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VITAMIN B



Information and Facts

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) | Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) | Vitamin B3 (Niacin) | Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) | Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) | Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) | Vitamin Bc (Folic Acid) | Vitamin H (Biotin)


Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

B1 is a water soluble vitamin and is a member of the Vitamin B complex.Also known as Thiamin and Aneurin.

The biochemically active derivative of thiamine is the pyrophosphate ester of thiamine, Thiamine pyrophosphate which is concerned in a number of important metabolic processes, including:

  • decarboxylation of alpha-oxoglutaric acid in citric acid cycle
  • conversion of alanine, via pyruvic acid to acetyl coenzyme A

B1 is the most unstable of the Vitamin B complex. Isolated from rice polishing's in 1926 by Drs. B.C.P. Jansen and W.F. Donath.

B1

Vitamin B1 Chemical Structure, C12H18Cl2H4OS.H20.

FUNCTION

  • anti-neuritic factor
  • co-enzyme converting carbohydrate into energy in the nerve tissues, muscles and heart
  • improves mental attitude
  • necessary for proper metabolism of sugar and starch to provide energy
  • promotes growth
  • releases energy from carbohydrate, alcohol and fat

FOOD SOURCES

  • blackstrap molasses
  • bran
  • Brewer's Yeast
  • eggs
  • corn
  • meats, especially pork, liver
  • oatmeal
  • raw nuts
  • soybeans and soybean products, such as tofu
  • wheat germ
  • milk
  • whole brown rice
  • whole wheat

EFFECTIVE WITH

  • B-Complex
  • B2
  • Folic Acid
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

USED FOR

  • brain and nervous function
  • energy
  • an insect repellant
  • facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
  • improving heart function in heart disease
  • improving mental ability in children
  • lumbago
  • optic neuritis
  • relieving dental post-operative pain
  • sciatica
  • treating indigestion
  • trigeminal neuralgia

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • after surgery
  • by alcohol drinkers
  • by habitual antacid takers
  • during fever
  • during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • in increased physical activity and other stressful situations
  • for old people
  • on high carbohydrate diets

DESTROYED BY

  • alkalis, such as baking powder and baking soda
  • sulfur dioxide
  • leaching into cooking water

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • depression
  • digestive upsets
  • fatigue
  • impairment of memory
  • irritability
  • lack of concentration
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • muscle weakness

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

  • Beriberi (in very severe deficiency)
  • constipation with abdominal pains
  • polyneuritics (the most general symptom is general nervous atrophy)
  • tenderness in the calves of the legs
  • tingling and burning in the toes and soles of the feet

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • usually no toxicity problems with oral dosage

Occasionally injections of Thiamin can cause hypersensitivity in certain people. Symptoms include:

  • breathing difficulties
  • cyanosis (skin turns blue)
  • generalized itching and sweating
  • itching and welling at injection site
  • low blood pressure
  • nausea
  • sneezing and wheezing
  • swollen tongue, lips and eyes


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

B2 is a water soluble vitamin and is a member of the Vitamin B complex. Also known as Riboflavin, Lactoflavin, Vitamin G. Isolated from whey in 1933 by Dr. R. Khun.

B2

Vitamin B2 Chemical Structure, C17H20N4O6

FUNCTION

  • aids in growth and reproduction
  • alleviates eye fatigue
  • eliminates soreness of mouth and lips
  • helps burn carbohydrates, fat and protein
  • important for good muscle tone
  • involved in metabolism of protein, protein fats, and carbohydrates
  • necessary for antibody production
  • necessary for cell respiration and growth
  • necessary for good vision, skin, hair and nails
  • necessary for red blood cell formation
  • precursor of flavoproteins, flavin-adenine dinucleotide and flavin mononucleotide
  • releases energy from protein, fat and carbohydrate

FOOD SOURCES

  • bran
  • Brewer's Yeast
  • cheese
  • eggs, especially whites of egg
  • fish
  • green leafy vegetables
  • whole grain breads
  • milk
  • organ meats, such as liver, kidney and tongue
  • pulses, such as lentils
  • soy products, such as tofu
  • yoghurt
  • mushrooms
  • broccoli

