Category Archives: Liposomes

Identity Preserved Non-GMO Phospholipids, What are They?

iStock_000014791350Small-soybeans

Phospholipids are a class of lipids that appear in many food products and dietary supplements. Commonly derived from lecithin made from canola or soybeans, phospholipids are also a hot topic when it comes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The process of Identity Preservation can help manufacturers and consumers avoid genetically modified ingredients in common foods and dietary supplements.

What is a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)?

A GMO is an organism that has had its DNA altered through genetic engineering methods. The Organic Retail and Consumer Alliance explains, “In genetic modification (or engineering) of food plants, scientists remove one or more genes from the DNA of another organism, such as a bacterium, virus, or animal, and ‘recombine’ them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter.”

Unlike traditional plant breeding that uses natural techniques like cross-pollination between plants, genetic modification relies on humans to alter the traits of plants. Genetic modification is often used to create plants that are better able to survive adverse weather conditions, have increased pest resistance, new colors, and even altered nutritional profiles. While these traits may sound beneficial to the plants and consumers, the controversy surrounding GMOs lies in the complexity of how genes are expressed.

Scientists can attempt to insert new genes in places where they want particular traits to manifest, but there is no guarantee the gene will work the way it’s expected to, or that the resulting plant will be a viable life form. According to the Non-GMO Project, “Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.”

What are Identity Preserved Lipids?

The prevalence of GMO crops, and the increased concern surrounding the use of GMOs, has led to a resurgence of farmers using Identity Preservation methods. Identity Preservation, or IP, is a carefully monitored process used to track agricultural products from seed to sale. This includes every part of a product’s life cycle: planting, growing, harvesting, processing, shipping, storage, and packing.

Seed certification is just one example of IP that has been in use for many years. Seeds distributed through groups such as Seed Savers are guaranteed to be authentic varieties that have never been altered or manipulated.

In order to ensure IP seeds do not become adulterated, crops are grown in locations far from other varieties, including GMO crops. At harvest time, equipment must also be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the cross-contamination of different plant varieties.

While preparing IP crops for sale, equipment and storage bins are cleaned and segregated, and in some IP systems, cannot be used for multiple types of crops.

Each stage of an IP system is clearly designed and documented to ensure the origin and purity of the plants are not compromised.

Do Your Supplements Contain IP Phospholipids?

It has been reported that approximately 94% of the soy grown in the US is GMO, making phospholipids derived from these crops at high risk for containing GMOs.

If you are concerned about ingesting GMOs in your supplements, look for labels with non-GMO claims.  For products that use soy, or soy-derivatives like phospholipids, take it a step further and ask the manufacturer if they use IP soy.

For more on this see our Complete Guide to Identifying High Quality Liposomal Supplements

Researchers Claim RDA For Vitamin C is Flawed

The controversy over vitamin C and orthomolecular medicine began with the publication of Linus Pauling’s book, “Vitamin C and the Common Cold”. A quarter of a century later the controversy around vitamin C continues.

Steve Hickey, PhD and Hillary Roberts, Phd, pharmacology professors and graduates of the University of Manchester in Britain, are challenging the established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, which is 75 and 90 milligrams for males and females respectively. In their book “Ascorbate, The Science of Vitamin C”, Hickey and Roberts point out some biological flaws to justify their attack on the RDA for vitamin C. The rapid elimination of vitamin C was demonstrated graphically; however, the Institute of Medicine (IM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) did not account for the half-life of vitamin C. This flawed approach is one of the main contentions that Drs. Hickey and Roberts maintain.

Half Life of Vitamin C

The half life of any substance is the time it takes for half of the substance to be removed from the body. Vitamin C’s half life is quite short, about 30 minutes in blood plasma, a fact that the IM and NIH failed to recognize. NIH researchers established the RDA for vitamin C by conducting a test 12 hours or 24 half life’s after consumption. Due to the short half life of vitamin C, many studies make the conclusion that high-dose supplemental vitamin C is ineffective. Drs. Hickey and Roberts state that due to its rapid deterioration, a very high dose of vitamin C would not achieve the same concentration in the blood serum over time as several administered doses.

Drs. Hickey and Roberts decided to perform an experiment to measure the blood plasma levels of liposomal vitamin C, which was published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. It was titled Pharmacokinetics of oral vitamin C. Their results indicate that, following oral intakes, high blood plasma levels can be achieved with liposomal vitamin C formulations. The results suggest that such levels (400microM/L or above) could be sustained indefinitely with repeated dosing at short intervals (say 5-grams every 4-hours).

