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8 B Vitamins for Optimal Health & Well-Being

By Claudia Waidacher, MSc+

As strong partners in everyday life, they perform numerous tasks in our body and play a key role in energy production and cognitive function– the B vitamins. Since they only achieve their optimal effect together, a sufficient supply of all 8 of the water-soluble vitamins is important. 


In nuclear physics, 8 is considered a "magic number": the presence of so many neutrons and protons in the nucleus makes atoms particularly stable. In numerology, on the other hand, the 8 stands for balance and health. In fact, there are 8 water-soluble B vitamins involved in numerous biochemical processes. 


One (B vitamin) for all & all for one 


Although each of the vitamins has special tasks to fulfill, they pull together – as is customary in a good family. Most of them are in cereals, yeast, legumes, meat, dairy products and vegetables and are taken in together. This daily intake from external sources is important because the water-soluble B vitamins are not stored by the human body, except B12 which is stored in the liver and folate which is mainly stored in the liver as well and the remainder in blood and body tissues. At the same time, the inadequate supply of a single B vitamin can disrupt the entire household, as they only achieve their optimal effect in combination. 


Supply of B vitamins 


Although "vitamin B" ends up on our tables in sufficient measure with a varied, fresh diet, deficits are also more common than expected in this country due to increasingly one-sided diets, fast food and industrially processed foods with many trans fats or sugar. 


Another reason for this is an increased need: during growth, pregnancy and lactation, old age and stress, we generally need more "vitamin B". In addition, some medications, alcohol consumption or smoking, can increase the need. For vegetarian and especially vegan diets, it is important to ensure sufficient intake of cobalamin, as vitamin B12 is chemically called. Because vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods


Lots of rice, beans and lentils


8 vitamins at a glance 


  1. B1 (thiamine): Supports normal functioning of the nervous system 

Like most members of the B family, vitamin B1 helps the body convert food into energy. Thiamine is also involved in the rapid conduction of stimuli in our nervous system. Putting thiamine-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, legumes or even potatoes on the diet can help encourage optimal B1 levels. 


  1. B2 (riboflavin): The "energy vitamin" 

Riboflavin is important for energy production from fat, protein, and carbohydrates. As a coenzyme, it supports energy metabolism. Eggs, dairy products, meat, as well as nuts and legumes can provide more power on the plate. 


  1. B3 (niacin): Breakdowns and utilizes macronutrients  

This vitamin from the B family also supports energy production, has a positive effect on our cognitive functions and can help to reduce fatigue. Meat, fish, and milk, as well as whole grains and legumes are sources of niacin. 


  1. B5 (pantothenic acid): Synthesizes and metabolizes  

Vitamin B5 plays an essential role in normal mental performance and normal energy-yielding metabolism. Vitamin B5 is one of the most critical vitamins for a healthy lifestyle as it’s necessary for making blood cells, and it helps you convert the food you eat into energy supporting the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It also supports normal synthesis and metabolism of steroid hormones, vitamin D and some neurotransmitters. It is therefore convenient that vitamin B5 is found in almost all animal and plant foods: eggs, mushrooms, broccoli, meat and fish are suppliers. The word pantothenic comes from the Greek “pantou,” meaning everywhere- so it is no surprise that all foods contain trace quantities of pantothenic acid. 


Healthy meal with salmon on toast, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes and eggs


  1. B6 (pyridoxine): Healthy neurological function 

Vitamin B6 is involved in the development of proteins and amino acids and therefore also contributes to the formation and breakdown of neurotransmitters. Whether serotonin, which ensures balance, the stimulating norepinephrine, or the creativity-promoting dopamine – vitamin B6 helps in their production as well as in the production of red blood cells . In addition, it supports fat metabolism and regulates the immune system. We also need vitamin B6 for the production of energy, e.B. during sports. The vitamin is commonly found in yeast, cereals, bananas, vegetables, milk and eggs. But salmon, chicken breast, turkey, walnuts and avocados are also rich in vitamin B6. 


  1. B7 (biotin): The "skin and hair vitamin" 

Due to its protein-building properties, biotin makes an important contribution to the maintenance of normal skin and hair – so it does not carry its nickname, vitamin H, for nothing. Eating a lot of meat, milk, eggs, nuts, oatmeal or legumes increases the likelihood of meeting your daily biotin needs. 


  1. B9 (folic acid): Healthy fetal neural development 

Folic acid plays a crucial role in cell division and the formation of new blood cells – which is why there is an increased need for folic acid, especially during pregnancy. A lot of vitamin B9 is found in leafy vegetables, legumes, wheat germ, yeast, whey, beets, or asparagus. 


  1. B12 (cobalamin): Supports nervous system 

Like most other B vitamins, cobalamin supports metabolism and contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, immune system, as well as the reduction of fatigue. Since vitamin B12 is found exclusively in animal foods, it is especially important for vegan and vegetarian diets to pay attention to a balanced B12 level. 


Claudia successfully completed her studies in biochemistry and molecular biomedicine. But there is no standing still with her, she would like to keep learning. With her imaginative and loving nature, she likes to pass on her knowledge to others. In addition to her love of science, Claudia is an absolute animal lover. 
+The views expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Pure Encapsulations®.  
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