Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin B Complex

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin B Complex

Complex B is the set of eight water-soluble B vitamins, each of which is vital for the overall functionality of our body.

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

  • Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)

  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Each of these vitamins has its own unique benefits that enhance our wellbeing.

Top 8 Benefits of Vitamin B-Complex

Vitamin B plays a broad role in helping us maintain a healthy existence. Research shows that not having enough vitamin B in our diet can harm our overall health, death may even occur if deficiency prolongs. Below are the top 8 benefits of vitamin b-complex.

Cellular Growth and Development

Vitamin b-complex is essential for the growth, development, and proper functioning of body cells, especially human embryonic brain cells. It is widely distributed in tissues with the highest concentration in the liver, brain, kidney, and heart.

Energy Generation

Vitamin b-complex significantly promotes energy generation for those suffering from vitamin deficiency. However, people with ample vitamin stores may not receive energy boost overtime. Also, it prevents hormonal disorder and sore throat.

Blood Cholesterol Level

 B vitamins raise the high-density lipoprotein, the so-called "good" cholesterol by about 30%. Although there is still on-going debate as per the specific role HDL plays in the body, it is generally thought that it picks up the excess low-density protein (bad cholesterol) from the blood and takes it to the liver for disposal.


Some B-vitamins, especially B5 & B6, significantly improves the functioning of the immune system enabling us to fight off infections that may try to invade our body. Lack of these vitamins may render our body vulnerable to diseases and infections.

Production of Red Blood Cells

B vitamins, specifically B12, are essential in the production of red blood cells from bone marrow. Deficiency of this vitamin may cause anemia, which arises from the body lacking sufficient & healthy red blood cells. Besides, it aids the production of DNA, RNA, energy, and tissues as well as keeping nerve cells healthy. 

Mental Health & Cognition

Folic acid is a vitamin B (folate) that affects mood and cognitive functions, especially in older people. This is beneficial to those battling chronic depression. Research also shows that it can significantly protect against cognitive decline in old age. It also prevents serious malformation or congenital anomalies in infants.

Wound Healing

B vitamin, has over time, been shown to play a pivotal role in collagen linkage, which is essential in wound healing. However, there has not been a sufficient human-based report to validate with 100% confidence the healing effects of vitamin b-complex as most researches are carried out using laboratory mice or other lab animals.


Vitamin B helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. B1, for instance, helps the body cells convert carbohydrates to energy. Also, B7 aids tissue maintenance, weight loss, and heart problems.

Vitamin B Complex

What Natural Food Sources Contain Vitamin B-Complex?

The majority of our natural foods are primary sources of vitamins b-complex, and as such, we can easily get a sufficient amount from our everyday diet. Getting our vitamins from different food sources ensure sufficiency.

The B-vitamins and their different sources are:

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)                                            

Thiamine apart from playing a vital role in the development of a baby's brain also aids cellular growth, and development, and is found in natural food sources such as:

  • Peas
  • Oats
  • Pecans
  • Lentils
  • Salmon
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Dried Beans
  • Wheat Germ
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Whole Grain Pasta  

Vitamin B (Riboflavin)                                            

Riboflavin makes for good eyesight & healthy glowing skin and also helps in energy generation. Its natural sources include:

  • Oats
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Tempeh
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Fenugreek
  • Whole Grain
  • Fortified Cereal
  • Natural Yoghurt
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Almond (roasted is an excellent source)
  • Pork, Chicken, Beef(liver & kidney offers high amount)
  • Wild Salmon(highest  concentration of B2 found in animal sources) 

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin improves digestion, reduces nausea & helps in taking the edge of debilitating migraines. 

Sunflower & chia seeds are very high on B3, including also Tuna & organ meats. Other natural sources are:

  • Tuna
  • Peas
  • Liver
  • Tahini
  • Turkey
  • Peanuts
  • Venison
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Brown Rice
  • Bell Peppers
  •  Kidney Beef 
  • Wild Salmon
  • Chicken Breast
  • Crimini Mushrooms

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

Pantothenic acid is an immune system booster. Whole grains & fortified cereals are fabulous sources of this vitamin, so that's breakfast covered. 

vitamin B complex - Vitamin B5

However, you'll also find the vitamin in egg yolk, cashew nuts, brown rice, and broccoli, all of which by the way, are perfect ingredients for a delicious, & nutritious stir fry. Other natural food sources of B5 include:

  • Oats
  • Milk
  • Avocado. 
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Cauliflower
  • Organic Corns
  • Wild Salmon
  • Sunflower Seed
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Trail Mix(seeds, nuts, and chocolate chips) 

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine functions to reduce stress. It is also one of the essential vitamins for nursing mothers. 

