B Vitamins: The Importance of B12 & More

Discover the significance of B-vitamins, especially B12, for your health. Next Health highlights their essential roles to achieve good health. Call us now.

B Vitamins: The Importance of B12 & More
Next Health Staff
October 19, 2023

Vitamins are critical building blocks in nourishing our cells. B vitamins specifically are responsible for converting food into energy in order to create new blood cells, maintain healthy skin cells, brain cells, and more.

That is why B-complex is often referred to as an “energy-boosting supplement”. By supplying our bodies with B vitamins that help us utilize nutrients as cellular fuel, we can enhance our overall energy levels for a healthier, more productive life.

Breaking Down B Vitamins

There are eight types of B vitamins, all of which serve different purposes in the body. Being well-informed regarding these simple yet impactful types of B vitamins and the best methods of acquiring them can help you target specific health goals in order to achieve enhanced overall health and wellness.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Vitamin B1 or thiamin is necessary for the regulation of several critical enzymatic reactions such as the breakdown of sugars and amino acids. By converting such nutrients into ATP (cellular energy) vitamin B1 helps the body maintain and regulate healthy energy levels.

Only small amounts of thiamin are stored in the liver, so a daily intake of thiamin-rich foods is needed.

Dietary sources of vitamin B1 include: whole-grain bread, cantaloupe, lentils, pork, spinach, and green peas.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is involved with several different bodily systems. This is because riboflavin is necessary for growth, development, and the overall function of cells in the body. Riboflavin is also well known to help the body combat oxidative stress as it is a precursor to two coenzymes that are required for oxidation-reduction reactions.

Reminder that oxidative stress is linked to inflammation, “the root of all disease” so maintaining healthy levels of vitamin B2 is necessary for enhancing your longevity.

Bacteria in the gut can produce small amounts of riboflavin, but not enough to meet dietary needs, so it is important to obtain this vitamin through diet and supplementation.

Dietary sources of vitamin B2 include: broccoli, eggs, dark, leafy greens, salmon, and beef.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin or Nicotic Acid)

Vitamin B3 (niacin or nicotic acid) is a lesser acknowledge B vitamin but it is incredibly important to our overall health. Vitamin B3 is required for the metabolization of proteins and carbohydrates for cellular energy. Because carbohydrates and proteins are both two critical sources of energy for the body, low vitamin B3 levels can lead to persistent fatigue.

Vitamin B3 is also incredibly influential when it comes to our mental health as it is utilized in the production of many stress-relieving hormones such as tryptophan, which promotes a healthy stress response and quality sleep.

The body does not produce vitamin B3 naturally, so it must be obtained through diet, although a deficiency is rare as it can be found in both plants and animals.

Dietary sources of vitamin B3 include: corn, beef, chicken, pork, veal, beans, lentils, and coffee.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Pantothenic acid helps to break down fats in the body and it has actually been studied for its potential role in reducing cholesterol levels in people who have abnormally high concentration of fat or lipids in the blood (a condition called dyslipidemia).

In addition to playing a role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates for energy, vitamin B5 is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells, as well as sex and stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands.

Interestingly, because pantothenic acid is found in all living cells, it can be found in a variety of foods, but  the most reliable sources are beef, chicken, organ meats, fortified cereals, and some vegetables.

Additional dietary sources include: mushrooms, avocado, dairy milk, yogurt, potatoes, broccoli, and eggs.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is another B vitamin that is critical for energy production as it aids more than 100 enzymes in a variety of functions including the metabolization of amino acids and glycogen (form of glucose).

Studies have shown that vitamin B6 can support improved sleep quality and reduce insomnia as this vitamin promotes melatonin production.

Dietary sources of vitamin B6 include: eggs, pistachios, potatoes, turkey, and bananas.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Vitamin B7 is arguably the most well-known B vitamin. Also known as biotin, the “beauty nutrient”, vitamin B7 is popular for boosting the health of hair, skin, and nails. Biotin’s beauty-boosting qualities are due to the fact it stimulates keratin production in the hair and can support an increased rate of follicle growth. In terms of skin and nail health, biotin aids in maintaining the mucous membrane of the skin, promoting a healthy glow. Those deficient in this vitamin are likely to experience red, scaly rashes on their skin.

Dietary sources of vitamin B7 include: cheese, raspberries, whole wheat bread, soybeans, and organ meat.

Vitamin B9

Another popular B vitamin, vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid) is well-recognized for its positive impact on fetal health and development. Folic acid is considered an essential prenatal vitamin as it promotes the healthy development of the fetal nervous system.

For those who are not expecting, folic acid is great for improved DNA repair and maintenance, which is essential for cellular health and longevity.

Sources of vitamin B9 include: avocados, dark, leafy greens, liver, nuts, seafood, beets, dates, and beans.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is the epitome of an “energy-enhancing” vitamin. Because this vitamin interacts with metabolic reactions that supply DNA and amino acids with the energy they need for essential functions, it can help improve energy levels. Vitamin B12 also supports increased energy levels by promoting red blood cell production, helping cells receive more oxygen.

Sources of vitamin B12 include: eggs, fish, milk, chicken, and beef.

How Do I Know if I am Deficient In B Vitamins?

Because B vitamins are so critical in energy production, the main marker of a B vitamin deficiency is weakness, tiredness, and lightheadedness. Other symptoms may include:

  • Pale skin
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision loss

If you are interested in testing your B vitamin levels, consider our Micronutrient Test. This test measures the function of 33 specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids within your cells. It can be used to determine specific micronutrient deficiencies to guide dietary and supplementation protocols.

Boosting Your B Vitamin Levels

At Next Health, we offer next-level services that are an effective way to boost your B vitamin levels.

Our wide range of Vitamin Shots are formulated to target your specific wellness goals with B vitamins and a variety of other top-tier nutrients. Enjoy the Beauty B Shot for an enhanced glow, a Lean B shot to support healthy weight loss, and more.

View our Vitamin Shot menu here

Have questions or ready to book your appointment? Select Vitamin Shots on this form and our team will connect with you shortly.

Call or text us at: (310) 295-2075

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