Nutrition and Information Guide: Vitamin B Complex

About vitamin B complex, nutritional information guide, uses, effects of deficiency, overdoses, good sources of vitamin B complex.

Vitamin B Complex

Use in the Body: Helps convert carbohydrates into glucose, which the body burns to produce energy. Necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Essential for the maintenance of muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and for the health of the liver, eyes, skin, mouth, and hair.

Deficiency May Lead to: Dry, rough, scaly skin, fatigue, headache, dizziness, poor appetite, constipation and digestive disorders, nervousness and mental depression, abnormal growth.

Notes: Actually 13 separate vitamins. They dissolve in water and excess B is excreted, so it must be replaced daily. More B is required during times of stress, work, and emotional trauma. People who need extra B include alcoholics, children, pregnant women, and people who consume excessive amounts of carbohydrates. Destroyed by light, heat, sulfa drugs, oxidation, and alkalis such as baking soda. Large amounts may be lost during cooking, particularly if the cooking water is thrown away. Refining of flours and cereals removes most B vitamins. The B vitamins should be taken together in the correct proportion because that is the way the body uses them and because a large dose of one may cause a deficiency of the others.

Best Sources: Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, brewers' yeast, and organ meats.

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