RDA for Vitamin C

In the past, Drs. Hickey and Roberts have shaken the foundation and confidence of the IM and NIH for failing to investigate the use of high-dose vitamin C properly. They have repeatedly challenged the RDA for vitamin C on studies using only 15 healthy subjects and single dosages. They also contend that the RDA is intended to set a level of nutrient consumption that would prevent disease, specifically Scurvy, among the vast majority of the population. However their research shows that 35% of the population is in need of more than the RDA including:

  • Smokers ( 50 million)
  • Estrogen and Birth Control Pill Users (13 and 18 million)
  • Diabetics (16 million)
  • Pregnant females (4 million)
  • and even people taking aspirin

Contradictory Data

Drs. Hickey and Roberts confronted the IM and NIH with their own data however they claim the saturation point is reached at a certain concentration of ascorbic acid in blood plasma. They later published a paper in early 2004  showing they had achieved three times greater concentration of vitamin C in the blood circulation than previously thought possible using high-dose vitamin C [Annals Internal Medicine, April 6, 140: 533-37,2004]. A similar published German study also confirms vitamin C supplements can elevate vitamin C concentrations beyond what NIH scientists said was possible. [Archives Biochemistry Biophysics, March 423: 109-15, 2004]. NIH researchers continue to maintain that no more than 200 milligrams of oral vitamin C is required for human health and that a diet which includes the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables would provide adequate vitamin C. But only 9 percent of the US population consumes 5 servings of plant foods daily. The National Cancer Institute has abandoned their 5-a-day recommendation in favor of a 9-a-day servings of fruits and vegetables once they realized five servings did not provide the proper dietary intake of vitamin C and other essential vitamins in the prevention of cancer or heart disease.

Hickey has called for the IM and NIH to retract the current RDA or provide scientific justification for their recommendation.

What do you think? Is the RDA for vitamin C adequate?

For more on the RDA for vitamin C, check out our article about the RDA for Guinea Pigs.

Liposomal Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits and Facts

Here is a quick list of Alpha Lipoic Acid benefits and facts. LivOn Labs has successfully encapsulated Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) and we are excited to tell you all about it!

  • Also known as: Thioctic acid, Lipoic Acid, LA, ALA
  • ALA was discovered in 1948 and officially named Alpha Lipoic Acid in 1951 by Irwin C. Gunsalus and Lester Reed
  • ALA is naturally synthesized in small amounts by plants and animals, including humans.
  • ALA contains an asymmetric carbon, meaning there are two possible isomers: R-LA and S-LA. Only the R- isomer is endogenously synthesized and bound to protein. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is considered the most bio-available and biologically active form of ALA in the body
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid is a vital cofactor for several important mitochondrial enzyme complexes.
  • The amounts of R-ALA available in dietary supplements are as much as 1,000 times greater than the amounts that could be obtained in the diet.  Animal tissue that includes R-ALA include liver, heart and kidney. Plants with R-ALA include spinach and broccoli, tomatoes, peas and Brussels sprouts.
  • Plasma concentrations of ALA generally peak in an hour or less and decline rapidly.
  • In cells, ALA is quickly reduced to DHLA.
  • ALA functions as an antioxidant.
  • ALA is considered the most important mitochondrial antioxidant given its vital role in mitochondrial electron transport reactions that convert glucose into ATP to produce energy.
  • Recycles other antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin E.
  • Shown to increase natural glutathione synthesis in aged animals.
  • There is no documented “nutrient deficiency” disease associated with ALA.
  • Intravenous ALA is approved for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in Germany. R-ALA is available by prescription in Germany.  Dosage used in a trial with 1,258 diabetic patients found that a treatment of 600mg/day if IV R-ALA for 3 weeks significantly reduced the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy to a clinically meaningful degree.[1]
  • R-ALA should always be taken on an empty stomach.
  • Most frequently reported side effects of oral ALA supplementation include rashes, hives, itching, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These generally occur when supplementing at doses of 1,200 – 1,800 mg/day.
  • ALA should be taken under the guidance of a physician by anyone taking glucose lowering medication or receiving treatment for under-active or over-active thyroid.
  • ALA should not be taken by children under the age of 18, unless under the care of a physician.
  • “Without ALA, you could not obtain energy from the food you eat, and you could not stay alive.” Burt Berkson, MD, MS, PhD

[1] Ziegler D, Nowak H, Kempler P, Vargha P, Low PA. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid: a meta-analysis. Diabet Med. 2004;21(2):114-121.  (PubMed)

Identifying High-Quality Liposomal Supplements

We have spent years researching the best formulation techniques and manufacturing processes for liposome encapsulated supplements. As part of this research, we analyze every liposomal supplement we come across.  This is what we’ve learned so far…

Liposomal Supplements Must Use Phospholipids Suitable for Making Liposomes.

