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Vitamin B. Health benefits, sources, and symptoms of deficiency

What is vitamin B

Vitamin B or the group of B vitamins is a set of eight essential nutrients to maintain cell health and body activity.

The Vitamin B group is classified as water-soluble vitamins, which are not stored in the body for long periods, so sources of vitamin B should be taken regularly daily. The vitamin B group is necessary for metabolic processes in the body, in addition to the essential role of vitamin B in maintaining the health of nerves and the function of the nervous system.

Vitamin B. Health benefits, sources, and symptoms of deficiency

There are different types of vitamin B, which are collected in one group due to the similarity of their main properties and functions. But even though the B vitamins work together in the body, each type of B vitamin also has its unique functions.

Some sources of vitamin B can be similar, but some foods are distinguished from others by being the main source of one type of vitamin B. For example, vitamin B12 is found mainly in meat and dairy products.

What are the types of vitamin B

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B5 

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B9 

Vitamin B12

The vitamin B group is called the B-complex vitamin

What are the benefits of vitamin B?

The vitamin B group plays key roles in many vital functions in the body, the most important functions of vitamin B include:

The conversion of food into energy is known as metabolism or metabolism.

The formation of new blood cells and the production of erythrocytes.

Enzymes in the body help to accelerate the process of interconversion of chemical compounds, therefore the vitamin B group is known as coenzymes 

The complex maintains the integrity of the nerves, the functions of the central nervous system, and nerve impulses.

Strengthening immunity.

Maintain eye health.

Maintain healthy hair, healthy skin, and healthy cells, including brain cells and other body tissues.

It is worth noting the role of vitamin B in preventive care, as the vitamin B group has been associated with a reduced risk of stroke.

A 2013 study was published in the Clinical Journal of Neurology about this, and this study, which lasted for six months, was conducted by researchers from China and included more than 50,000 participants, through which it was noted that vitamin B supplements reduced the risk of stroke by 7%. However, you should not take a B-complex vitamin or any B-vitamin supplement without consulting your healthcare provider.

Vitamin B sources

The eight groups of B vitamins share the same food sources, although some foods are richer sources of one type of B vitamin than others. Usually, the vitamin B group can be obtained by eating some types of nutritious and useful foods, such as:

Food of animal origin, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

Green leafy vegetables, as well as beans, beans, and peas.

Bread and cereals fortified with a group of B vitamins.

It is worth noting that the vitamin B group is usually affected by heat, so it is recommended to avoid prolonged cooking of foods that are a source of vitamin B.

How much vitamin B does the body need per day

Decisive adults and children over 4 years old need a vitamin B complex daily in the following amount:

Vitamin B-1: 1.2 mg.

Vitamin B-2: 1.3 mg.

Vitamin B-3: 16 mg.

Vitamin B-5: 5 mg.

Vitamin B-6: 1.7 mg.

Vitamin B-7: 30 mcg.

Vitamin B-9: 400 mcg.

Vitamin B-12: 2.4 mcg.

The body's need for B vitamins may vary for some categories, such as pregnant, breastfeeding women, or the elderly, so it is always advisable to consult a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate B vitamin dosage for these categories.

Vitamin B1

Also known as thiamine, Vitamin B1 is a vitamin that is found in abundance in body tissues, such as the heart, liver, brain, and kidneys. It is important for the performance of vital functions in cells.

The benefits of vitamin B1

The body needs vitamin B1 to perform many functions, such as:

Breaking down sugar molecules in food in preparation for its digestion.

Help in the manufacture of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

Production of fatty acids.

Manufacture of certain hormones.

 vitamin B1 sources

Sources of vitamin B1 are diverse, as vitamin B1 is found in many foods, such as:

Whole grains, and starches fortified with vitamin B1, such as bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, and rice.

Some seafood, such as trout, oysters, and seashells.

Legumes, such as black beans, and soybeans.



Vitamin B2

Known as riboflavin, vitamin B2 is an important vitamin for energy production in the body.

The benefits of vitamin B2

Vitamin B2, in addition to the basic functions of B vitamins, performs the following:

Helps to break down fats, medications, and some hormones.

Converting the amino acid tryptophan into niacin, converting vitamin B6 into an enzyme helper needed by the body.

Vitamin B2  sources

Sources of vitamin B2 include the following foods:

Animal meat, such as the liver.

Fortified breakfast cereals.


Milk and yogurt.



Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is known by another name, niacin, and vitamin B3 is converted in the body into a very important enzyme helper for vital processes and is used in about 400 enzymatic chemical reactions in the body. These enzymes help to:

Convert the energy contained in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into another form usable by the cells of the body.

Regulation of intracellular metabolic processes.

 Communication through cells.

Gene expression of genetic material in cells.

vitamin B3 sources

Sources of vitamin B3 or niacin are food from animal sources, such as:



The liver.

Red meat.

