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What makes B complex?

Courtesy of sxc

When in need of a quick energy boost, some may pop a vitamin B complex (many B vitamins packaged together), and there is a reason.

True or false:

1) Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) may help prevent migraines. True 

A study published in the journal Neurology found that B2 was more effective than the placebo in lowering the frequency of a migraine attack.

2) Over the past 20 years, studies have suggested that B3 may support healthy cholesterol levels. True

Several studies have shown that high doses of B3 reduce triglyceride levels and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the good cholesterol). The doses used were very high (1,000 mg daily) which is not recommended at all since the liver may become damaged. Having cholesterol levels checked regularly is recommended and maintaining healthy levels through diet and exercise, when possible, is ideal.

3) A B6 deficiency is linked to carpel tunnel syndrome. True

A study published in the Journal of Environmental and Occupational Medicine found that those with lower blood plasma concentrations of  B6 reported more pain, tingling, and night waking as a result of carpal tunnel syndrome. The upper tolerable limit is 100mg, which is far more than the daily requirement and can only be achieved through high dose supplementation. Since too much B6 can cause nerve damage, consulting a health professional rather than taking supplements, is recommended. 

What do the B vitamins in a B Complex do? Vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin) are helpful for proper nerve, heart, and muscle function and are instrumental in helping the body produce energy.

The skin, nervous and digestive systems rely on B3 (niacin) for energy production, while body growth and development depend on B5 (pantothenic acid).

The health of red blood cells, the nervous and to some extent, the immune system are assisted by B6 (pyridoxine), which also promotes the break down of protein.

B7 (biotin) is a hormone helper necessary for carbohydrate and protein metabolism.

B9 (folic acid), instrumental in helping cells make and maintain DNA, plays a role in the production of red blood cells.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), also sometimes called the tricky vitamin, is important to the body's growth and development, the way in which the body uses folate and carbohydrates, and plays a role in the proper functioning of the nervous system and in the production of blood cells.

Foods rich in these B vitamins trump supplements, an article unto itself.

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  • Kate 4 years ago

    I always wonder what the vitamin B complex was. I see it all the time but I never know if I should buy it. Thanks!

  • Tom 4 years ago

    Good info. Tks

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