In order to make strong, stable liposomes that can encapsulate nutrients and not “break apart” too easily, it is important to use Phospholipids from highly refined sources that have a natural mix of phospholipids, including a high percentage of Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE).

Some products are made with low-quality soy lecithin, which does not have the proper percentage of PC or PE to make liposomes.  This type of lecithin is typically used as a food additive, and should not be used in liposomal supplements.

We have always found that Phospholipids extracted from non-GMO soy lecithin work the best for high-quality, affordable liposomal supplements.  While a very high intake of unrefined soy ingested as food may contain tiny amounts of undesirable substances, the intake of highly refined and purified phospholipids derived from soy lecithin does not pose such a risk. In fact, we have not found any evidence of anyone being harmed by the regular intake of phospholipids extracted from non-GMO soy lecithin.

 Liposomal Supplements Must Have at Least an Equal Ratio of Phospholipids to Key Nutrients.

We have analyzed many commercial and homemade products, and found that most of them are of poor quality. Some are merely emulsions.  This means the nutrients are simply mixed with a small amount of low quality phospholipids or lecithin, and there are very few liposomes, if any at all.

One indicator of an emulsion is the amount of phospholipids or lecithin in the product.  For proper liposome encapsulation, you must have at least an equal amount of phospholipids and nutrients.  If the phospholipids or lecithin are listed as “Other Ingredients”, it is very likely there is not enough material to create any liposomes, even if the production process is otherwise appropriate.

Some companies choose to make emulsions and call them “Liposomal Supplements” because they are easy and inexpensive to produce.   Whether they believe they have products that are legitimately encapsulated in liposomes is unknown.

If you take an emulsion that contains lecithin and a nutrient like vitamin C, you may see overall good results since both components are excellent supplements individually.  You will not, however, be able to experience the potentially exceptional results offered by products using real Liposome Encapsulation Technology.

Liposomal Supplements Must Be Protected from Oxygen.

Liposomes are a natural fit for water-soluble nutrients that are not otherwise bioavailable.  But the process of making stable, quality liposomes is tricky.  Liposomes are sensitive to things like heat and oxygen.  The inherent stability (and in some cases instability), of the phospholipids and each nutrient also play an important role in the overall stability of liposomal products.  Getting all of these things exactly right, then assuring the liposomes and nutrients remain stable throughout the product’s shelf life is key.

One way to enhance the stability of a liposomal product is through uni-dose packaging.  Many of the liposomal products we have analyzed are stored in jars, plastic bottles, or even capsules within bottles.  Opening the bottle to remove the product exposes the remaining product to heat, light and oxygen.  This can be detrimental to the liposomes, and can cause rapid degradation of the nutrients.

Uni-dose packaging protects the product from oxygen until moments before it’s consumed, keeping it safe and effective throughout the shelf-life of the product.

 Three More Signs of a Low-Quality Liposomal Supplement:

  1. Consistency. If the product is very watery, it is most likely due to an insufficient amount of phospholipids or the use of low quality phospholipids.
  2. Uniformity. If the product separates into layers, it is a strong indicator the liposomal mixture is deteriorating. On the other hand, if there are noticeable lumps or the product feels gritty, it is a sign that the nutrients are coming out of the liposomes and forming crystals.
  3. Size. If the volume of the dosage is too small, there are not enough phospholipids and water to make proper liposomes.  For example, 1,000mg of vitamin C and 1,000mg of phospholipids, along with the necessary amount of water for proper liposome formation, will fill a teaspoon (5mL).  It is not likely this amount of material could fit into one or even two large-sized capsules.

The Bottom Line

There are a plethora of liposomal supplements to choose from.  Some are great, many are not.  The key is finding the liposomal supplements that work best for you – from a company you can trust. LivOn Labs offers a 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee so you can try the Lypo-Spheric™ products for yourself.  If you are not satisfied, at any time, return the unused portion – or even the empty carton – and we will refund every penny you paid.

