An Overview of B Complex Vitamins: Sources and Benefits

Eight different vitamins comprise the B complex, each serving important functions in our bodies. All the vitamins in the B complex are essential, meaning that our bodies can’t produce them. Fortunately, B vitamins are available in a plethora of delicious foods and supplements are easy to come by.

eggs and spinach

What Are the Different B Vitamins?

The eight main types of B vitamins include the following:

  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5)
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Folic Acid (B9)
  • Cobalamin (B12)

Typically, you can find at least one or more of the B complex vitamins in most foods, and a varied diet helps you ensure that you get each of the eight different types each day.

How Do They Work in My Body?

Each of the B complex vitamins serves a different role. For example, thiamin helps your body convert food into energy, and this B vitamin has been associated with promoting a more positive mindset. Currently, research is underway to understand the role that B complex vitamins play in the conversion process of turning homocysteine into methionine, which is one of the components your body uses to create protein. Your body also relies upon B complex vitamins to work with other nutrients such as vitamin C to support your eye, digestive and skin health.

What Are the Best Sources of B Complex Vitamins?

The ideal way to get the most B complex benefits is to include sources of these vitamins in your diet. Under most circumstances, eating a diet that includes a variety of meats, vegetables and fruits is enough for you to get the proper amounts of B vitamins each day. However, some factors can make you susceptible to developing a deficiency. If you have digestive disorders or drink alcohol regularly, you are at greater risk for developing a deficiency that requires supplementation. Since these vitamins are water soluble, your body’s stores may also run low if you hydrate excessively due to sports or other reasons. Milk, eggs, citrus fruits and lean meats are all excellent sources of B vitamins.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.