Guide to the Vitamin B Complex, Part 2

The B vitamins work together synergistically to perform a great number of essential tasks within every cell of your body. Since this complex is so important to your health, we’ll take a closer look at the properties of each individual vitamin.

food-varietyVitamin B1: Thiamine

Thiamine is one of the most important nutrients for synthesizing energy in the body. It is used in the process that converts glucose into the sort of fuel that is utilized by all cells. Some other functions of thiamine are:

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Helping the body to cope with stressful conditions
  • Improving muscle function
  • Helping to maintain health of skin, hair, and nails

An easy-to-spot symptom of thiamine deficiency is nightmares or bad dreams.

There are other times when you might want to consider increasing the amount of thiamine you are getting. Alcohol and drugs (including medical drugs and antibiotics) use up Vitamin B-1 at a higher than usual rate.  Also, you will go through more during detoxification or weight loss.

Consuming sufficient amounts of thiamine in your diet is essential to your health. By maintaining healthy levels of Vitamin B1, you can help prevent the onset of diseases such as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart failure
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Beriberi

Vitamin B2: Riboflavin

Riboflavin works in conjunction with thiamine for energy production and maintaining the health of hair, skin, and nails; but it also has many functions of its own. Vitamin B2 works as an antioxidant by fighting the damaging particles in the body that are known as free radicals. This can help prevent signs of aging. It is also important for growth and the formulation of red blood cells. It is so important to growth, in fact, that children with severe riboflavin deficiency exhibit stunted growth!

A few other ways your body uses riboflavin:

  • Aiding in fetal development
  • Maintaining healthy skin and eyes
  • Boosting absorption of other vitamins and minerals
  • Improving nervous system development

This vitamin is present in many foods, including dairy products and leafy green vegetables. There are some conditions, however, that increase the possibility of Vitamin B2 deficiency, even when those foods are being eaten:

  • Advanced age
  • Chronic illness, such as Chron’s disease
  • Alcoholism
  • Women who take birth control pills

For these groups, it is especially important to take an all-natural riboflavin supplement to maintain healthy levels of the nutrient within the body.

Vitamin B3: Niacin

Niacin is an integral component of your cardiovascular health; it has even been shown to reverse heart disease by lowering cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream. One study of heart patients showed that those on niacin supplementation had less illness and lower death rates after five years when contrasted to those not using niacin. A few of the other benefits of niacin supplementation include:

  • Improved circulation
  • Slowed progression of atherosclerosis and heart disease
  • Regulation of cholesterol
  • Production of various sex and stress-related hormones in the adrenal glands
  • Assistance with mental and emotional conditions, such as chronic insomnia or memory loss

Some health professionals also recommend niacin supplementation as a preventative measure against:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cataracts
  • Various skin conditions

Vitamin B5: Pantothenic Acid

Along with its fellow B Vitamin, riboflavin, pantothetic acid is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells. Like most nutrients, however, Vitamin B5 has several specific functions within the body:

  • Facilitating the healing of wounds
  • Helping manufacture hormones produced in the adrenal glands
  • Synthesizing cholesterol

All of these B vitamins work together to improve your overall health and vitality; each one is important on its own and as a component of the entire Vitamin B family. For this reason, many who take Vitamin B supplements choose a multivitamin that includes several or all of the vitamins in the complex, such as the Dr. Clark Research Association’s Vitamin B Complex supplement.

You can also browse other Vitamin B products in the Living Clean store, or read more about this family of nutrients:

An Introductory Guide to the Vitamin B Complex, Part 1

How Does B2 Help Pregnant and Nursing Mothers?

Feeling Exhausted? The Answer May Surprise You

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