B-vitamin complex prescribing information
EACH TABLET CONTAINS:
B1-10 mg, B2-10 mg, B6-10 mg, B12-10 mcg, Biotin 0.5 mg, Niacin-50 mg, Pantothenic acid-35 mg, Vitamin C - 500 mg, Zink-7.5 mg. More about Zinc (Zn) read our article.
Vitamin B complex
The B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. The B vitamins were once thought to be a single vitamin, referred to as vitamin B (much as people refer to vitamin C or vitamin D). Later research showed that they are chemically distinct vitamins that often coexist in the same foods. In general, supplements containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex. Individual B vitamin supplements are referred to by the specific name of each vitamin (e.g., B1, B2, B3 etc.).
The B vitamins may be necessary in order to:
Support and increase the rate of metabolism
Maintain healthy skin and muscle tone
Enhance immune and nervous system function
Promote cell growth and division, including that of the red blood cells that help prevent anemia
Reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer - one of the most lethal forms of cancer - when consumed in food, but not when ingested in vitamin tablet form.
All B vitamins are water-soluble, and are dispersed throughout the body. Most of the B vitamins must be replenished regularly, since any excess is excreted in the urine.
A 2010 study concluded that taking vitamins B9, B6 and B12 may slow brain atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Such atrophy is one predictor of conversion from MCI to Alzheimer's disease. However, the study was conducted by a former collaborator of Patrick Holford, a controversial figure who promotes vitamins as cures for ailments ranging from HIV to autism, and the result has been criticized by Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine and clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford, for excluding the one third of initial participants who dropped out or were not followed up, and for quoting a "30% reduction in rate of decline" which translates to only a 0.3% absolute change.
B vitamin deficiency.
Several named vitamin deficiency diseases may result from the lack of sufficient B-vitamins. Deficiencies of other B vitamins result in symptoms that are not part of a named deficiency disease.
Vitamin B1, thiamine
Deficiency causes beriberi. Symptoms of this disease of the nervous system include weight loss, emotional disturbances, Wernicke's encephalopathy (impaired sensory perception), weakness and pain in the limbs, periods of irregular heartbeat, and edema (swelling of bodily tissues). Heart failure and death may occur in advanced cases. Chronic thiamine deficiency can also cause Korsakoff's syndrome, an irreversible psychosis characterized by amnesia and confabulation.
Vitamin B2, riboflavin
Deficiency causes ariboflavinosis. Symptoms may include cheilosis (cracks in the lips), high sensitivity to sunlight, angular cheilitis, glossitis (inflammation of the tongue), seborrheic dermatitis or pseudo-syphilis (particularly affecting the scrotum or labia majora and the mouth), pharyngitis (sore throat), hyperemia, and edema of the pharyngeal and oral mucosa.
Vitamin B3, niacin
Deficiency, along with a deficiency of tryptophan causes pellagra. Symptoms include aggression, dermatitis, insomnia, weakness, mental confusion, and diarrhea. In advanced cases, pellagra may lead to dementia and death (the 3(+1) Ds: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death).
Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid
Deficiency can result in acne and paresthesia, although it is uncommon.
Vitamin B6, pyridoxine
Deficiency may lead to microcytic anemia (because pyridoxyl phosphate is the cofactor for heme synthesis), depression, dermatitis, high blood pressure (hypertension), water retention, and elevated levels of homocysteine.
Vitamin B7, biotin
Deficiency does not typically cause symptoms in adults but may lead to impaired growth and neurological disorders in infants. Multiple carboxylase deficiency, an inborn error of metabolism, can lead to biotin deficiency even when dietary biotin intake is normal.
Vitamin B9, folic acid
Deficiency results in a macrocytic anemia, and elevated levels of homocysteine. Deficiency in pregnant women can lead to birth defects. Supplementation is often recommended during pregnancy. Researchers have shown that folic acid might also slow the insidious effects of age on the brain.
Vitamin B12, cobalamine
Deficiency results in a macrocytic anemia, elevated homocysteine, peripheral neuropathy, memory loss and other cognitive deficits. It is most likely to occur among elderly people, as absorption through the gut declines with age; the autoimmune disease pernicious anemia is another common cause. It can also cause symptoms of mania and psychosis. In rare extreme cases, paralysis can result.
B vitamin sources:
B vitamins are found in whole unprocessed foods. Processed carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour tend to have lower B vitamin than their unprocessed counterparts. B vitamins are particularly concentrated in meat such as turkey and tuna, in liver and meat products. Good sources for B vitamins include whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh, beans, nutritional yeast, brewer's yeast, and molasses. Although the yeast used to make beer results in beer's being a source of B vitamins, their bioavailability ranges from poor to negative as drinking ethanol inhibits absorption of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), biotin (B7), and folic acid (B9). In addition, each of the preceding studies further emphasizes that elevated consumption of beer and other ethanol-based drinks results in a net deficit of those B vitamins and the health risks associated with such deficiencies.
The B12 vitamin is of note because it is not available from plant products, making B12 deficiency a concern for vegans. Manufacturers of plant-based foods will sometimes report B12 content, leading to confusion about what sources yield B12. The confusion arises because the standard US Pharmacopeia (USP) method for measuring the B12 content does not measure the B12 directly. Instead, it measures a bacterial response to the food. Chemical variants of the B12 vitamin found in plant sources are active for bacteria, but cannot be used by the human body. This same phenomenon can cause significant over-reporting of B12 content in other types of foods as well.
Vitamin B may also be delivered by injection to reverse deficiencies.
Another popular means of increasing one's vitamin B intake is through the use of dietary supplements purchased at supermarkets, health centers, or natural food stores. B vitamins are also commonly added to energy drinks. Many energy drinks have been marketed with large amounts of B vitamins 6, 120% of B12, 140% of niacin (vitamin B3)") with claims that this will cause the consumer to "sail through your day without feeling jittery or tense." Nutritionists, such as Case Western University Professor Hope Barkoukis, dismiss these claims: "It's brilliant marketing, but it doesn't have any basis [in fact]."
While B vitamins do "help unlock the energy in foods... just about everyone in America already gets all of the B vitamins they could possibly need in their diets... In general, extra B vitamins are just flushed out of the system, although everyone's limit of absorption is different in regards to B complex vitamins, and no-one knows how much is needed on an individual basis of these vitamins…" The elderly and athletes may need to supplement their intake of B12 and other B vitamins due to problems in absorption and increased needs for energy production. Also, Vitamin B9 (folic acid) deficiency in early embryo development has been linked to neural tube defects. Thus, women planning to become pregnant are usually encouraged to increase daily dietary folic acid intake and/or take a supplement. However, for "most typical consumers of energy supplements or drinks, B vitamins are nothing more than a 'gimmick'."
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