EFFECTIVE WITH

  • B-Complex
  • B6
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin C

USED FOR

  • lip and tongue health
  • skin health
  • growth
  • metabolism of carbohydrates
  • fats
  • protiens
  • vision
  • gastric and duodenal ulcers
  • mouth ulcers
  • ulceration of the cornea and sometimes cataracts
  • yellow food coloring

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • by alcohol drinkers
  • by tobacco smokers
  • during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • if taking contraceptive pill

DESTROYED BY

  • heat but only in alkaline solution
  • leaching into cooking fluids
  • unstable to light

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • bloodshot eyes, eyes sensitive to light and tired eyes
  • dizziness
  • excessive hair loss
  • insomnia
  • scaling of skin around nose, mouth, forehead, ears and scalp
  • slow learning
  • trembling

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

  • burning sensation like grit under eyelids
  • cracks and sores in the corners of the mouth
  • inflammation of the tongue and lips

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • Riboflavin toxicity is virtually unknown



Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

B3 is a water soluble vitamin and is a member of the Vitamin B complex. Also known as Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide, Vitamin B5 in Europe, Vitamin PP (Pellagra preventing or PP Factor) or 3-pyridine carboxylic.

It is produced in the body from the amino acid Tryptophane and can be prepared synthetically by oxidizing Nicotine with a variety of agents or more cheaply from Pyridine or Quinoline.

Nicotinic Acid was discovered in 1867 but was shown to be a vitamin in 1937 by Dr. Conrad Elvehjem.

B3

Vitamin B3 Chemical Structure, C6H5NO2

FUNCTION

  • essential for proper utilization of brain and nerves
  • involved in proper activity of the nervous system
  • involved in the oxidative release of energy from food
  • lowers LDL (low density lipids) or bad cholesterol
  • necessary for healthy skin and tongue
  • promotes healthy digestive system
  • raises HDL (high density lipids) or good cholesterol
  • synthesizes sex hormones

FOOD SOURCES

  • avocados
  • bran
  • Brewer's Yeast
  • brown rice
  • cheese
  • dates, figs
  • dessicated liver
  • dried fruits
  • eggs
  • figs and prunes
  • fish, especially fatty fish and whitefish
  • lean meats
  • nuts
  • oats
  • peanuts
  • poultry, especially chicken
  • pulses, such as lentils
  • soy products, such as tofu
  • wheat
  • wheat germ
  • whole wheat products

EFFECTIVE WITH

  • B-Complex
  • B1
  • B2
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin C

USED FOR

  • arthritis
  • improving circulation
  • increases circulation
  • cholesterol levels
  • brain function
  • possibly inhibiting cancer
  • preventing severity of migraine headaches
  • protecting the skin
  • reducing high blood pressure
  • energy
  • metabolism
  • digestive system
  • schizophrenia (high doses)
  • weaning alcoholics off alcohol
  • weaning tobacco smokers off tobacco

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • by alcohol drinkers
  • during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • if taking anti-leukemia drugs based on 6-mercaptopurine

DESTROYED BY

  • leaching into water

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • dermatitis
  • diarrhea
  • dry scaly skin
  • general fatigue
  • indigestion
  • inflamed digestive tract
  • inflamed mouth
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • minor skin complaints
  • muscular weakness
  • nausea
  • rashes
  • stress and depression associated with the nervous system
  • vomiting
  • wrinkles and coarse texture of skin

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

  • death
  • dementia
  • pellagra

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • abdominal cramps
  • boils
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • dry skin
  • flushing of face
  • itching
  • liver malfunction
  • mild gout symptoms
  • nausea
  • pounding headache
  • sensation of heat

CAUTION

  • Avoid B3 when suffering from gastric or duodenal ulcers

B3


Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

B5 is a water soluble vitamin and is a member of the Vitamin B complex.Also known as Pantothenic (from panthos meaning 'everywhere') Acid, Vitamin B3 in Europe. Its natural form is D-pantothenic acid. It is usually taken as the supplement Calcium Pantothenate. In cosmetics it usually appears as dexpanthenol and pantothenol. Pantothenic Acid is an oil which is required by higher animals and some micro-organisms and is present in many natural products and is a constituent of coenzyme A. Isolated from rice husks in 1939 by Dr. R.J. Williams.

