When you hear the word “vitamin B”, it’s probably vitamin B12 that springs to mind. But, while vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body needs, there are actually seven other B vitamins to know about.
We’re here to take you through the seven remaining vitamins in the vitamin B complex, unravelling lesser known functions that you might not be aware of.
1. Vitamin B1 Keeps The Nervous System Healthy
Vitamin B1 (also known as Thiamine) has many functions in the body, including helping the nervous system to work properly. On a side note, it also helps your body to release nutrients from food, and is needed to keep the heart working properly (EFSA Journal, 2009).
2. Vitamin B2 Contributes To Iron Metabolism
Vitamin B2 is also referred to as Riboflavin. It is most commonly known for helping the body to maintain a normal iron level. But, the vitamin doesn’t stop there. Vitamin B2 is also necessary for healthy teeth, bones, hair, skin and nails. Research has also found that it contributes to the normal structure of the eyes (EFSA, 2010).
3. Vitamin B3 Contributes To Normal Energy-Yielding
Vitamin B3 – also called Niacin – is necessary to maintain energy and general vitality. It also helps to keep your skin and mucous membranes healthy (EFSA, 2010).
4. Vitamin B5 Helps Skin Hydration
Vitamin B5 also goes by the name of pantothenic acid. Vitamin B5 is often found in many beauty supplements, as it helps your skin’s hydration and fights against exfoliation. Much like other B vitamins, vitamin B5 also contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue (EFSA, 2010).
5. Vitamin B6 Contributes To Circulation
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is another vitamin with a whole host of roles to play in the body. Supplementation of vitamin B6 can lower homocysteine blood levels, which in turn, may help to maintain a healthy heart and circulation. Vitamin B6 also stimulates mental capacities and promotes healthy sleep (EFSA, 2010).
6. Vitamin B7 Contributes To The Maintenance Of Hair
Your body only needs small amounts of vitamin B7 (Biotin). Biotin is necessary for healthy hair, skin and nails. It also ensures the normal functioning of your organ tissues, particularly as you age (EFSA, 2010).
7. Vitamin B9 Is Needed For Mental Function
Last but not least, we have vitamin B9. This vitamin most commonly goes by the name of Folate or Folic Acid. It has been found that vitamin B9 is needed for mental function and performance. Not only this, but folic acid also protects the eyes and contributes to cell division (EFSA, 2010).
As you can see, each vitamin in the B complex has its own role to play. Did you realise how important they were before reading this guide?
Ensuring that your body gets all the B vitamins it needs should be of the utmost importance – you can do this by maintaining a balanced diet and taking B complex supplements (if you are concerned that your diet doesn’t provide enough nutrients).