Saturday, March 04, 2006

B Complex Vitamins

The Truth About B Complex Vitamins
By Bob Benson

The B group of vitamins may be one of the most commonly misunderstood of the vitamins, simply because these are several distinct vitamins lumped together. The fact that the vitamins in this group are known by both letter and number becomes confusing to many people. It's just often more difficult to remember numbers, meaning you may remember that it's one of the "B vitamins," but not remember which number is associated with that particular one. It may help to find out that each of the B vitamins also has a name.

B1 - Thiamine
B2 - Riboflavin
B3 - Niacin
B5 - Pantothenic Acid
B6 - Pyridoxine
B7 - Biotin
B9 - Folic Acid
B12 - Cobalamin

You should note that there are four additional substances in the B complex group, though they are not known as vitamins because they are not necessary for normal body function. They are choline, lipoic acid, PABA and inositol. When you purchase B complex vitamins, these four will not be included, and at least one or two of the recognised B vitamins may also be omitted. B5 and B7 are so widely available in food that most people simply get enough of these vitamins, even if they aren't eating a healthy diet.

Arguably one of the most commonly recognised uses of the B vitamins is an energy booster. Some health care professionals tout the advantages of taking B12 in large doses to combat tiredness, but most seem to agree that starting a regimen of B vitamins is only advisable in severe cases.

More recently, research suggests that some Vitamin B deficiencies may aggravate certain health issues or health risks, and that an increase of those vitamins will help relieve symptoms or lessen the risk. Notably, Alzheimer's is one of those diseases and sufferers of this disease sometimes show improvement from added Vitamin B on a daily basis. Vitamin B2 has also been used to help some migraine patients.

The correlation between certain health issues and vitamin deficiencies is certain, though finding the right treatment may be tricky. One of the most common problems with using vitamins from the B complex group to treat health issues is the fact that many diseases and health issues have overlapping symptoms. Treating those symptoms may ultimately cause more problems than it cures. Talk to your health care professional before taking extraordinary steps toward a vitamin regimen, including those that include complex B vitamins.

About the Author
Bob Benson is the author of the website,
Diet Weight Loss Supplements.

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