Dietary intake is intended to provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to the body. However, when the intake is not balanced, or when certain conditions make it necessary to increase nutrient intake, the best option is to look at supplements. Throughout the world, the nutraceuticals industry continues to grow explosively as more and more individuals look at supplements to support or boost nutrient intake. However, incorrect use, excessive intake, and the wrong choice of vitamin supplements may be detrimental to health. Here is a detailed look at possible vitamin b complex side effects and the benefits, to help users make informed choices.

Overview of vitamin b complex supplements

Essentially, the vitamin b complex is a group of eight different water-soluble B vitamins. These vitamins are responsible for various functions including turning food into energy. All vitamins have an important role in maintaining the health of individuals. While right dietary preferences can actually provide the necessary recommended daily allowance, in a large number of cases, individuals end up consuming a lesser than necessary RDA of vitamins. Supplements offer all the necessary vitamins in different forms, and some are known to deliver higher dosages of specific vitamins to meet special needs or requirements.

Group of vitamins that constitute vitamin b complex

As mentioned above, the vitamin b complex refers to a group of vitamins, namely – Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7B9, and B12. Each has a specific role and is necessary to maintain health. Thiamin or vitamin B1 has an impact on the functioning of the organs of the body and this includes vital organs such as the heart and the brain.  Riboflavin, known as vitamin B2 is another r important B vitamin that is responsible for the breaking down of fat in the body and medications, thereby allowing the mechanism of action of medications to deliver outcomes.

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is essential for skin health, digestive functions, and to help nerves function properly. It is important in the fight against cholesterol, as in certain instances, patients are prescribed vitamin B3 to manage cholesterol levels. Pantothenic acid, known as vitamin B5 contributes to the health of the nervous system and the brain. It is necessary to add here that each of the eight B vitamins has important roles to play in health and all users are advised to ensure that a healthy balance is maintained always.

Pyridoxine, commonly known as vitamin B6 has an important role, as it helps in the production of new red blood cells. These cells are responsible for moving oxygen in the body, and this gives it great importance. Vitamin B6 also contributes to the immune system of the body and individuals are to ensure that a healthy balance is maintained to prevent falling sick frequently. Biotin or vitamin B7 helps maintain the health of the hair, and the nails, apart from playing an important role in the functioning of nerves.

Commonly known Folic acid or vitamin B9 plays an important role in DNA production. This is precisely why pregnant women are prescribed folic acid supplements to prevent birth defects in newborns. Adequate folic acid in different forms is typically recommended either during pregnancy or prior to pregnancy to ensure healthy children. Cobalamin, also known as vitamin B12, is another well-known B vitamin, that plays an important role in the health of nerves and blood cells. This is necessary to prevent the onset of pernicious anemia that is directly linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. Many B vitamins are relatively well known among a large number of users, while some are not as well known, despite their important roles.

How much B vitamins should be consumed daily?

While it is commonly known that all individuals require a balanced diet comprising proteins, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals, many may not be aware of the ideal daily intake. This is important to ensure that the requirements are met daily, and thereby contribute to good health. Certain conditions may cause a deficiency of specific vitamins, warranting a need to increase the intake of specific vitamins. There may also be a need in certain circumstances, to increase the intake; for instance, for pregnant women.

The ideal intake differs as per gender, and additionally, pregnant women and lactating women have different recommended intake levels. Similarly, elderly individuals may also be expected to increase their intake to meet the extra needs of the body. Here is a look at the broad daily requirements of different B vitamins.

The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B1 is between 1.1mg to 1.4 mg, depending on the categories of users, with breastfeeding women recommended the highest intake. The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B2 is between 1.1mg to 1.6 mg, depending on the categories of users, with breastfeeding women recommended the highest intake. The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B3 is between 14mg to 18 mg, depending on the categories of users, with pregnant women recommended the highest intake. The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B5 is between 5 mg to 7 mg, depending on the categories of users, with breastfeeding women recommended the highest intake. The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B6 is between 1.3mg to 2.0 mg, depending on the categories of users, with breastfeeding women recommended the highest intake. The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B7 is between 30 mcg to 35 mcg, depending on the categories of users, with breastfeeding women recommended the highest intake. The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B9 is between 400 mcg to 600 mcg, depending on the categories of users, with pregnant women recommended the highest intake. The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B12 is between 2.4mg to 2.8 mg, depending on the categories of users, with breastfeeding women recommended the highest intake.

Commonly reported vitamin b complex side effects

As mentioned earlier, supplements are not free from side effects and it is necessary to avoid any undesirable outcomes. In a large number of cases, the unwanted outcomes are mainly attributed to incorrect dosage/intake. Most users are unlikely to experience any ill effects of supplements, while some may experience mild or moderate effects. Only a small section of users is likely to experience adverse effects. As b vitamins are soluble in water, excess levels are easily flushed out with urine. Most adverse effects are documented, with clear reasons attributed, and it is actually easy to identify the reasons and probability and prevent the same. Here is a quick look at commonly reported side effects of vitamin b complex supplements.

Individuals consuming excessive levels of vitamin B3 are likely to end up with high blood sugar levels. It is important for diabetic patients on medications to near this in mind, as the increase or spike in blood sugar levels will have an impact on the desired outcomes of medications. It is necessary to restrict the intake of vitamin B3 if blood sugar levels are very high. Similarly, individuals are likely to experience a sudden increase in blood pressure levels if the intake of Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid is excessive. Certain tell-tale symptoms indicate excessive intake – for instance, the patient may experience abnormal fatigue or could end up with headaches. The outbreak of rashes is another possibility, and patients may also end up with possible damage to the liver.

When the levels of vitamin B3 (nicotinamide) are high, the individual may experience bouts of diarrhea. This may or may not be accompanied by bleeding and is typically reported when the daily dosage is more than 500 mg. It is necessary to note that when the dosage exceeds 3000 mg, the patient may end up with liver damage and may experience severe vomiting. Folic acid levels are also to be maintained at the right or desired levels and care needs to be taken to ensure that the intake is not excessive. For instance, an intake in excess of 1000 mcg daily may actually prevent an individual from learning or being diagnosed that he or she has anemia.

Symptoms that are not a cause for concern

There are certain outcomes and symptoms that need not be a cause for apprehension. For instance, intake of vitamin b complex supplements is known to have an impact on the color of the urine, with the color turning bright yellow. This is a common outcome, is temporary in nature, and is not an indication of any other adverse outcome. It is a marker of the extra vitamins in the body that are being flushed out in the urine. The color will return to normal after the extra vitamins are fully excreted.

Overview of benefits of b vitamins

As outlined earlier, b vitamins are an essential requirement and are responsible for various functions, and actions in the body. Various undesirable effects are known to resolve when the levels are supplemented. For instance, b vitamins such as B6, B9, and B12 help treat migraine headaches, while B12 vitamins are known to help individuals with depression. Lowered levels of vitamin B12 are linked to anxiety and depression, and the intake of supplements is known to help resolve the condition. Wounds are also known to heal faster when treated with b vitamins. Studies have determined that topical applications help in the faster healing of wounds. However, it is necessary to add that the studies were conducted on laboratory animals and not on humans. Oral ulcers are also typically treated with vitamin B12 ointments and are also known to help with better or effective pain management in individuals with the sores. Finally, b vitamins, especially vitamin B6 are known to help women grappling with premenstrual syndrome or PMS.

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