However, this vitamin is always lacking in an average American dietYou can boost your intake by consuming the following:

  • Milk
  • Tuna
  • Beef
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Green peas
  • Bananas
  • Avocado 
  • Papayas
  • Turkey
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brown rice.
  • Prune juice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Salmon, Eggs
  • Chicken liver

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Biotin prevents hair loss, brittle nails, skin rashes, aids weight loss as well as tissue maintenance. Its sources are:

  • Soy 
  • Nuts
  • Oats
  • Pork
  • Cheese
  • Legumes
  • Chicken 
  • Spinach
  • Royal Jelly
  • Raspberries
  • Swiss Chard
  • Wheat Bran
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Blackstrap Molasses

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)

Folic acid is one of the essential b-vitamins known for its specific function of preventing birth defects during pregnancy. Lentils, citrus fruits (especially oranges & grapefruit), and dark green veggies like Spinach, Asparagus, broccoli are its natural reservoir. Other natural food sources are:

  • Nuts
  • Peas
  • Sprouts
  • Beef Liver
  • Egg Noodles
  • Dried Beans 
  • Great Northern Beans
  • Avocado, Asparagus.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Cobalamin is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system as well as energy and blood production. Its natural sources are fortified foods (soy or soy milk), fish, poultry, eggs, and milk. Other sources are:

  • Milk
  • Cod
  • Shrimp
  • Yogurt
  • Red Meat
  • Tenderloin
  • Wild Salmon
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese 
  • Fortified Cereals. 

Vitamins B-Complex Deficiency 

Despite the availability of varying natural sources of vitamin B-Complex, the deficiency is still prevalent among a large percentage of people. 

The reason is that the vast majority of people live a "nutritionally monotonous” lifestyle. For instance, you love apple & fish, and you are legally allowed to eat that every day of your life. 

But then, doing that comes with serious health consequences because the building block of good health comes from a variety of foods even if they are from the same family of nutrients. 

Deficiency can be reversed, by eating a healthy & balanced diet, but in most serious cases supplements are recommended. 

Supplements are versatile. In fact, you can get the right supplements for a specific b-type deficiency by a simple click while relaxing in your bedroom. However, it has to be strictly on your doctor’s recommendations.

Symptoms of a deficiency depend on the specific b-type vitamin you lack. They may range from fatigue and confusion to anemia or a vulnerable immune system. 

Skin rash may also occur. The symptoms also vary between adults, older adults & children.

18 Symptoms of Vitamin B Complex Deficiency

Here is a rundown of vitamin B: their deficiency and symptoms. 

  • Pernicious Anemia
  • Psychological conditions (depression, paranoia, anxiety, dementia)
  • Behavioral Changes & Confusion
  • Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
  • Pale skin
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite or gas
  • Impaired vision (vision loss) 
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Skin rashes
  • Mouth crack
  • Heart palpitations and loss of breath
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking. 
  • A smooth tongue 
  • Susceptibility to infection 
  • Nausea
  • Digestion issues
  • Defective baby (born by pregnant mother lacking vitamin B-Complex)

What Are B-Complex Supplements?

Our body does not store or make B vitamins, they are water-soluble. We, therefore, require a diet that will ensure an adequate supply of this vitamin to meet our body's daily needs.  In B complex supplements the eight B vitamins are packed together.

Top 10 Classes of People Likely to Take Vitamin B-Complex Supplements

Most of us can get the required quantity needed by our body by consuming the varieties of B vitamin-rich foods around us.

However, different factors like; profession, pregnancy, age, medical condition, medication, & alcohol may take a toll on the available B vitamin in the body, & as such necessitate supplementation. Vitamin B supplements are usually recommended to:

Vitamin B-Complex Supplements - office workers

Office workers

The office workers are usually used to working periods, which at times may exceed eight hours. 

This may significantly increase the stress level over the week, eroding mood. When combined with poor dieting, it may have health consequences.

According to the International Labor Organization, the "sick building syndrome” affects one in four workers in this environment due to allergies and fatigue, which can be a reason for low productivity. 

Noise, visual exhaustion and work demands, have an impact on the physical wear of the body.

Additionally, researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden have also shown that spending many hours sitting inhibits cell development and tissue regeneration, which can lead to diabetes, obesity, and heart problems.

The supplements of b-complex such as Vitamin code can effectively fight this “infirmities of office” due to their efficient nutrient combination. 

  • B1 - helps inhibit muscle weakness, loss of appetite and heart problems, which can result from a sedentary lifestyle.
  • B2 - prevent skin disorders (from office dust), sore throat and hair loss.
  • B6 - helps to avoid mental illness (depression and irritability) and physical illness (anemia and inflammation of the tongue), to maintain life's rhythm with fewer ups and downs in the workplace. 
  • B12 - helps fight pernicious anemia, which can result from a food deficit, which in turn is caused by intense work routine


The need for thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2) and pyridoxine (B6) increases for people who perform intense physical activities or high-level sports discipline.

This is because such activities/disciplines increase the oxidative stress in the cells, and as such nutrients are required to facilitate tissue repair/replenishment.

A survey conducted in the United State shows that 50 percent of college athletes use some type of vitamin supplement. The main activities include:

  • Swimming 
  • Running 
  • Athletics
  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Gymnastic

The main reasons athletes ingest vitamin supplements such as Natural Factors Hi Potency B- Complex and Pure Encapsulation B12 Liquid includes but not limited to:

  • Overall performance improvement
  • Sustain  energy and improve endurance
  • Improve athletic recovery
  • Improve  strength
  • Prevent disease

Pregnant Women

Vitamin b-complex is a vital nutritional aspect for a pregnant/expectant mother, not just to ensure the well-being of the fetus, but also to ensure that the expectant mother is stress-free during this important period.