Beware of Fake Supplements

beware of fake supplements

In their column, “Health Advice”, Drs. Oz and Roizen, recently discussed “Supplemental Phonies.” The Doctors referenced a study that looked at 44 herbal products, 30 species of herbs and 50 leaf samples. The study concluded that:

  • 59% of the products contained material from plants NOT listed on the label.
  • Just 48% contained what they claimed as the active ingredient.
  • Of the 12 companies researched, only two delivered what they promised on the label without any substitutions.

Study Conclusion

The study used DNA barcoding to conduct a blind test of the authenticity for 44 herbal products representing 12 companies. Their findings were shocking.

“Most of the herbal products tested were of poor quality, including considerable product substitution, contamination and use of fillers. These activities dilute the effectiveness of otherwise useful remedies, lowering the perceived value of all related products because of a lack of consumer confidence in them. We suggest that the herbal industry should embrace DNA barcoding for authenticating herbal products through testing of raw materials used in manufacturing products. The use of an SRM DNA herbal barcode library for testing bulk materials could provide a method for ‘best practices’ in the manufacturing of herbal products. This would provide consumers with safe, high quality herbal products.”

See the abstract of the study

Our Promise to You

As a loyal LivOn Labs’ customer, you can rest assured that all of our high performance dietary supplements meet or exceed industry standards. If an ingredient is printed on our cartons; we guarantee that the unadulterated ingredient is included in the supplement. Furthermore, each and every batch of Lypo-Spheric™ supplements undergoes rigorous laboratory testing before it is ever released to you!

LivOn Labs works hard to ensure our products meet our strict requirements. Our products are all non-GMO, dairy free, vegan, animal cruelty free, sugar free and free of artificial flavoring. We are the supplement of choice for those concerned about their health

Beware of fake supplements!

IV Vitamin Therapy Shortage and Alternatives

iv vitamin c therapy

Celebrities have been feeling the heat from the public for depleting our nation’s supply of IV vitamins.

Notable names such as Simon Cowell and Madonna have been linked to these nutrient-rich drips that make you feel and look younger. The fad has taken Hollywood by storm and the drips are now becoming popular for their restorative properties including being used as a hangover cure. Pop singer, Rhianna, even went as far as posting a picture getting treatment via her Twitter account.

Rhianna twitter IV Drip Why are people outraged about this IV vitamin therapy?

The companies that supply IV ingredients to hospitals are selling the same ingredients to private clinics. Where the problem lies is that there is no centralized database that can direct these precious treatments to the people that need them most. Hospitals are struggling to keep up with demand and as a result many are at risk, including premature infants who rely on vitamin supplements to keep them alive and healthy.

“It’s appalling that we are sacrificing the health of our babies for beauty, energy, and hangover relief,” clinical pharmacist Steve Plogsted, who chairs the drug-shortage task force of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition told the Washingtonian. “We’ve got babies’ lives hanging in the balance while we’re worried about getting through a hangover.”

According to the “Washingtonian”, at least 15 people have died.

Last week, the manufacturer of the most-used adult and pediatric IV multi-vitamin informed health systems that its product—which contains B and C vitamins, among others—is now in shortage. Medical professionals say that, as a result, intravenous B and C vitamins now may be in danger of also going into shortage. In the 1990s, a multi-vitamin shortage led to a widespread thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency that caused several deaths.

Amid this public-health crisis, private clinics around the country are using high doses of intravenous B and C vitamins, and other nutrients that are in shortage, for nonmedical purposes. In some cases, clinics are taking nutrients out of the same limited pool that supplies hospitals and home health-care agencies. In other cases, facilities are injecting clients with nutrients from sources that don’t meet hospital safety standards.

Hospitals are competing with other businesses for the same resources, one such business called Hangover Heaven, is a Las Vegas based company that operates buses equipped with as many as 15 IVs to help people after a long night of binge drinking. The problem isn’t with these businesses or private clinics that offer these expensive treatments, the problem lies with how these valuable resources are distributed.

IV Vitamin Therapy

IVs are typically administered in private clinics or physicians offices for 30 to 60 minutes. Another great way to take high dose vitamin C is LivOn Labs Lypo-Spheric supplements. Using liposome encapsulated technology, LivOn Labs’ supplements are able to get straight into your bloodstream without needles.

