B-Vitamins and their vital role in our body

B- vitamins play a vital role in our health and well-being in our body. Their deficiency can lead to severe problems to our health.
If you find that you have the symptoms of deficiency, you can try supplements.
I have listed dosage information, possible interactions with other supplements and potential side effects.

Vitamin B1 or thiamine

    • Thiamine plays an essential role in the normal functioning of the nervous system
    • is necessary for the regulating of carbohydrates and proper digestion
    • It protects heart muscle
      • stimulates brain activity
    • helps prevent constipation.
You can find B1 in Cereals, nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, milk, eggs, banana, and apples.

The deficiency can cause:

    • Impairment of the digestive system
    • chronic constipation
    • It can lead to loss of weight, diabetes
      • nervous exhaustion
    • A weakness of the heart.

Daily recommended intake is 0.5-0.9 mg for kids and 1.2 mg for adults.

Dosage information

The adult RDA is 1.5 milligrams. The therapeutic dose is 1.5 mg daily.

A high-quality multivitamin supplement should contain sufficient thiamine, usually as thiamine hydrochloride.

You can also find in a vitamin B-complex supplement, and as an individual nutrient in tablet and capsule form.

Possible side effects

Thiamine is safe when you take the RDI.

But, in 5 mg, can cause side effects such as Itching, flushing, abnormally rapid heartbeat(tachycardia) in sensitive individuals.

Possible interactions

Medications such as antibiotics, epileptic drugs, oral contraceptives, and sulfa drugs can decrease thiamin levels in the body.

Thiamine is used as a supplement to treat impaired mental function in the elderly or people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin

    • Is essential for growth and general health
    • It is crucial for healthy eyes, skin, hair, and nails
You can find vitamin B2 in green leafy vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, almond, citrus fruits, and tomatoes. 

Deficiency can cause

    • premature wrinkles on face and arm
    • a burning sensation in the legs, hips, and tongue
      • oily skin
    • eczema.
The recommended daily intake is 1-2.6 mg for adults and 0.3-1 mg for children.

Dosage information

The adult RDA is 1.3 milligrams(females) and 1.8 milligrams(males). The therapeutic dose is 2 milligrams daily.

The treatment of multivitamin supplements or B-complex supplements is sufficient for most people.

Look on the label for riboflavin-5-phosphate or simply riboflavin.

Take with food to improve absorption.

A pregnant woman needs to get enough riboflavin because a deficiency can cause damage to the fetus.

B3 or niacin

    • Helps in protein and carbohydrate metabolism
    • It is critical to the synthesis of sex hormones, cortisone, thyroxin, and insulin.
Sources are liver, fish, poultry, peanut, green leafy vegetables, dates, fish, tomatoes.

A deficiency can lead to

    • mental depression
    • insomnia
    • chronic headaches
    • digestive disorders
    • skin eruption
The daily recommended intake is 12-20 mg for adults and 2-12 mg for children.

Dosage information

The RDA for adults is 15 milligrams for a woman and 20 milligrams for men. The therapeutic dose is 18 milligrams.

A multivitamin-mineral or B-complex supplement that contains niacin or niacinamide is sufficient for most people.

Possible side effects

The health conditions such as diabetes, stomach disorders, glaucoma, stomach ulcer, gout may be worse by the use of niacin.

Possible interactions

Niacin can decrease the effectiveness of insulin in people with diabetes.

B5 or Pantothenic acid

    • It helps in cell building
    • maintaining healthy growth and development of the central nervous system
    • It stimulates the adrenal glands
      • increases the production of cortisone and the other adrenal hormones
    • It is essential for the conversion of fatty and sugars to energy.
Sources of B5 are bread and cereals, green vegetables, beans, peanuts and egg yolk.
A deficiency can cause:
    • greying and loss of hair
    • chronic fatigue hypoglycemia
    • stomach disorders
      • mental depression
    • blood and skin disorders.
The minimum daily requirement is 2-5 mg for children and 7 mg for adults.

B6 Pyridoxine

It helps in the absorption of fats and proteins. It prevents nervous and skin disorders and protects against degenerative diseases.
The primary sources are Cereals, banana, walnuts, milk, egg, meat, liver and fresh vegetables.
Deficiency can lead to depression, nervousness, insomnia, migraine, skin disorders and heart diseases.
The daily recommended is 1.3-2 mg for adults and 0.2-1 mg for children.

Dosage: The adult RDA is 1.5 milligrams for a woman, and 2 milligrams for men. The therapeutic dose is 2.5 milligrams.

Possible side effects: If you take excessive amounts (200 milligrams or more per day) for an extended period, may cause loss of sensation in the hands and feet and difficulty walking.

Possible interactions: If you are taking the drug levodopa, consult your physician before taking the pyridoxine.

B7 or Biotin

Is known also as vitamin H and it is a member of vitamin b family.

B7 functions are:

  • Assist the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins
  • help with cell growth and facilitate the utilization of other B vitamins
  • Studies have shown that biotin helps in controlling the insulin-dependent or non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

Some good food sources: Soy, egg yolk, almonds, walnuts, oatmeal, broccoli, bananas, peanuts, liver, kidney, milk, legumes.

Signs of deficiency: Depression, loss of hair, high blood pressure, anemia.

The biotin deficiency is very rare because this vitamin can be manufactured by the intestines from other foods.

Dosage information: The recommended daily allowance is 100-200 micrograms. The therapeutic dose is 200 mcg.

Most people do not need to take a separate supplement. Only people who are trying to treat diabetes which is only recommended by a doctor.

Possible side effects: It doesn’t have side effects because the excessive amounts will be excreted in the urine.

Possible interactions: Biotin works with other B vitamins. Substances like antibiotics, saccharin and sulfa drugs can interfere with the bio-availability of biotin.

B9 or folic acid

Vitamin B9 along with vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells.
It aids protein metabolism and helps prevent premature graying.
Sources of this vitamin are Spinach, lettuce, mushrooms, nuts, peanuts, and liver.

A deficiency can result in

    • serious skin disorders,
    • loss of hair
      • fatigue
    • mental depression.
Daily recommended is 50-180 mcg for children and 200 mcg for adults. Pregnant women need 400 mcg.

Vitamin B12

  • Is a critical component in cell formation and longevity
  • proper digestion
  • protein synthesis
  • absorption of food
  • metabolism of fats and carbohydrates

Food sources: Milk and byproducts, eggs, meat, poultry, liver, and other animal products.

Signs of deficiency: It causes anemia, which may be caused by inadequate consumption of B12 or inability to absorb it properly.

It can also be caused by an insufficient amount of stomach acid or abnormal bacterial growth in the intestines.

Other signs include memory loss, nerve damage, decreased reflexes, hallucinations, eye problems, and digestive problems.

The dosage: The adult RDA is three micro grams. The therapeutic dose is 5-20 mcg.

Supplements are often recommended for the elderly, people with digestive disorders, and strict vegetarians.

The excessive usage of vitamin B12 doesn’t cause side effects.

Possible interactions: People who take antigout or anticoagulant medication or potassium supplements may have a problem absorbing dietary B12 and need additional supplementation.


Stress can negatively affect the B-vitamins level. Lots of us are under a lot of stress. Everyday life is filled with stressful events happening at work, at home, without giving us a chance to calm down. Then it shows in our body by lowing energy levels and more.

B- vitamins are water-soluble, and since they dissolve in water, the body cannot store them. So, you need to make sure that every day you are maintaining the normal level b vitamins.

Now, if you find yourself experiencing symptoms or you are aware that you aren’t consuming enough healthy foods, then I recommend taking supplements.