Eight of the water-soluble vitamins are known as the vitamin B-complex group.
They are thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (nicotinamide, nicotinic
acid, vitamin B3), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine), folate
(folic acid, folacin), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), biotin (B7) and pantothenic acid.
The B vitamins are found in many foods. They facilitate many of the body’s metabolic
processes, including those relating to obtaining energy from food, and supporting
normal appetite, vision, skin health, the nervous system, and red blood cell
formation. However, consumption of more than recommended amounts of B-complex
vitamins has no known benefit.
Good food sources of the B complex vitamins include peas, green vegetables, legumes,
whole grains, and enriched grain products. Vitamins B1, B3, and B6 are
also found in poultry and meat, foods with the drawback of a high saturated fat
content. Pantothenic acid is made by intestinal bacteria. Thiamin is found in whole
grains but lost when grains are processed. Many processed grain products such as
cereal, bread, pasta, and rice, are fortified or enriched. Thiamin (B1), niacin (B3),
riboflavin (B2), folate, and iron are commonly added to these products.
Adequate folate consumption is important for women planning to become pregnant
and pregnant women because folate deficiency may increase the risk of congenital
fetal malformations of the brain and spine such as spina bifida. Pregnant women are
commonly prescribed supplements containing folic acid (folate), iron, or a prenatal
vitamin that contains these nutrients. Folic acid can be obtained through fortified
foods such as enriched breads and cereals, vitamin supplements, or a combination
of both. Excess of some nutrients, such as vitamin A, may be harmful and can
cause congenital disabilities. If recommended by a health professional, a prenatal
supplement ensures that both mother and fetus are receiving adequate but not toxic
doses of nutrients.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel