What Are the Benefits of Vitamin B Family Vitamins?
Choosing a multivitamin that fits your whole family can feel like quite the undertaking. After all, with thousands of supplements all claiming to have the best formulas, how can you know what the healthiest choice for you and your loved ones really is? When it comes to family vitamins, you should be looking for a supplement that has most of the essential vitamins and minerals. One of the nutrient groups you will see most often is B complex vitamins. In this article, we will cover the basic facts about how vitamin B complex works in your body as well as some potential benefits that a supplement containing these nutrients may provide for your whole family.
B Complex: The Basics
The B complex family is a group of 8 water-soluble vitamins that contribute to various systems all over your body. Though they each have their own unique roles to play in your overall health, many of the B vitamins have a particular impact on the function, development, and maintenance of your cells. Below, we have provided a list of these 8 vitamins as well as a very brief summary of their influences on the body (1):
- Thiamine (B1): Helps cells convert food into energy.
- Riboflavin (B2): Helps break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
- Niacin (B3): Keeps the skin, hair, and nervous system healthy.
- Pantothenic acid (B5): Maintains healthy skin and helps the body use proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids.
- Pyridoxine (B6): Keeps the nervous and immune systems healthy while helping with normal brain development.
- Biotin (B7): Aids cell growth and promotes better function of the nervous system.
- Folic acid (B9): Needed for red and white blood cell formation as well as maintaining cell growth and function.
- Cobalamin (B12): Helps make DNA, keeps the body’s blood and nerve cells healthy, provides energy.
The B vitamins can be obtained from a diverse selection of foods, including both animal products and plant-based options. However, due to the essential impact that these vitamins have on your health on a daily basis, you may want to consider a multivitamin for your family that includes B complex. Since these vitamins are water-soluble, you do not typically need to worry about having too much of them at once, as your body naturally rids itself of the excess. Still, you should strive to utilize supplements that stay within the recommended daily allowance for each of the vitamins, as well as any other ingredients.
Energy and Metabolism
Adult and senior family members alike may benefit from the ability of the B complex vitamins to provide energy and boost your metabolism. These important nutrients support the enzymes in your body, helping them break down food and convert it into glucose, which is then used to fuel your cells (2). More fuel for your cells means more energy for you throughout your day. In fact, many adults may choose to substitute B complex supplements, particularly vitamin B12, for their usual midday coffee, as they can provide much-needed energy without extra caffeine and sugars.
Neurological Development and Function
B vitamins are also important for the youngest members of your family when it comes to healthy brain development and function. As we mentioned, these essential nutrients are necessary for the conversion from food into energy for your cells. This energy is what allows cells to grow in all areas of the body, especially the brain. Without proper fuel, neurological function can suffer, leaving young minds feeling cloudy and sometimes reducing the ability to concentrate. Making sure your kids always have enough of the vitamins in the B family may help with their growth, both physically and mentally.
Many of the B complex vitamins provide relief for depression and depressive symptoms as well. In 2021, it was estimated that 21 million American adults have endured at least one major depressive episode (3). However, regularly maintaining healthy amounts of the B vitamins in your system may combat some of the common symptoms of depression because they play a key part in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. These hormones, like dopamine and serotonin, help regulate your moods, often alleviating the low feelings that come with a depressive episode.
Lower Risk of Serious Health Conditions
The B family vitamins may also have some preventative qualities for some serious health conditions. Several of them are known for their ability to break down a chemical called homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine have been linked with a number of chronic conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and general neurological decline (4). In order to regulate the amount of homocysteine in your body and prevent the levels from reaching dangerous heights, it is essential that you make sure you are consuming enough B complex vitamins on a consistent basis. If you feel you and your loved ones are not receiving a sufficient amount from your diet already, then a multivitamin like Better Family’s Liquid Daily that contains a megadose of B complex may be able to help.
- Kubala, Jillian. “B-Complex Vitamins: Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage.” healthline, 7 June 2018, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b-complex.
- WebMD Editorial Contributors. “Health Benefits of B Complex.” WebMD, 19 September 2020, https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-b-complex.
- “Major Depression.” National Institute of Mental Health, January 2022, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.
- “In Brief: B Vitamins and Homocysteine.” Harvard Health Publishing, 9 March 2014, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/In_brief_B_vitamins_and_homocysteine.