B5

FUNCTION

  • aids in normal growth and development
  • converts cholesterol into anti-stress hormones
  • converts choline to brain substance acetylcholine necessary for a healthy nervous system
  • essential for energy and metabolism
  • helps to convert fat and sugar to energy
  • helps form certain hormones and antibodies
  • involved in the formation of fatty acids, polyketides and the synthesis of terpenoids and steroids
  • necessary for maintenance of healthy digestive tract, skin, and glands

FOOD SOURCES

  • bran
  • Brewer's Yeast
  • cheese
  • chicken
  • dried fruit
  • egg yolk
  • fresh nuts
  • fruits
  • green leafy vegetables
  • maize
  • oats
  • organ meats, especially pig liver and kidney
  • poultry
  • pulses, such as lentils
  • roasted nuts
  • root vegetables
  • soy products, such as tofu
  • unpolished brown rice
  • whole grain cereal
  • yoghurt

Substantial amounts produced by intestinal bacteria.

EFFECTIVE WITH

  • B-Complex
  • B6
  • B12
  • Biotin
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin C

USED FOR

  • decreasing allergic skin reactions in childrenbrain functionnervous system
  • builds antibodies
  • cholesterol and fat control
  • digestive function
  • detoxifying drugs in the body
  • overcoming excess mucous secretion in respiratory allergies in adults
  • rheumatoid arthritis

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • after antibiotics
  • after physical injury
  • during stress situations
  • if taking Streptomycin, Neomycin, Kanamycin, Viomycin to lessen side effects and toxicity
  • to increase resistance to infection
  • to reduce allergy effects on respiratory system, skin and gastrointestinal tract

DESTROYED BY

  • deep freezing and thawing
  • dry-processing of food
  • heat in presence of acid (vinegar) and alkali (bicarbonate)
  • leaching into cooking water
  • roasting of meat

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • abdominal pain
  • arm and leg cramps
  • depression
  • fast heartbeat
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • heel tenderness
  • indigestion
  • insomnia
  • loss of appetite
  • low blood pressure
  • neuritis
  • psychosis
  • respiratory infections

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

Deficiency can lead to 'burning feet syndrome'. Symptoms include:

  • aching, burning and throbbing in feet
  • sharp, stabbing pains that spread to the knee

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • No toxicity symptoms reported from Calcium Pantothenate

B5


Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

B6 is a water soluble vitamin and is a member of the Vitamin B complex.Also known as Pyridoxine, 2-methyl-3-hydroxy-4, 5-bis(hydroxy-methyl) pyridine. It is present in supplements as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride and Pryidoxine Phosphate. Isolated from liver in 1934 by Dr. Paul Gyorgy.

B6

Vitamin B6 Chemical Structure, C8H11NO3

FUNCTION

  • essential for protein metabolism
  • essential for the formation of hemoglobin, the pigment in the blood that carries oxygen around the body
  • essential for utilization of proteins and fats
  • helps in normal function of nervous system
  • is needed also by certain bacteria
  • necessary for production of red blood cells and antibodies which fight disease
  • needed for many body functions

FOOD SOURCES

  • bananas
  • beef
  • Brewer's Yeast
  • brown rice husks
  • cabbage
  • dried fruits
  • eggs
  • fish, fatty, whitefish
  • green leafy vegetables
  • maize
  • meats
  • milk
  • nuts, especially pecans
  • oats
  • organ meats, especially pig liver
  • potatoes
  • pulses, such as lentils
  • root vegetables
  • soy products, such as tofu
  • peppers
  • wheat bran
  • wheat germ
  • whole grain

EFFECTIVE WITH

  • B-Complex
  • B1
  • B2
  • Magnesium
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • by women just before their period
  • during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • for alcohol drinkers
  • for tobacco smokers
  • for women with morning sickness
  • for women with diabetes induced by pregnancy
  • if on a high protein diet
  • if taking contraceptive pill, estrogen or hormone replacement pills
  • if taking the drugs Isoniazid, Hydralazine, Penicillamine

USED FOR

  • nerve disorder
  • red blood formation
  • body immunity
  • hand numbness
  • metabolism of protein and fat
  • kidney stones
  • anemia
  • asthma
  • convulsions
  • depression
  • mental retardation
  • premenstrual tension
  • urticaria

