Vitamin B – Key ingredient to Happiness and Energy!
Vitamin B complex is a group of “Happy Vitamins” and “Energy Boosters” that are essential for multiple body processes. The eight members of what’s known as the B Vitamins are critical nutrients for your mental faculties, controlling your mood and neural connections. Hence, when B Vitamins are adequately present in your diet, they can help manage anxiety, lift depression, ease PMS, and boost energy levels.
Vitamin B complex is also essential for your body’s functioning, managing cell metabolism and acting as co-enzymes in multiple catabolic and anabolic reactions.
B’s work as a team!
Their mood-boosting and other health benefits result from intricate behind-the-scenes work in the body. While some B vitamins are busy in helping cells burn fats and glucose to maintain your energy levels, others are generating neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, and some other Vitamin B are assisting in the production & repair of DNA.
Vitamin B are water soluble!
Vitamins are organic compounds that are not inherently generated by the body and have to be supplemented from your diet. There are 13 vitamins that have to be sufficiently absorbed from your food for proper physiological and psychological functioning of your systems. Out of the 13, 9 are water soluble and rest 4 are fat soluble Vitamins. Out of the 9 water soluble Vitamins, we have eight as the B Vitamins and the last one is Vitamin C.
Vitamin B deficiency alarm!
Despite healthy intake, Vitamin B can go off balance during certain stages of life such as during childhood, pregnancy, old age, or embryogenesis. Apart from this, there are certain lifestyle factors such as alcohol or drug abuse, malnutrition, chronic stress, high performance sports, and very high intake of processed foods can put your B Vitamins balance off the track.
Vitamin B deficiency symptoms are evident not only on your physical self but they heavily impact your mental balance and cognitive abilities. Chronic conditions related to metabolism and intestinal diseases can develop when B Vitamins are not maintained well.
Learning about the origin and source of Vitamin B
With exception to B12, rest all Vitamin B are synthesized by plants and perform exactly the same cellular functions for them as later they would for the animals, who ingest the plants. B12 on the other hand is synthesized by bacteria and sequestered from animals.
As B Vitamins open a world of information and wealth of knowledge apart from their complex functionality, it is important to understand what they do, their natural sources, and what can happen when they are not supplemented in sufficient amounts! In this specific article we will learn in detail about 2 types of B Vitamins that are vital for the functioning of the body. So, here we go!
Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1. It is vital to help regulate the metabolism, converting glucose & fats into energy. Thiamine also plays an important role in nervine functions and sometimes termed as “morale” vitamin as lower B1 levels have been found to cause depression. B1 is also essential for fertility, growth, lactation for new mothers, and normal functioning of the coronary system.
Good sources of Thiamine
- Grains: Whole meal cereals, wheat germ, barley, and brown rice
- Vegetables: Broccoli, Green beans, summer squash, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and greens
- Meat: Pork and beef
- Fish: Salmon, Trout, Tuna, and Mussels
- Seeds & Nuts: Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Flax seeds, Macadamia nuts, and peanuts
- Legumes: Beans, peas, and lentils
B1 deficiency is highly prevalent in regions where the dietary staple is white rice or white flour bread. Additionally, excessive alcohol intake and very poor diet can also lead to B1 deficieny.
Symptoms include confusion, irritability, poor arm or leg (or both) coordination, lethargy, fatigue and muscle weakness.
Specific Diseases caused by B1 deficiency
‘Wet’ and ‘dry’ beriberi – Affects the cardiovascular, muscular, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Symptoms of ‘wet’ beriberi relate to the cardiovascular system and include an enlarged heart, heart failure, and severe oedema (swelling).
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (also called ‘wet brain’). This deficiency disease is linked to alcohol excess and a thiamine-deficient diet. Alcohol reduces thiamine absorption in the gut and increases its excretion from the kidneys. Symptoms of the disease include involuntary movement of the eyeball, paralysis of the eye muscle, staggering and mental confusion.
Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 is an essential ingredient to maintain vision function, metabolism, and for the growth of tissues and organs. B2 helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and hence the growth of body. It is also vital to protect cells and genes against oxidation by free radicals as it acts as a coenzyme for primary redox reactions inside the body.
Good sources of Riboflavin
- Dairy: Milk, yoghurt, & cottage cheese
- Grains and Legumes: Whole meal breads, cereals, lentils, & beans
- Animal based: Egg white, meat, yeast, liver and kidney
- Vegetables: Leafy greens
Riboflavin deficiency, also known as hyporiboflavinosis is usually seen along with other B-group vitamin deficiencies. People at risk include those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol, vegans, persistent dieters, and malnourished.
Symptoms include an inflamed tongue (painful, smooth, purple-red tongue), cracks and redness in the tongue and corners of the mouth, anxiety, inflamed eyelids and sensitivity to light, hair loss, reddening of the cornea and skin rash.
We will be covering rest of the Vitamin B complex ingredients in our upcoming reads. Stay tuned!