Thiamine aids baby’s brain development, Pyridoxine aides the development of the baby’s nervous system. It also helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting which are perhaps two of the very worst early side effects of pregnancy.

Genestra Bio Folic Acid + B12 contains the right amount of folic acid essential in helping to prevent the baby from suffering from anencephaly (incomplete or absent brain). This is a congenital disease that occurs within 24-28 days of pregnancy.

Also, studies show that folic acid supplementation during pregnancy reduces the risks of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia by 60 percent.

People with a Medical Condition

People suffering from cancer, Crohn's disease, Celiac disease, Anorexia, Alcoholism, and Hypothyroidism are prone to nutrients deficiency. 

People who have undergone some kind of weight reduction surgery are also susceptible to B vitamins, deficiency and as such require supplements to correct the deficiency.

People on Medications

Prescription drugs can lead to B vitamin deficiency, for instance, proton pump inhibitors like esomeprazole, work to lower stomach acid, but decreases B12 absorption.

Diabetic drug metformin can also decrease B12 & B9. The birth control pill can significantly deplete B2, B6, B12, and B9 and thus require supplements. 

Adult (Men)

Testosterone is the hormone in men responsible for appearance and sexual development. It also stimulates sperm production, and as such influences sex drive. 

However, this hormone naturally decreases with age. Vitamin b-complex is generally believed to boost this hormone, although there is no definitive scientific study backing this claim.

Older Adults

It is commonly believed that physical weakening such as lack of energy, risk of depression, and decreased muscle tissue (Sarcopenia). However, researchers have shown that this may be due to vitamin b-complex deficiency. 

If we take into account the lack of physical activities, frequent at this age, we can consider that 40% have vitamin deficiency which also shows in the loss of appetite and weakness. Common vitamin deficiency for elderly people over 50 includes folic acid, niacin, thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin. 

SISU Sublingual B12, Naka Nutri B12, and Natural Factors Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin, contain sufficient nutrient amount to fight this deficiency. Common issues with aging, such as digestive disorder and brittle, can also be treated by this vitamin. 

People Suffering from Insomnia

One of the best ways to recover from insomnia is by using B-vitamins CanPrev Synergy B and Natural Factors Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin. This will not only help you sleep better at night but also provide more energy during the day. In addition, it increases the production of melatonin which is the hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles.

vitamin b complex - Insomnia

People with Migraine

Migraines are a neurological disease characterized by severely throbbing recurring pain, usually on one side of the head. It is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world, affecting 12% of the United States population (including children), out of which 18% are women. A 2017 review reported that vitamin B2 significantly reduces their severity. Research shows B9 and B12 are also efficient.


Vegetarians need B-complex supplements to ensure adequate intake of this nutrient because they are a population exposed to a low level of vitamin-B. A lot of vitamin b-supplement/multivitamins are available to vegetarians. These include:

Best B-Vitamin Supplements According To Specific Needs

For Energy

If you are an athlete, or you do endurance/energy-sapping activities like heavy lifting in your workplace, you need a supplement with the right nutrients to meet your energy needs. 

Try one of these supplements:

Low Budget, High Quality

Ok, you are on a budget, but you need a supplement, Natural Factors Hi Potency B- Complex & Natural Factors Pantothenic Acid are both budget-friendly options. 

Gummy & Sweet

Douglas Lab Methyl B12 is sweetened with xylitol and flavored with natural blackberry and vanilla. 

Stress relieve 

Being exposed to stress daily both at work and home means that we require supplements such as Natural Factors Pantothenic Acid.

For Special cases

This category includes people on medications, people with medical conditions, and older adults. These people share one thing in common, and that is the inability to absorb B12 due to decreased stomach acid and as such, they need all the B12 they can get. 

Try these supplements:

For Pregnant Women

Genestra Bio Folic Acid + B12 is a combination of B9 & B12 offering just the perfect blend for you. You can support it with other supplements depending on your doctor’s recommendation.

Where do I get supplements?

Supplements are available at most retailers, as well as online. However, always look out for reputed online stores because they are not regulated by the FDA. Some of these stores offer regular discounts, free shipping, and consultancy services for their customers.

Side Effect of Vitamin B Complex

Overdosing on vitamin b-complex can have health consequences. 

  • Excessive thirst
  • Skin condition
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased urination (yellow urine) 

Each supplement has instructions on dosages that must be adhered to. However, if you notice signs of overdose, please consult a doctor.

Who Shouldn't Take Vitamin B Complex Supplements?

People battling alcoholism, HIV, kidney condition, rheumatoid arthritis, and others need to consult a doctor before taking vitamin b-complex. 


Vitamin B-complex is readily available in your daily diet. Deficiency can occur due to poor diet choices & other factors, necessitating supplementation. Supplements are available online and take only a click to buy.

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