In short, Vitamin B Complex is a combination of eight different types of vitamins. This combination includes cyanocobalamin (B12), folic acid (B9), piroxidine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), thiamine (B1) and biotin.
All these vitamins are soluble in water and play an important role in various body functions for instance managing the fat, protein and carbohydrate as well as mitochondrial energy metabolism, maintain the skin, liver, hair, eyes and mouth among many other important bodily functions.
Vitamin B complex is divided in two three classes as per the general functions of the vitamins in the group and this include energy releasing vitamins, hematopoietic (promotes blood cells formation) and other with some of the vitamins fitting in both classes. The energy releasing vitamins include vitamins B6, B5, B3, B2, B1 and Biotin while the hematopoietic are vitamins B5, B9, B6 and B12. Other vitamins include vitamins B1, B3, B6, B12 and B9.
Vitamin B1 is essential for energy metabolism and promoting the function of the nervous system. It also helps in the synthesis of important molecules that are vital for the synthesis of fatty acids. Lack of vitamin B1 in the body causes a disease called beriberi.
Vitamin B2 is a coenzyme in the breaking down of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and other important nutrients. It also assists in reducing fatty acid, maintenance of skin and eye. Vitamin B2 is essential for neurotransmitter oxidation and in the liver it is needed for catabolism of various nutrients. In addition, it helps in promoting the functions of vitamin B6 in the body. Deficiency of vitamin B2 causes inflammation of the skin, tongue, sore throat, sensitive eyes, dysfunction of the nerves among others.
Vitamin B3 plays an important part in the synthesis of cholesterols, fatty acids and steroids as well as in DNA synthesis. Lack of vitamin B2 results in a condition called pellagra.
Vitamin B5 mainly exists as coenzyme A and helps in the metabolism of certain types of drugs and steroids. It also assists in energy production from proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Various studies have also shown that it may be useful in speeding up the healing process following a surgical operation. Deficiency of vitamin B5 is less likely because it is virtually present in all animals and plants foods.
Vitamin B6 serves as a coenzyme for about 100 useful chemical reactions including glycogen metabolism, protein metabolism red blood cells production, proper functioning of steroid hormones among other essential functions in the body. It also assists in the production of hemoglobin and increases the oxygen amount carried by it as well as assisting on production of white blood cells which is essential for good health. Signs of lack of vitamin B6 include sleepiness, skin inflammation, seizures, eye problems, neurological problems among others.
Vitamin B9 aids in various amino acids metabolism for instance glycine, histidine, methionine and serine. Deficiency of the vitamin leads to anemia, weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, increase rate of cancer and heart disease among others.
Vitamin B12 is important in converting homocysteine to methionine that protects the heart from diseases. It is also essential for processing proteins, fat and carbohydrates which aids in making all the blood cells in the body. It also promotes good memory. Lack of B12 causes depression, heart disease, weakness, anemia, neurological failures among others.
Biotin assists in growth and replication of cells and deficiency of biotin causes hair loss, depression, rashes around the nose, eyes and mouth openings, dermatitis, weakness, muscle pain among others.