B-complex vitamins

B complex vitamins (together with a brief description) are as follows:

B1 – thiamine (sometimes also referred to as aneurine)

  • sources: whole grain cereals, meat, yeast, legumes
  • function: carbohydrate metabolism, nervous system
  • deficiency: beriberi
  • RDI: about 1 mg

B2 (G) – riboflavin (also ovoflavin, lactoflavin)

  • sources: yeast, liver, kidney, meat, eggs, milk, to a lesser extent leafy vegetables, almonds, mushrooms
  • function: macronutrient metabolism, healthy skin, eyes, hair
  • deficiency: angular cheilitis
  • RDI: about 1,8 mg

B3 (PP) – niacin (also nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, pellagra-preventing (PP) factor)

  • sources: many different vegetable and animal foods (mainly meat, fish, whole grain cereals …)
  • function: macronutrient metabolism, lowers blood cholesterol
  • deficiency: pellagra
  • RDI: about 19 mg

B5 – pantothenic acid

  • sources: almost all food
  • function: carbohydrate and fat metabolism, synthesis of several important substances
  • deficiency: very rare, may be manifested by exhaustion, apathy
  • RDI: about 5mg

B6 – pyridoxine (plus pyridoxal and pyridoxamine)

  • sources: meat, bananas, whole grain cereals, yeast, eggs, leafy vegetables
  • function: metabolism (amino acids, fats, glucose), synthesis of histamine and hemoglobin
  • deficiency: sleepiness, apathy
  • RDI: about 2mg

B7 (H) – biotin

  • sources: liver, eggs, yeast, avocado
  • function: BCAA processing, skin, hair, metabolism
  • deficiency: nervous disorders, skin damage, hair loss
  • RDI: about 200 µg

B9 (M) – folate (folic acid)

  • sources: leafy vegetables, yeast, legumes, meat (especially liver), other vegetables, fruits, nuts
  • function: blood formation, DNA and RNA synthesis, cell division
  • deficiency: anemia, fatigue
  • RDI: about 400 µg

B12cobalamin (cyanocobalamin)

  • sources: animal souces as meat, liver, eggs, milk, plant sources are insufficient
  • function: blood formation, fat and protein metabolism, nervous system
  • deficiency: anemia, nutrient absorption disorder in the intestine, fatigue, neuropathy
  • RDI: about 3-5µg

There are more substances falling under the B class (eg B4, B8, B10, B11, etc.), only relevant vitamins for humans have been described in the list.

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