acid is sometimes used in conjunction with antidepressant drugs to increase their effect.
B12 is an important vitamin for general energy production.
B12 deficiency is extremely common in vegetarians and is closely linked to lethargy, poor sleep and general issues with motivation.
So what Happened to vitamins B4, B8, B10 and B11?
The first B group Vitamin to be discovered was water soluble B vitamin.
The B designation meant that it was the second vitamin to be discovered, with the first being the fat soluble vitamin A.
Next Riboflavin was discovered and became B2.
Around 1926 it was discovered that B1 was actually 2 vitamins (Thiamin and Niacin). B1 became Thiamin and, as B2 was already taken, Niacin became B3.
Over the years several other discoveries were made and added to the B group Vitamins but as time went on they were discovered to be either an already known B vitamin or not a B group vitamin at all.
The “gaps” in the numerical sequence of the B vitamins show where these “fake” B vitamins were once placed.
This is why scientists now prefer to refer to any of the B Group Vitamins by their name and not their number.
So I Hope you have found this post interesting. Please see this infographic for more information on vitamins or click here to read Part 1 of this post.
If you have any thoughts I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Until next time, I wish you good health and happiness.