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • breast discomfort
  • inflammation of the tongue
  • irritability
  • migraine headaches
  • puffy fingers and ankles during menstrual cycle
  • scaly skin near the eyes, nose and mouth
  • split lips
  • swollen abdomen
  • tiredness

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

  • anemia
  • atherosclerosis
  • convulsions in infants
  • depression
  • kidney stones
  • peripheral neuritis (inflammation and degeneration of nerve endings)
  • skin complaints in adults

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • very low toxicity levels

Very rarely peripheral neuropathy may occur. Symptoms include:

  • numbness in feet
  • unstable gait (walking movement) leading to unsteady walking
  • difficulty in handling small objects
  • numbness and clumsiness of the hands
  • increased blood plasma levels

It is also incompatible with the drug Levodopa for Parkinson's Disease

B6


Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

B12 is a water soluble vitamin and is a member of the Vitamin B complex.Also known as Cobalamin (due to its cobalt factor), cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin.Vitamin B12 is produced by the growth of certain micro-organisms and also occurs in the liver. Vitamin B12 has been prepared synthetically.

Isolated in liver in 1948 by Dr. E. Smith.

Vitamin B12 Chemical Structure, C63H90CoN14O14P

B12

FUNCTION

  • key nutrient for new growth
  • maintains health of nervous system, including brain cells
  • necessary for normal digestion and absorption of foods
  • necessary protein synthesis and carbohydrate and fat metabolism
  • vital for the formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow
  • protects nerves
  • involved in the biosynthesis of methyl groups of choline and methionine

FOOD SOURCES

  • dairy products
  • eggs
  • fish
  • kidney
  • meats, especially cod liver
  • muscles, sardines, oysters

EFFECTIVE WITH

  • B-Complex
  • B6
  • Choline
  • Folic Acid
  • Inositol
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • by alcohol drinkers
  • by geriatric patients
  • by heavy tobacco smokers
  • by those suffering from malabsorption
  • by those suffering from intestinal parasites
  • by vegetarians and vegans
  • during pregnancy

USED FOR

  • a general tonic
  • tongue health
  • nervous system
  • improving appetite/metabolism
  • mental confusion
  • moodiness
  • muscle fatigue
  • neuritis (mainly in the aged)
  • paranoia
  • pernicious anemia/formation of red blood cells
  • poor memory
  • providing extra energy
  • body cell production
  • tiredness

DESTROYED BY

  • boiling in the presence of alkali (bicarbonate)

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • excessive pigmentation of the hands (affects colored people only)
  • menstrual disorders
  • mental deterioration
  • nerve degeneration causing tremors
  • psychosis
  • smooth, sore tongue

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

  • Addison's Disease
  • pernicious anemia

The vitamin deficiency is often due to failure to absorb B12 from the stomach and can be alleviated by giving megadoses of the intrinsic anti-pernicious anaemia factor (a mucoprotein) which promotes absorption.

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • toxicity is virtually unknown
  • occasional allergic reactions to B12 injections

B12


Folic Acid

Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin and is a member of the Vitamin B complex. Also known as Folacin, pteroyl-L-glutamic acid (PGA), vitamin Bc or vitamin M. Folic acid and its derivatives (mostly the tri and heptaglutamyl peptides) are widespread in nature. It is a specific growth factor for certain micro-organisms. Found in yeast and liver in 1935.

Folic Acid (vitamin Bc) Chemical structureC19H19N7O6

Folic Acid

FUNCTION

  • involved in the formation of new cells
  • involved in the metabolism of ribonucleic acids (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA), essential for protein synthesis, formation of blood and transmission of genetic code
  • essential during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (birth defects affecting the brain and/or spinal cord)essential for the normal growth and development of the fetus
  • involved in the biosynthesis of purines, serines and glycine
  • involved in some functions associated with Vitamin B12
  • necessary for building resistance to diseases in the thymus gland of new born babies and infants
  • may reduce the risk of cervical dysplasia
  • necessary for red blood cell production