When all of a nutrient is absorbed into the bloodstream, as in a direct intravenous injection, the bioavailability is 100%. If only a quarter of an ingested nutrient is absorbed, the bioavailability is 25%. Of course, bioavailability also depends on and is limited by other factors such as declining health status, advancing age, and the presence of other substances that compete for absorption.

In one study with non-liposome-encapsulated vitamin C, 19 mg of a 20 mg oral dose entered the bloodstream — a bioavailability of 98%. As the dose size increased beyond 30 mg, the bioavailability decreased drastically. They reported that a dose of 12,000 mg produced a maximum bioavailability of 16%! Liposomal lypo spheric bioavailability

Liposome encapsulation overcomes all these bioavailability and cellular uptake restrictions because liposomes, due to their size and composition, are able to passively absorb through the intestinal wall and through cellular membranes. As a result, liposome-encapsulated nutrients (like Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C) provide a greatly enhanced bioavailability (delivery into the bloodstream) and greatly improved delivery into individual cells.

Pure & Powerful… Lypo-Spheric Supplements

What makes Lypo-Spheric™ products unique? Each Lypo-Spheric™ product is formulated with one goal in mind: to provide you with effective doses of nutrients without the use of binders, fillers, artificial colors or artificial flavors.

The nutrient-filled liposomes in each Lypo-Spheric™ product are small enough – and smart enough – to bypass the body’s restrictive nutrient transport system, and quickly pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. Within minutes of taking a Lypo-Spheric™ product, millions of liposomes will start to move from your bloodstream and into your cells – intact, and ready to work.

Our single-dose packaging protects the product from additional oxygen and moisture, which keeps your product fresh.

LivOn Labs’ products are sugar free, caffeine free, dairy free, meat free and gluten free.

We source ingredients from all over the world so we can use high-potency, non-GMO ingredients from natural sources whenever possible. We now guarantee that our Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C, Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA and Lypo-Spheric™ GSH are 100% non-GMO.

EXTENDING THE SHELF LIFE….

The shelf life on the majority of our nutritional supplements is 12-18 months. To extend the shelf life we recommend refrigeration for maximum effectiveness. Do not freeze or place the products in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Vitamin Supplements, Do We Really Need?

Yes and no… terrible way to start I know but it is true. Vitamin supplements are not a replacement for a well balanced diet, but it acts as an insurance policy.

When you drive your car you may have the mandatory liability insurance (your diet meets the government recommended daily allowance) however you may feel like you need a bit more coverage and protection. This is where full coverage automotive insurance comes in (diet exceeds recommended daily allowance) or you may even have full coverage + Bodily Injury and Property Damage (your diet exceeds recommended daily allowance and you exercise frequently) or…

You can also have full auto coverage + Bodily Injury and Property Damage + Medical Payments (your diet exceeds the recommended daily allowance, you exercise frequently, and you supplement your diet with vitamins).

You as a consumer have the ability to choose your level of coverage and comfort. People buy supplemental insurance for the same reason they buy vitamin supplements, to feel protected. People who buy supplements want to ensure they are receiving the correct nutrients.

In our ever-growing population, our food often doesn’t contain the right level of nutrients that one would expect to find in fresh fruit and vegetables. Many people could benefit from taking a vitamin supplement whether that be a multivitamin or individual vitamins.

Most important vitamin supplements

For example, vitamin C is critical in the production of collagen, which makes up most of our bodies tissues, ligaments, and bone structure. Collagen is important to maintain skin elasticity (youthful skin), as well as help prevent bruising. The research on vitamin C is plentiful, a simple Google search of vitamin c studies brings up over 30,000,000 results (that’s 30 million!).

Easily, the most recognized champion for vitamin C is the late Dr. Linus Pauling. An award winning Chemist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Dr. Pauling is extensively referenced and quoted by many of today’s experts.

I encourage you to do your own research and learn about the ongoing studies related to supplementing your diet with essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and so forth.   I would also recommend you consult your primary healthcare physician before starting any type of exercise program or supplementation regimen.

Ultimately it is down to the individual to decide whether or not they need to take vitamin supplements; however, if you are willing to pay for additional car insurance to protect your vehicle, shouldn’t you spend a bit more to protect your body?

Dietary Supplement Use Infographic

To get the highest quality supplements visit LivOn Labs. LivOn Labs produces Lypo-Spheric supplements including vitamin C and other essential antioxidants.

