Vitamin B complex is a group of vitamins that includes thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, folate, B-12, pantothenic acid, biotin and choline. Some of the benefits of vitamin B complex supplements include increased energy, improved or more stable moods, healthier skin, hair and eyes. The vitamins are important for proper nervous system and immune system function.
Actually, adequate amounts of the vitamin B complex group are needed on a daily basis to insure the proper function of many systems of the human body. Niacin (found in the vitamin B complex group) is found in every cell of the human body. Inadequate amounts of niacin in the diet can result in dermatitis (dry, itchy, inflamed skin), muscle soreness, cramping, exhaustion, insomnia, indigestion, mental problems, sores in the mouth and loss of appetite.
Another very important part of the vitamin B complex group is folate, known until recently as folic acid. Healthy men and women over the age of 13 need at least 400 mg per day. Women who are pregnant or nursing need more to support the growth needs of infants. Deficiencies can result in a variety of learning disabilities and growth problems.
No upper limits have been established for the vitamin B complex group. No toxic affects have been noted, except after intravenous injections of pharmaceutical quantities. When taken orally, the body uses what it needs and excretes anything that is left over.
The benefits of vitamin B complex to the elderly include improved memory and mood. No matter what their age, most people notice an improvement in memory and ability to concentrate, as well as a decrease in depressed feelings and irritability.
Vitamin B complex is used by the body to convert carbohydrates into glucose, which is then converted by the cells into energy, commonly referred to as metabolism. The symptoms of vitamin B complex deficiency are similar to symptoms of low blood sugar levels. Increased irritability is one of the first symptoms. Those with sluggish metabolisms or problems controlling their weight often benefit from vitamin B complex supplements.
Most people who start taking a vitamin B complex supplement notice an increase in energy immediately. If you suffer from dry skin or hair, it may take a few weeks to notice a difference, but you will see an improvement.
It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of the vitamin B complex from a typical daily diet. In addition, certain things increase an individual’s daily vitamin B complex requirements. Drinking coffee or alcohol increases the need for the B vitamins. Taking birth control pills, sulfa drugs and sleeping medications increase the need for the vitamin B complex group. It is interesting to note that a lack of vitamin B complex in the diet can lead to insomnia, which could lead someone to ask for a sleep aid, which increases the need for the vitamins. Before you reach for a sleeping pill, you may want to look at your diet and whether or not you are getting adequate amounts of the vitamin B complex group.