Vitamin B deficiency, just like any other vitamin deficiency, can become a problem if you aren’t eating a balanced diet.
Unlike other vitamins, however, B vitamins offer a wide variety of nutritional benefits. A Vitamin B deficiency can leave you feeling tired, weak and lightheaded and even cause nerve problems, vision loss and tingling.
How Do You Know You Have a Vitamin B Deficiency?
There are a vast array of symptoms that can indicate whether or not you have a B vitamin deficiency. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s important you visit with your healthcare provider:
• Pale skin
• Constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating
• Nerve problems
• Mental health decline: depression, change in behavior, memory loss
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• Fatigue and lightheadedness
What are B Vitamins and Why are they so Important?
We’re glad you asked! There are eight different B vitamins in total — B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. However, some of them have different names that might ring a bell for you.
How About A helpful List?
We love helpful lists. This one in particular will give you a rundown of the various B vitamins, typical names for those vitamins and what they do.
B1: Also known as Thiamine B1 aids growth and development, as well as the conversion of fat and carbs into useable energy. It also benefits the nervous and digestive system.
B2 and B5: Also known as Riboflavin and Pantothenic acid, respectively, vitamins B2 and B5 are crucial for sustaining life at the cellular level, and contribute to the successful metabolism of carbs, proteins, and fat.
B3: Also known as Niacin, vitamin B3 helps remove toxins from the body, produces sexual and stress hormones made in your adrenal glands, and repairs DNA (only mildly important).
B6: Vitamin B6, or Pyridoxine, helps with immune and nervous system function.
Not Enough: Can lead to depression, anemia, confusion
B7: You may know B7 as Biotin, which is important for fat metabolism, healthy blood sugar levels, and healthy skin and hair.
Not Enough: Poor skin health, brittle hair, inefficient fat metabolism
B9: Often found in pre-natal multi-vitamins, B9 or Folic Acid, helps prevent birth defects and help the body create new and healthy cells.
Not Enough: Risk of birth defects, anemia, and diarrhea
B12: Vitamin B12, or Cobalamin, is needed for making red blood cells, child development, and a healthy nervous system.
Not Enough: Low B12 can lead to anemia
Learn More: Need another great source of B vitamins? L-Arginine Plus is a good source of vitamins B12, B6, and B9!
“But how can I possibly get enough of all those B vitamins?” You might ask. The thing about Vitamins is that deficiency shouldn’t be a worry if you’re eating a balanced diet. Deprivation of certain food groups will never help your when it comes to maintaining healthy vitamin levels.
B vitamins are found in very normal foods that we can eat every day. Here’s (you guessed it) another list:
• Leafy greens
• Diary products
• Whole grains
Consider the list above. Does it not bear a remarkable resemblance to the food pyramid? It does. This is because your doctor knows what he or she is talking about when they recommend a balanced diet that involves only the healthiest portions of all food groups.
Maintaining a balanced diet will maintain healthy B vitamin levels. However, if you don’t want to commit, B vitamins are always available in supplement form at health and drug stores.
Talk to your doctor about how much and what kind of B vitamins you might need!