Whole grains, such as wheat and barley.

Peanuts. peanuts.

Vitamin B5

Also known as pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 is important for the manufacture of the enzyme AIDS, lipids, and proteins in the body.

Vitamin B5 sources

Sources of vitamin B5 include:


Shiitake mushrooms.

Beef liver.

Sunflower seeds.

Tuna fish.


Fortified breakfast cereals.

Vitamin B6 

Vitamin B6 helps the body convert food into energy, and also helps fight infections. It is considered important during pregnancy, as it helps the normal development of the fetal brain.

Vitamin B6  sources

The most important sources of vitamin B6 include the following foods:


Salmon fish.


Whole grains.

Beef meat.

The liver.



Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 is also called biotin, and it has become available in many dietary supplements that are used for hair and nails.

The benefits of vitamin B7

The human body uses biotin in the following:

The breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Communication between cells.

Regulation of genetic material (DNA).

More: What are the benefits of vitamin B complex for hair and gray hair

Where is vitamin B7 sources

Sources of vitamin B7 or biotin are in the following foods:

The meat of animal organs.


Salmon fish.

Beef meat.

Sunflower seeds.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9  is also called folic acid, folic acid promotes the growth of red blood cells, and reduces the risk of birth defects in the fetus during pregnancy.

Where is folic acid sources

Folic acid is found naturally in foods, such as:


Whole grains.


Citrus fruits.



Leafy vegetables.

Liver and kidneys.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12  is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in the functioning of vital processes in the body, such as the formation of energy and the production of red blood cells, it also has an important role in maintaining the health of the brain and nerves, and enters into the composition of the genetic material DNA.

The benefits of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin helps regulate the nervous system, and vitamin B12 also plays an important role in the growth and formation of red blood cells.

Where is vitamin B12 sources

The most important sources of vitamin B12 are meat and dairy products, such as:


Beef liver.

Salmon fish.

Beef meat.

Milk and yogurt.

Vegetarian people are at a higher risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency, and they can get it from dietary supplements, or by eating cereals and baked goods fortified with vitamin B12.

Causes of vitamin B deficiency in the body

Some groups are more at risk of developing vitamin B deficiency than others, such as the elderly and pregnant women because they need larger amounts of some types of vitamin B.

There are also some diseases and disorders that affect the effectiveness of the absorption of vitamin B from food, which increases the risk of vitamin B deficiency, and these diseases include

Crohn's disease.

Celiac disease.

Human immunodeficiency virus.

Alcoholism and alcoholics are more prone to poor absorption of vitamin B.

Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency in the body

Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency depend on the type of vitamin B in which a deficiency has occurred, and symptoms of vitamin B deficiency can range from fatigue and confusion to anemia or weakened immunity. A rash is also a symptom of vitamin B deficiency.

The following are signs of vitamin B deficiency in the body:

Forgetfulness, loss of attention.

Mood swings.



Frequent headaches.

The occurrence of cracks and skin sores, especially in the corners of the mouth.

Inflammation of the skin.

Dry skin and oily skin can be symptoms of vitamin B deficiency.

Burning eyes.


Visual disturbances, sometimes a feeling of the presence of sand in the eye.

It is important not to rely on self-diagnosis of vitamin B deficiency, because there are some vitamins that, if taken unnecessarily or incorrectly, can cause health problems or mask the symptoms of other vitamin deficiencies.

Therefore, the diagnosis of avitaminosis should be carried out under medical supervision, and the doctor may recommend some types of vitamin B supplements or vitamin B complex, which are available in the form of pills, tablets, or injections.

Treatment for a lack of vitamin B

Treatment of vitamin deficiency depends on the type of vitamin that the body lacks, usually, the doctor will prescribe dietary supplements to treat vitamin B deficiency. But supplements and vitamins should be taken under medical supervision, and the most important cases that require taking dietary supplements are in the elderly over the age of 50 and in pregnant women.

The risk of taking an overdose of vitamin B is lower than other vitamins because vitamin B is soluble in water, however, dietary supplements may cause long-term side effects if used incorrectly, and they may interact with some types of medications.

Vitamin B supplements are available in several pharmaceutical forms, such as:

Vitamin B pills, there are vitamin B complex pills that contain a group of B vitamins together.

Vitamin B injections, injections containing vitamin B complex are available, as they contain B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. Vitamin B injections are usually taken subcutaneously or intramuscularly.

Injections of B-complex play an important role in protecting the nervous system and the brain, by:

Relief of symptoms of nervousness, depression, fatigue, and irritability.

Contribute to the treatment of inflammatory conditions in the peripheral nerves, such as infections that occur in patients with diabetes.

Relieves nerve pain, including sciatica.

Treat inflammation of the nerves in the area of the face, arm, shoulders, and spine and relieve their pain.

Increased concentration is especially recommended with vitamin B1 pills.


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