B vitamins or vitamin B refers to a group of essential nutrients, each with itsunique form and functions. They are essential for maintaining cell health and keeping the body energized. B vitamin deficiency is somewhat unspecific because vitamin B deficiency symptoms vary. Some foods are high in the majority of B vitamins, while some are more specific. Eating a balanced diet is the best way to acquire the necessary nutrients.
There are certain sets of people who run the risk of being deficient in B vitamins. These groups include pregnant women and older adults. Individuals who fall in any of these categories are always in need of specific B vitamins. B vitamin deficiency symptoms range from fatigue and confusion to a compromised immune system or anemia. It’s likely to treat B vitamin deficiency by merely taking supplements.
Also called cobalamin, helps in body growth and production of red blood cells. It also helps regulate the nervous system. Deficiency in B12 can easily disrupt the processes of the nervous system. It can lead to megaloblastic anemia. This condition refers to a situation whereby the bone marrow produces large and abnormally shaped red blood cells that do not function correctly. Other effects include psychological problems such as dementia, depression, paranoia, and behavioral changes. Some symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are; tiredness or fatigue, constipation, weakness, and loss of appetite. Numbness of appendages, balance problems, poor memory, and confusion are also common symptoms. Vitamin B 12 is mostly found in meats and dairy products. People on a vegan diet run the risk of deficiency. The best sources of vitamin B12 include beef liver, milk, cheese, clams, fish, fortified cereals, eggs, and nutritional yeast.
Also called pyridoxine. This vitamin helps the body turn food into usable energy and helps with the body’s catabolic processes. It also helps the body fight infections by strengthening the immune system. Vitamin B6 deficiency is not very common, but if it eventually occurs, here are some of its symptoms; confusion, depression, anemia, nausea, skin rashes or dermatitis, and susceptibility to infections. Foods high in vitamin B6 include fish, poultry, organ meats, potatoes, etc.
Vitamin B1 and B2
Vitamin B1, also called thiamin and Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin. These two vitamins help with the digestion of food and converting food into energy. Thiamin has neurological benefits, and riboflavin helps maintain proper eyesight. These two B vitamins are extremely rare, making the symptoms a bit confusing. Food that contains vitamin B1 includes whole grains, fortified bread, cereal, pasta and rice, pork, soybeans, fish, nuts, and seeds. Foods that contain vitamin B2 are eggs, lean meats, organ meats, low-fat milk, broccoli, spinach, fortified bread, cereal, pasta, and rice.
Also called Niacin. Vitamin B3 helps convert food into energy, aids proper digestion, and is essential for cell development. Vitamin B3 deficiency can cause digestive issues, such as nausea and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, one may suffer from mental confusion. Other symptoms include rough skin that turns red or brown when exposed to sunlight, vomiting, a bright red tongue, fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, aggressiveness, paranoia, and hallucinations. Sources of vitamin B3 are meat, including poultry, beef, fish, nuts, legumes, grains, fortified bread, and cereals.
Also called folate. Folate occurs naturally in foods. Vitamin B9 fosters red blood cells’ growth and reduces the risk of birth defects when pregnant women consume it. Vitamin B9 deficiency symptoms include weakness, fatigue, lack of concentration, headache, irritability, shortness of breath, open sores in the mouth, and heart palpitations. Foods that contain vitamin B9 include beef liver, asparagus, spinach, mustard green, Brussels sprouts, orange, other fruits, nuts, beans, and peas.
B vitamin deficiencies are very easy to prevent. Most people don’t need to take pills or supplements to get enough B vitamins. In case of deficiencies, try a complete diet of grains, meats, fruits, and vegetables. If you observe any symptoms, meet with your physician before employing any supplements.