About the Author

Felipe Gonzales is a blogger, Social Media Strategist, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, and all around jack of all trades. He is part of the marketing team for LivOn Labs and enjoys playing sports and fitness. He can reached directly at felipe@livonlabs.com or by leaving a comment on this site.

 

5 Reasons Athletes Should Take Vitamin C

Not surprisingly, most athletes are unaware how important vitamin C intake is to performance. Some can get away with poor diets and supplementation for awhile (see NBA Super Star Derrick Rose’s weird eating habits). Lucky for Chicago Bulls fans, he has hired a personal trainer, chef, and is taking that next step to remain a superstar into his late 30’s. A simple search online for athletes’ dietary habits brings up a love for Big Macs, Skittles, Swedish Fish, and beer. Many of the top athletes who consume regular supplements, including vitamin C, and maintain healthy eating patterns, perform at a high level far past their primes. Below are a few examples of athletes who train just as hard in the kitchen as they do on the field or court.

  • Steve Nash – NBA SuperStar
  • Kobe Bryant – NBA SuperStar
  • Joe Namath – NFL Hall of Famer
  • Tony Gonzales – NFL Tight End
  • Billie Jean King – Tennis Player
  • Robert Parish – NBA Hall of Famer

How valuable is proper vitamin C supplementation to athletes?

Here are five reasons you should include high dose vitamin C in your regular supplementation schedule.

  1. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, protecting muscle cells from free radical damage, thus enhancing recovery and growth.
  2. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is also involved with amino acid metabolism, especially the formation of Collagen. Collagen is the primary constituent of connective tissue, the stuff that holds your bones and muscles together. This may not seem important, but as you lift heavier weights, the stress you put on your structure becomes tremendous and risk of injury dramatically increases.
  3. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of Iron. Iron is necessary to help Oxygen bind to hemoglobin in blood. Without adequate oxygen transportation in blood, muscles are robbed of precious oxygen and performance is greatly reduced.
  4. Ascorbic acid also assists in the formation and release of steroid hormones, including the anabolic hormone testosterone.
  5. Vitamin C is perhaps the most water soluble vitamin there is. In other words, it diffuses very rapidly in water. Since a muscle cell is mostly water, the more muscular an athlete becomes, the more vitamin C disperses and the lower the concentration of this critical substance becomes in body tissues. So vitamin C requirements are greatly increased for athletes.

What are B Vitamins Good for and What Do They Each Do?

what are b vitamins

We know B vitamins are important but many of us don’t know why. The eight B vitamins are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. Each of these B vitamins is associated with another name which may look familiar if you have spent any time looking over the nutritional facts on your favorite foods and snacks.

Many of us get these important vitamins in our daily diets; however, with complex diets and food restrictions, supplementation may be necessary to ensure you are receiving the proper level of these essential vitamins. Let’s analyze each B vitamin and describe its benefits and common food sources.

What are B Vitamins Good for?

Vitamin Benefits Food Sources
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Helps convert carbohydrates and fat into energy; essential for normal growth and development.  Green peas, beef, liver, pinto beans, spinach, nuts, bananas, and enriched cereals.
 Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Required for the metabolism of fats, carbs, and proteins.  Asparagus, okra, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs, and fish.
 Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Used for energy metabolism in cells and DNA repair. Produces several stress-related hormones while removing toxins and chemicals from the body.  Chicken, tuna, milk, eggs, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, nuts, avocados, beans, mushrooms
 Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)  Required to sustain life and is critical in the metabolism of fats, carbs, and proteins.  Beans, eggs, meat, whole grain cereals.
 Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine and Pyridoxamine)  helps the nervous and immune systems function properly; necessary for overall good health  Green beans, salad greens, wheat germ, and bananas.
 Vitamin B7 (Biotin or Vitamin H)  Used in cell growth; the production of fatty acid; metabolism of fat; plays a role in the Krebs Cycle in which energy is released from food; helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide; helps maintain a steady blood sugar level.  Beans, cauliflower, chocolate, eggs, fish, liver, oatmeal, bananas.
 Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)  Helps the body make healthy new cells; taken before and during pregnancy can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine  Leafy greens such as spinach, dried beans and peas, sunflower seeds, oranges, asparagus
 Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)  Necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells, the maintenance of the nervous system, and the growth and development of children  Animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy products, nutritional yeast, and fortified cereals

As you can see B vitamins are necessary for many important functions in the body. When a supplement is referred to as vitamin B complex, know that this means it has many or all of the B vitamins in its composition.