Vitamin B is a comprehensive term for a group of vitamins that includes several vitamins. Nevertheless, it is pleasant to get an overview, which we will provide below. We explain something about the effectiveness, about the properties and above all which vitamins actually belong to it.

What is Vitamin B?

The term Vitamin B comprises a total of 8 different vitamins, all of which have different abilities. Overall, however, it can be said that they are found in animal and vegetable foods, which we will discuss in more detail later in this article. The respective vitamins, however, are not a uniform class, which is why the numbering is not consistent. B vitamins belong to this group:

  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B7
  • Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin B12

In addition, Vitamins B4, B13, B15 and B17 also belong to this list, but these are either produced by the body itself or are no longer included in the group of Vitamin B and are therefore excluded from this list. Nowadays they are called vitamin-like and classified in the group of other substances, which are also known as vitaminoids.

Vitamin B

What are the symptoms of a Vitamin B deficiency?

The symptoms of the respective deficiency always depend on which B-vitamin is currently not sufficiently supplied. For example, vitamin B1 can lead to memory disorders, while the lack of niacin (vitamin B3) is virtually unknown in Germany. Vitamin B5, on the other hand, plays a decisive role in fat synthesis and the turnover of cholesterol. Vitamin B6 deficiency is also rare. The effect of the different B vitamins is so different that it is difficult to categorize them, as they all take on different tasks in the body and a deficiency can be just as diverse.

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How does Vitamin B work and when can it help me?

In order to summarize the most common forms of action, we have compiled a small list below, where you can see exactly which Vitamin B is responsible for which processes. Accordingly, it can also be concluded what effect the respective B vitamin has:

  • Vitamin B1: For energy production and nerve stability
  • Vitamin B2: breakdown of fat and protein, healthy intestinal flora
  • Vitamin B3: regulation of blood lipids, improved ability to concentrate
  • Vitamin B5: improvement of wound healing, healthy sleep and reduced susceptibility to infections
  • Vitamin B6: Guarantee of protein metabolism
  • Vitamin B7: For hair, skin and nails
  • Vitamin B9: Folic acid is a functional organism, especially during pregnancy.
  • Vitamin B12: Helps in cell formation and ensures better nerve activity

As you can see, the B vitamins are used for various processes in the body. Accordingly, the deficiency as well as an overdose are always very diverse. Fortunately, most of these vitamins can be supplied via the regular diet.

Where is Vitamin B contained?

Fortunately, the corresponding vitamins can be obtained mainly from food. This means that with the right diet, the body always receives the right amount of Vitamin B that it needs to support the ongoing processes. This is subdivided into animal and plant foods. For example, vitamins are found in fish, liver products, dairy products, spinach, kale or broccoli.

Vitamin B food

As an exception one can see vitamin B12, which also occurs in food, but cannot be produced by the body itself, like many other B vitamins. Accordingly, a deficiency is often not excluded and an appropriate diet is recommended. On the other hand, the daily requirement of this vitamin is much lower.

What does the daily Vitamin B requirement look like for men and women?

Here, too, there is no uniform answer, as a different dosage is recommended for each vitamin. Of course, a higher or lower dosage is recommended for both men and women. Here are a few general examples of what is recommended as a dosage level:

  • Vitamin B1: 1.0 – 1.2 mg
  • Vitamin B2: 1.5 – 1.7 mg
  • Vitamin B3: 15 – 20 mg
  • Vitamin B5: 6 mg
  • Vitamin B6: varied
  • Vitamin B7: between 5 and 35 mg depending on age group
  • Vitamin B9: 60 – 600 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 3 mg

It is always clearly dependent on which age group you belong to. For example, with vitamin B7, special emphasis is placed on where infants should receive much less than adults.

Is there a Vitamin B overdose?

Depending on the vitamin, there is also the possibility of an overdose. This too has many different faces and manifests itself in the form of allergic complaints, vomiting, nausea, intestinal problems or sensitivity to brightness. Special attention should be paid to folic acid (vitamin B9), which plays a role especially in pregnancy.

Here one can hardly overdose, because the body uses the substances of this vitamin to help with growth processes, but at the same time it is no longer possible to prove exactly how high the vitamin B12 content is in the blood, which can have other consequences. Typically, however, it can be determined that all B vitamins cannot be overdosed as far as possible, since any excess parts are excreted again by the organism.

Are there any Vitamin B supplements to support this?

The market for dietary supplements is large and so is the supply of various B vitamins. Here one should pay attention to the fact that one catches the correct product. Because there are both separate vitamin preparations on the market and combination products. The manufacturer rarely plays a role here, rather the dosage of the respective vitamins. Therefore a look at the list of the respective ingredients is always recommendable. As a rule, they are taken as normal tablets or fused tablets. Capsules are also possible. Vitamin B12, which is also available as a juice or ampoule for injections, plays a particularly important role here.

Vitamin supplements Nutritional supplement

Scientific quality characteristics

The discussion about B vitamins is very complex. From a scientific point of view, there is hardly any evidence and if there is, then it is mainly vitamin B12 that is at stake, as it cannot be produced by the body itself, while the others only need to be supplemented by the diet and thus a deficiency is largely ruled out. Some sources assume that the products have empty promises and that the dosage is often too low. Other sources, on the other hand, recommend an additional intake.

External source references
  1. Am J Clin Nutr. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8416664 1993 Jan;57(1):47-53.
  2. New Phytol. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28656633 2017 Oct;216(1):62-68. doi: 10.1111/nph.14669. Epub 2017 Jun 28.
  3. Clin Geriatr Med. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12608503 2002 Nov;18(4):773-99.
Nutritional and Supplement Specialist | Website

He's an athlete, through and through. Together with Jana he supports our team with texts on fitness, nutrition, health and dietary supplements. The latter because he has gained some experience in the past and is always ready to try something new. He loves triathlon. His goal is to be at the Ironman in the USA by 2020 at the latest.