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Energy for Life with Vitamin B Complex

Aug 17, 2007
If stress and a lack of energy to meet all the demands of life are problems for you, perhaps an extra dose of the B vitamins can help give you an added boost. If you are wondering why the B vitamins are so important, the answer is quite simple. They work together to bolster metabolism, maintain muscle tone and healthy skin, enhance immune and nervous system function, promote cell growth and division, and help fight the symptoms and causes of stress, depression and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin B, which was once thought to be a single vitamin like vitamins C and D, is now known to be a group of eight individual vitamins called the B vitamins or B-Complex. Although it is possible to get the vitamin B-Complex through supplements, most nutritionists agree that the best source is the food we eat. It is worth noting that the B complex vitamins work with each other. So, when possible try to combine them.

To help you get the maximum dosage through your diet, we have compiled the following list of B vitamins with their functions and best sources.

Thiamine (Vitamin B-1) aids function of heart and other muscles and sustains a healthy nervous system.
It is found in brewers yeast, oatmeal, wheat germ, whole wheat, bran, whole brown rice, black strap molasses, meats and soybeans. Alcohol interferes with its absorption.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) boosts energy and metabolism and repairs nails, skin and hair. Find good amounts in milk, cheese, green vegetables and whole grains.

Niacin (Vitamin B-3) is needed for synthesis of sex hormones, aids nervous and circulation systems and reduces cholesterol. The best sources are fish and chicken.

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6) aids fat metabolism, relieves PMS symptoms and boosts immune system. Choose whole grain foods for your daily allowance of this vitamin.

Vitamin B-12 is essential for function of all cells, digestion and production of red blood cells.
Find good amounts in meats, liver kidney, fish, eggs and dairy products.

Biotin is needed for glycogen formation and for skin, hair and nail repair. It is found in brewers yeast and nuts.

Folic Acid is necessary for DNA synthesis and especially important for pregnant women to reduce birth defects. Broccoli and spinach are the best sources for folic acid.

Choline helps lower cholesterol and aids brain and liver function. Find it in milk, egg yolk, whole grains and legumes.

Pantothenic Acid assists with stress, digestion, skin, nerves and glands. Organ meats, egg yolk, brewers yeast, whole grain cereal, bran, nuts and chicken are all great sources.

Other good food sources of B vitamins are bananas, lentils, potatoes, chili peppers, tempeh, turkey, and the Australian spread Vegemite. If you still think your diet is not fulfilling your B-complex requirements, many supplements are available and are a popular way to increase daily intake. As with any supplements, consult your doctor or dietician for the correct dosage for your particular needs.
About the Author
Terry Gates is a freelance writer with experience on vitamin B and vitamin supplements.
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