FOOD SOURCES

  • bananas
  • Brewers's Yeast
  • citrus fruits, peeled
  • eggs
  • fatty fish
  • fresh nuts
  • green leafy vegetables
  • meats, especially pig liver and kidney
  • milk
  • oats
  • pulses, such as lentils
  • roasted nuts
  • soy products, such as tofu
  • unpolished brown rice
  • wheat germ
  • wheat bran
  • wheat grains

EFFECTIVE WITH

  • B-Complex
  • B12
  • Biotin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin C

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • by alcohol drinkers
  • by the elderly
  • during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • if taking contraceptive pill
  • if taking the drugs, Aspirin, Cholestyramine, Isethionate, Isoniazid, Methotrexate, Pentamidime, Phenytoin (may be neutralized), Primidone, Pyrimethamine, Triamterene,Trimethoprim

USED FOR

  • malabsorption in geriatric patients
  • megaloblastic anemia
  • mental deterioration
  • psychosis
  • schizophrenia

DESTROYED BY

  • leached into cooking water
  • processing and cooking of vegetables, fruits and dairy products
  • unstable to oxygen at high temperatures but protected by Vitamin C

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

  • breathlessness
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • sleeplessness
  • weakness

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

Various conditions relating to childbirth:

  • abortion
  • birth defects, such as neural tube defect which causes spina bifida
  • hemorrhage following birth
  • premature birth
  • premature separation of the placenta from the uterus
  • toxemia

As well as:

  • megaloblastic anemia (red blood cells are large and uneven with a shortened life span)
  • mild mental symptoms, such as forgetfulness and confusion

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

Folic Acid has a low toxicity but occasionally the following symptoms occur:

  • abdominal distension
  • flatulence (gas/wind)
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • over-activity
  • sleep disturbance
  • symptoms of fever
  • temperature rise

Long termhigh doses may cause Vitamin B12 losses from the body

Antagonism with the epilepsy drug, Phenytoin


Vitamin H (Biotin)

Biotin is a water soluble vitamin and a member of Vitamin B complex. Also known as Vitamin H, Bios II, Co-enzyme R. Its natural form is D-biotin. It was isolated from liver in 1941 by Dr. Paul Gyorgy.

FUNCTION

  • co-enzyme in wide variety of body metabolic reactions
  • needed for production of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins
  • needed for interconversions
  • essential for maintenance of healthy skin, hair, sweat glands, nerves, bone marrow and glands producing sex hormones

FOOD SOURCE

  • Brewer's Yeast
  • cheese
  • eggs
  • maize
  • fish, fatty, white
  • meats, especially pig liver and kidney
  • milk
  • oats
  • wheat bran
  • wheat germ
  • wholemeal grains
  • nuts
  • tomatoes
  • unpolished brown rice
  • vegetables
  • yoghurt

INCREASED INTAKES NEEDED

  • by newborn children being fed on dried milk
  • during stress situations
  • when on antibiotic therapy

USED FOR

  • seborrheic dermatitis
  • Leiner's Disease
  • alopecia (hair falling out in handfuls)
  • scalp disease
  • skin complaints/skin health
  • tongue health
  • body linings
  • nervous system
  • brain function
  • muscle health
  • cholesterol levels
  • hair health
  • preventing cot death (given to babies)

DESTROYED BY

  • leaching into cooking
  • drying of milk for baby foods

SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY

In babies:

  • dry scaling of the scalp and face
  • persistent diarrhea

In adults:

  • depression
  • diminished reflexes
  • fatigue
  • hair loss
  • increase in blood cholesterol levels
  • loss of appetite
  • muscular pains
  • nausea
  • pale, smooth tongue
  • sleepiness

DEFICIENCY LEADS TO

  • specific anemia
  • deficiency may be induced by excessive intake of raw egg whites, which contain the protein Avidin which immobilizes Biotin

SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY

  • toxicity unknown

Biotin

High quality Vitamin B can be purchased from Global Herbal Supplies

Return to the Vitamin Information Resource Center


More Vitamin Information:

Beta Carotene || Biotin || Choline & Choline/ Inositol || Folic Acid || Inositol || Multivitamins || Vitamin A || Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) || Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin) || Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) || Vitamin B-3(Niacin) || Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid) || Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) || Vitamin B-Complex || Vitamin C/ Bioflavonoids || Vitamin D || Vitamin E || Vitamin K


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