May 18, 2021

What Is Vitamin B?

 Vitamin B is not one specific vitamin but rather a class of vitamins that are defined as being crucial for immune health, specifically in regards to digestion and the creation of red blood cells. 

B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they break down easily during digestion and are then absorbed throughout the digestion process. This is precisely why Vitamin B is so closely linked with food. At Gem, we’ve created daily essential vitamins that use a proprietary blend of vital nutrients, including vitamin B.

The Benefits of Vitamin B

The myriad benefits of Vitamin B are still being discovered. As we learn more about the human body and its relationship to this incredible classification of vitamins, the list of vitamin B health benefits continues to grow. We know that this vitamin helps contribute to things like hair growth, gut health, brain function, and even overall energy levels!1

Vitamin B has a longstanding relationship with human health and wellness, as evidenced by the large amounts and various forms of Vitamin B in food. The classic method of taking Vitamin B is through a Vitamin B-rich diet. However, for those with a vitamin deficiency, they may want to consider adding a dietary supplement into their diet. 

Vitamin B In Your Diet

Processed foods and sugars have somewhat supplanted foods like nuts, fatty fish, leafy greens, and legumes within the confines of the modern diet. These dietary changes and culinary shifts have left many modern humans, especially Americans, deficient in one of the most important vitamin groups.

While the traditional method of ingesting Vitamin B has always been through a Vitamin B-rich diet, research continues to uncover that a diet rich in Vitamin B may not be enough. 

The more we learn about the varieties of B Vitamins and their specific relationship to human health, the more apparent it has become that there is simply no possible way to eat your way to a proper ratio of your specific B Vitamin needs. 

Blackmores asserts that even with a diet rich in Vitamin B, you could be leaving yourself deficient in a key nutrient group. The complexities within the variations of Vitamin B affect each person differently, and sometimes drastically, a dietary supplement is the best way to ensure you are getting the B you need in order to prevent a vitamin deficiency.  

The Many Forms Of Vitamin B Deficiency 

At this point, you may be saying: "I am just learning about Vitamin B; how do I possibly know if I'm deficient?"

Don't worry. Vitamin B deficiency is not the end of the world. In fact, many people live Vitamin B deficient lives. If you have low levels of B group vitamins in your body, a daily vitamin supplement can help.

It's important to remember that deficient doesn't mean detrimental; it just means you're not running at top speed. Our goal at GEM is to add some B so we can drop the "D" and turn deficient into efficient! 

Here are some quick signs and symptoms to be aware of that may indicate you're deficient in Vitamin B:

The best way to discover if you are deficient in Vitamin B, or any vitamin, is to consult with your physician. Often the most basic blood work or nutrient panel will reveal which vitamins if any, you need to start supplementing. 

Types Of Vitamin B

Not all Vitamin B is created equal. Literally, there are all sorts of Vitamin B types, and each one serves a particular purpose as it pertains to health and wellness. 

Your body absorbs different Vitamin B variants depending on things like blood type, nutritional needs, and even general genetic variants within your own biological makeup.

Here is a quick list of the varieties of Vitamin B according to Better Health Channel, and some information about each unique variation:

B1 - Also known as Thiamine, this chemical is a powerhouse supplement responsible for ensuring that muscle tissue throughout the body is cared for, supported, stimulated, and revived. A Thiamine deficiency is detrimental for the heart and central nervous system.2

B2 - Riboflavin is responsible for breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Essentially Riboflavin works to break down food and convert it into energy.

B3 - Niacin is complex as it serves several crucial roles throughout the body. In addition to assisting Riboflavin with digestion, it also is responsible for repairing damaged cells, creating and repairing DNA. 

B5 - Less commonly known by its chemical name, "Pantothenic Acid," vitamin B5 is an integral part of hormone production and regulation. As a result, B5 also lends a hand to healthy skin and hair, digestive tract health, and proper liver function.

