Vitamin B-complex: Overview
"Vitamin B" or "vitamin B-complex" are common terms used to refer to all of the many B-vitamins collectively; B-complex dietary supplements contain most or all of the B-complex vitamins. The B-complex vitamins include biotin, folic acid, choline, inositol, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-3, vitamin B-5, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and often choline, inositol and biotin.
Health Benefits of B-complex Vitamins
A complete list of all the functions and benefits of the B-vitamins would fill a textbook. Most B-vitamins function as enzyme cofactors, needed to manufacture or utilize vital enzymes. B-vitamins play an important role in the absorption and utilization of nutrients, and the creation of energy from food. Together, the B-complex is essential for proper cell structure and function of all cells throughout life. B-vitamins support the muscles, liver, kidneys, cardiovascular system, brain and nervous system, as well as reproductive and immune system health.
Why Use a B-complex Vitamin?
The B-vitamin content of food is highly variable and most B-vitamins are easily destroyed through cooking, storage and processing. Furthermore, the human body cannot store significant quantities of most B-vitamins, making B-complex supplementation essential for everyone concerned with maintaining optimal health. In poor health, the need for B-complex vitamins becomes even more acute, especially with respect to conditions like malabsorption syndromes, alcoholism, immune system dysfunction and some types of cardiovascular disease.
Individual B-vitamins are also used separately and in various combinations for a wide range of purposes. Please see the page for each individual B-vitamin (listed above) for additional information.
Using B-complex Vitamins
Always take B-complex vitamins with solid food, or nausea may occur.