The B Vitamin Roundup
B vitamins are a series of eight separate vitamins; thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), cyanocobalamin (B12), pantothenic acid and biotin. Parker Research Institute in Dallas, TX found that B1, B6, and B12 reduced pain in lab rats. This opens up a way for new research to explore the use of B vitamins in pain management. Past studies show that they are good for anti-inflammatory use for carpal tunnel syndrome and premenstrual syndrome. New studies show evidence that B6, B12, and B9 lower the homocysteine levels (levels responsible for strokes, heart disease, and breast cancer). They are water soluble vitamins; meaning they are broke down in water instead of fat and are more readily used/absorbed in the body. Below is a list of the B complex of vitamins, their use, the recommended daily allowance, and foods rich in them.
B1- used to convert sugar to energy. The RDA is 1.2 mg for men and 1.1 for women. Three foods to get B1 from are: sunflower seeds, brown rice, and pork products.
B2- produces skin cells, red blood cells, and converts sugar to energy. The RDA is 1.3 mg for men and 1.1 for women. Three foods to get B2 from are: almonds, beef, and milk.
B3- converts sugar and fat to energy. The RDA is 16mg for men and 14mg for women. Three foods to get B3 from are: tuna, peanut butter, and chicken.
B6– needed for formation of amino acids, participates in over 100 body chemical reactions, and promotes nerve and brain functions. The RDA is 1.3 mg for adults up to 50 years of age, 1.7mg for women over 50, and 1.5mg for men over 50. Three foods to get B6 from are: bananas, salmon, and potatoes.
B9- formulates DNA, aids in cell growth, and aids in cell reproduction. The RDA is 400mcg for adults and 600 mcg for pregnant women. Three foods to get B9 from are: spinach, brown rice, and orange juice.
B12- makes red blood cells, makes nerve cells, and converts folate to its active form. The RDA is 2.4 mcg. Three foods to get B12 from are: lamb, cheese, and eggs. This can be stored in the body for up to 5 years and is the only B vitamin that is not readily removed from the body.
pantothenic acid- produces numerous enzymes, aids in communication between brain and nervous system, and it participates in the continual breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from food. There is no formal RDA on pantothenic acid, but experts believe 4-7mg a day is target. Three foods to get pantothenic acid from are: sweet potatoes, egg yolk, and whole grains.
Biotin- metabolizing protein, fats, and carbohydrates from food, helps enable the body to use glucose, and is a good producer of certain enzymes. There is no formal RDA on biotin, but experts believe 35 mcg to 60 mcg a day is target. Three foods to get biotin from are: egg yolk, liver, and yeast.