Vitamins of the B complex

Without the B vitamins, nerves, skin, hair and blood could no longer properly perform their normal tasks. Deficiencies must therefore be compensated. Learn more about vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin Bs (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cobalamin) as well as pantothenic acid and biotin.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Vitamin B1 has important functions in many enzymes that regulate the utilization of carbohydrates. In the absence of this vitamin, the body can no longer convert the carbohydrates to glucose (glucose). However, our brain relies on glucose to maintain its function. Thiamine also plays a crucial role in the transmission of signals in the nerves.

Since the body can store the vitamin only in small quantities, it must be regularly fed with the food. An overdose is not possible because an excess of vitamin B1 is excreted again. The need is significantly increased during heavy physical work or work in high heat; Alcohol can also endanger the supply of thiamine. Lack of vitamin B1 is usually first noticed on the nerves: fatigue, concentration problems and irritability as well as more unspecific symptoms such as weight loss, loss of appetite, muscle weakness or insomnia may be signs.

Thiamine, like most B vitamins, occurs in the outer layers of all cereals. Therefore, when using shelled products, the intake of thiamine is very low. Other suppliers of vitamin B1 are meat products, potatoes or legumes.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 has a central function in metabolism because it can transfer hydrogen from one molecule to another. Among other things, riboflavin maintains the respiratory chain: oxygen in the lungs gets into the blood, does its work in the body and is then excreted as carbon dioxide.

A lack of this vitamin makes itself felt in torn corners of the mouth or skin lesions, pronounced deficiency symptoms can lead to inflammation of the mucous membranes. Vitamin B2 is found mainly in milk and dairy products, meat, vegetables and potatoes.

Niacin (nicotinic acid amide - PP factor and nicotinic acid)

Niacin is the generic term for nicotinic acid and nicotinic acid amide. Niacin participates in many metabolic processes, with which the body gains energy in every cell. Meat is the main supplier of niacin. Deficiencies do not exist in the industrialized nations, with the exception of heavy alcoholics. Niacin deficiency manifests itself in changes to the skin, disorders of the digestive tract and the nervous system.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 is actually a group of several similar substances that all have vitamin character. The vitamin regulates the protein metabolism and thus plays a central role for all cells. Vitamin B6 is found in almost all foods, but the vitamin is very sensitive and can be destroyed during cooking.

Deficiency manifests itself in nerve disorders, dry skin and inflamed oral mucosa. The vitamin is also used to treat diseases such. As rheumatism or menstrual problems used. Some medications, such as anti-epileptic drugs, the pill or tuberculosis drugs, increase the need for vitamin B6.

pantothenic acid

This vitamin is important for maintaining and regenerating the cells. Panthothenic acid promotes the energy metabolism of skin cells and stimulates their division. Pantothenic acid is found in many foods, such as eggs, liver, heart, milk, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.


Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is especially important for the brain, skin, hair and nails. A lot of biotin is contained in liver, eggs, nuts and soybeans. Biotin deficiency shows in flaky skin prone to eczema, brittle fingernails and dull, split hair. For treatment there are tablets that must be taken in a daily dose of at least 2.5 mg over a longer period of time.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

This vitamin plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells - without vitamin B12, it would lead to anemia. Since vitamin B12 is produced exclusively by microorganisms, it can only be obtained from animal products such as meat, fish, milk and eggs.

A deficiency can occur with a strictly vegetarian diet or severe gastrointestinal disorders. The gastric mucosa in this case can no longer form a substance necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12. Complete deficiency leads to pernicious anemia. Therapy of this disease - the vitamin has to be injected.

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