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B Vitamins: A Family of Superheroes

The B Vitamins are vitamins that your body uses to make energy from the food you eat and help form red blood cells.

B vitamins come from proteins such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Green vegetables such as beans and peas have B vitamins, as well as cereal and some bread.

The B vitamin family is made up of eight family members. Although each vitamin in the B family works together throughout the body, they each have their own functions.

Vitamin B1: Thiamine

Thiamine is needed to produce energy from the foods you eat. This vitamin also supports your normal nervous system. Thiamine is mostly found in whole grains and pork, but you can also find it in red meats, nuts, yeast, and milk.

Vitamin B2: Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 is Riboflavin. Riboflavin supports cellular energy production and is found in salmon, eggs, spinach, and broccoli.

Vitamin B3: Niacin

Niacin is Vitamin B3. This vitamin also supports cellular energy production as well as cardiovascular health. You can get B3 vitamins from whole wheat bread, poultry and beef.

Lack of niacin can cause a lot of digestive issues such as abdominal cramps and confusion  

Vitamin B5: Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic Acid is Vitamin B5. Pantothenic Acid is available in plant and animal food sources such as avocados, brown rice, broccoli, and milk. This vitamin also supports energy production in the body.

Lack of B5 is rare but can lead to stomach pains, burning feet, and respiratory infections.

Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine

B6 is called pyridoxine and is involved with over 100 cellular reactions within your body and keeps your body operating at its best. This vitamin is needed to metabolize amino acids and glycogen while helping normal nervous system function and the formation of red blood cells. You can find this vitamin in eggs, bananas, spinach, and poultry.

Lack of B6 can lead to anemia and skin disorders. B6 can also cause nausea, confusion, and infections.

Vitamin B7: Biotin

Biotin helps support healthy skin, nails, fat metabolism, protein, and carbohydrates. Biotin is found in strawberries, brewer’s yeast, and cheese.

Biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss and red rashes on the face

Vitamin B9: Folic Acid

Vitamin B9 is otherwise known as folic acid and plays a role in fetal health and the development of the baby’s nervous system. You can find folic acid in asparagus, dates, and beets.

Lack of folic acid can lead to birth defects, diarrhea, and anemia.

Vitamin B12: Cobalamin   

Vitamin B12 is cobalamin and plays a critical role in the pathways in the body that produce cellular energy, DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation and nervous system function. This vitamin is commonly found in chicken, fish, milk, and eggs.   

If you do not get enough B12, it can lead to anemia, confusion, dementia, paranoia, and depression.

Symptoms of lack of deficiency include: weakness, irritability, fatigue, and tingling in feet and hands.

Preventing deficiency:

Preventing Vitamin B deficiency can be done by taking supplements. Although you can get a good amount of Vitamin B from your diet as long as you eat meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables.

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