If you’ve ever walked into a store looking for vitamins in Poplar Bluff, MO, you’ve probably found yourself standing in front of a long shelf with vitamins from A-Z in every shape, dosage and brand. Suddenly, the task of improving your health with a vitamin supplement seems daunting. After all, these are not those fruit-flavored chewable characters you enjoyed as a kid.
While at first glance it may all seem a bit overwhelming, with a little help, introducing a few key vitamin supplements into your life is really not that hard, and it may improve your health and wellbeing significantly. To help you get started on your vitamin exploration, we wanted to provide you some basic info about one of the most common vitamin supplements: the vitamin B complex.
What does it do?
Most people think that B vitamins are just one thing, a solitary B. Well, there are actually eight different types of B vitamins that are essential to your health:
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B6 (pyridoxine)
- B7 (biotin)
- B9 (folate)
- B12 (cobalamin)
B complex vitamins typically contain all eight essential B vitamins. These eight B vitamins are similar, but each has its own unique benefits. For example, B1 helps your metabolism, converting nutrients into energy, while B12 is important for red blood cell development, DNA production and even neurological function.
Who should take it?
Most people get the B vitamins they absolutely need from their diet. However, as we mentioned, all eight B vitamins are a little different, which means that they can’t all be found in the same foods. For example, B2 is found in beef and mushrooms, while B3 is found in chicken and lentils. If your diet isn’t well balanced, you may be missing out on certain B vitamins that your body needs.
There are other circumstances, besides diet, that may affect your need for B vitamins as well:
- Age: As we age, our ability to absorb B12 decreases, which causes appetite to decline and can cause mood swings and depression. Adding a vitamin B complex to your diet can help ensure your body gets the additional B12 it needs.
- Pregnancy: When pregnant, your body needs additional B vitamins to support fetal development. A B12 and/or B9 deficiency can result in birth defects and even neurological damage. Pregnant women who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet are particularly at risk for B12 or B9 deficiency.
- Medical condition: Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, cancer or alcoholism, are also more susceptible to developing B vitamin deficiencies.
- Other: Even if you do not fall into one of the above categories and get the B vitamins you need from your diet, increasing your intake of certain B vitamins can be beneficial. For example, B7 has been linked to hair growth and healthy nails.
If you are interested in improving your health by adding some vitamin supplements to your diet, come see us at The Bee Hive Natural Foods, your local spot for vitamins in Poplar Bluff, MO!