B6 - Also known as Pyridoxine, B6's claim to fame comes from its pivotal role in neurological health and development. Responsible for brain development during pregnancy and infancy, vitamins B6 also is the method by which your body creates neurotransmitters - most notably serotonin and dopamine.

B7 - Biotin is also known as Vitamin H and is primarily attributed to hair growth, skin cell production, and nail growth as vitamin B7 is considered a building block for cell regeneration.

B9 - B9 is better known as folic acid, which many women take while pregnant as it is imperative in assisting with fetal development in the womb.3

B12 - Perhaps the most essential B vitamin, B12 (better known as cobalamin), is pivotal in creating the nerve tissues needed to maintain neurocognitive function. According to Medical News Today, B12 is "crucial to the normal function of the brain and the nervous system."4

The Lost B Vitamins

In looking at our list of B Vitamins, you may have noticed that there are several numbers that are missing between 1 and 12. How can there only be eight variants of Vitamin B when the numbers clearly go in order from 1-12?

There are, in fact, four other types of Vitamin B that are no longer recognized as vitamins. According to Laurie Goldman of Clear Path Wellness, these four nutrients listed below have lost their claim to being a vitamin because "they cannot be manufactured by the human body."

 While these nutrients can be absorbed by the human body and are definitely crucial to human health and wellness because the human body cannot produce them, Vitamin's elusive status has been stripped from their title. 

The versions of Vitamin B that are no longer considered vitamins are as follows: 

B4 - Adenine

B8 - Inositol

B10 - para amino benzoic acid – PABA

B11 - salicylic acid

Vitamin B Complex

Many times Vitamin comes in an ambiguous form known as Vitamin B Complex. This form of Vitamin B has many benefits as it prevents users from taking multiple capsules or pills for every type of B Vitamin. 

However, you need to be careful with the B Complex you choose as many B Complex recipes are too high in one variety or severely lacking in another. Additionally, your biological needs may be such that you need a ton of vitamin B3 but almost no B12. 

For a daily B Complex to have the best results, you need to identify which B Vitamins you are deficient in, rich in, and based on your normal daily diet. From there, you can begin to supplement B Vitamins to achieve the perfect balance of B daily.

There are specific amounts of each B Vitamin that you need daily. While these measurements vary depending on age and sex, there is a consensus for how much of each B Vitamin you need as a man and as a woman. 

According to Healthline, here is how much of each form of Vitamin B a normal adult male and female should take on a daily basis:

How Much Vitamin B Do I Need As A Woman?

The following values are listed in milligrams (mg), except for B7, B9, and B12 which are listed in micrograms (mcg)5

B1 - 1.1 mg

B2 - 1.1 mg

B3 - 14 mg

B5 - 5 mg

B6 - 1.3 mg

B7 - 30 mcg

B9 - 400 mcg

B12 - 2.4 mcg

How Much Vitamin B Do I Need As A Man?

The following values are listed in milligrams (mg), except for B7, B9, and B12 which are listed in micrograms (mcg)

B1 - 1.2 mg

B2 - 1.3 mg

B3 - 16 mg

B5 - 5 mg

B6 - 1.3 mg

B7 - 30 mcg

B9 - 400 mcg

B12 - 2.4 mcg

A Better B Vitamin

As you can see in the above breakdown for doses of each variant of Vitamin B, there is not much difference between the amount of Vitamin B required for men and women. As previously stated, Vitamin B intake is largely dependent on your own personal genome and the deficiencies or surpluses you carry naturally. 

Vitamin B could be referred to as the "Personal Vitamin" because of its unique relationship to each individual. Who you are, what you eat, and how much Vitamin B you produce naturally all play a part in how much Vitamin B you need to supplement your diet. 

The first step in reclaiming a positive relationship with Vitamin B is learning more about it. Seeing as how you're at the end of this article, we can go ahead and check that one off the list. The second step in reestablishing a positive relationship with Vitamin B is consulting with GEM to see how we can take your Vitamin B from deficient to efficient!



This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and contains trusted sources.

Our goal at GEM is to give readers up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics. GEM content is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and articles undergo an extensive review process.

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