Vitamin B is a complex or a group of vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. The scientific names are thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, bio 10, folic acid and cobalamin.
The B vitamins are essential for growth, development and a significant number of bodily functions. They play a major role in enzymes and proteins that regulate chemical reactions in the body.
With the exception of folic acid, there is not enough scientific evidence to know whether or not the be vitamins can reduce the risk of cancer.
Researchers do know that people who have a low intake of folic acid are added increased risk from certain types of cancers but there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that vitamin B is an effective treatment for people who already have cancer.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin B
Vitamin B1, thiamin, and vitamin B2, riboflavin, help the body to produce energy and affect the enzymes that influence muscles, nerves in the hearts. Niacin has a role in energy production and pantothenic acid influences normal growth and development.
Vitamin B6 helps the body to break down protein and maintain the health of the red blood cells and vitamin B7 helps rate down protein and carbohydrates to make hormones. Folic acid plays an important role in maintaining DNA for both adults and the development of infants. Vitamin B12 has a part in producing red blood cells and in the function of the nervous system.
People who suffer from a deficiency of specific be vitamins can experience anemia, tiredness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, depression, numbness and tingling, muscle cramps, respiratory infections, hair loss, eczema and birth defects in the babies of pregnant women. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require more folic acid.
Foods that Contain Vitamin B
Most vitamin B's are found in whole unprocessed foods. When foods are processed, such as with sugar or white flour, it tends to reduce the contents of vitamins.
They are particularly concentrated in meats, potatoes, bananas, lentils, Chile peppers, beans, liver, turkey, tuna, brewers yeast, and molasses. Vitamin B12 is sometimes deficient individuals who are vegetarians because it is not available from plant products.
Supplementing with Vitamin B – Possible Side Effects
A popular means of increasing vitamin B intake is through the use of nutritional supplements or multivitamins. Many manufacturers also add B vitamins to energy drinks with claims that it will give the consumer enough energy to sail through the day without feeling jittery.
Many nutritionists dismiss these claims as brilliant marketing but without basis in fact. While vitamin B will help improve energy, most Americans already get enough vitamin B from their diets.
Each of the B vitamins is water-soluble, which means that they are not stored in the body but excreted through the kidneys when an appropriate amount of vitamins has been reached. Most of the time this means that it's very difficult to reach toxic levels.
However, taking large doses of vitamin B can produce harmful effects. Vitamin B1, B2, B5, B7, and B12 have no known toxicity. Individuals who take too much niacin (B3) may see flushing of the skin accompanied by itching or mild burning sensation.
Vitamin B6 can cause sensory neuropathy and dermatological lesions while vitamin B9 can lead to permanent neurological damage.
Who is Deficient in B Vitamins?
Those individuals who may be deficient are the elderly and athletes who may need to supplement B12 and other be vitamins to make up for problems with absorption or increase needs of energy production. Women who are planning to become pregnant should also increase their daily dietary folic acid or take a supplement in order to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Each of the B vitamins plays an integral role in health and well-being. In fact, they are so important that many scientists and researchers are now finding they play a significant role in many diseases and conditions such as Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease, stomach polyps, canker sores, alcoholic hepatitis, generalized anxiety, burning mouth syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, macrocytosis and premenstrual syndrome.
Fortunately, most of us get enough vitamin B by eating a well-balanced diet. However, researchers from the Hope Heart Institute believes that up to 30 percent of those over 50 have lost their ability to absorb adequate amounts of vitamin B12. Most researchers recommend that older Americans eat fortified cereal or grains and take a daily vitamin supplement.
So, while vitamin B supplements are water-soluble and most are excreted from the body when they are not used, it is best to speak with a dietitian, pharmacist, or your primary care physician before adding an additional vitamin B supplement to your daily routine.
What is Aging?
Some scientists and physicians suggest that aging is a ‘disease’. This is not a fair description. Aging is not a disease but part of the process of life itself!
You cannot reverse aging but you can help slow it down to an optimal level which nature intended. So, how long should we live for? This is a subject of much debate and disagreement.
Some scientists claim extraordinary times…200+ years. However, this is really in the realm of science fiction.
The position of Xtend-Life is that it is possible to live to the projected maximum human life span of 120 years. To achieve this, your life has to be well balanced! In other words, your lifestyle, your diet, the amount of exercise you do, the environment you live in and your nutrient intake have to be as close as possible to optimal.