Vitamin B - Complex?
The Vitamin B Complex is made up of eight vitamins:
These vitamins are essential for:
So Which B Does What?
B1 or Thiamine is essential for the breakdown or metabolism of carbohydrates (carbs) into its simple sugar state - glucose. In this chemical process Thiamine will combine with pyruvic acid to form a coenzyme which when combined with other substances will form an enzyme. Enzymes are important because they help to speed along chemical reactions in the body. The nervous system is also dependent on thiamine for proper functioning. it will act as a coenzyme in the production of acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter or a chemical messenger between nerve fibers.
B2 or Riboflavin breaks down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins by acting as a coenzyme in the process. It is also important in the maintenance of the skin and mucous membranes, the cornea of the eye and nerve sheaths. It also plays a critical role in transferring either hydrogen or oxygen to a substance - Oxidation Reduction Reactions. A major affect of this process is during the act to inhibit chemical reactions with oxygen or highly reactive free radicals. These reactions can cause damage to our cells.
B3 or Niacin aids in the metabolism of food, the maintenance of nerves, healthy skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Its also a key player in oxidative reduction reactions.
B6 or Pyridoxine like some of the other B vitamins plays a role in the breakdown of carbs, proteins and fats. It is also used in the production of red blood cells along with those biochemical reactions involved in the breakdown of amino acids or protein building blocks.
B12 works in the same processes as the other Bs with the breakdown of carbs, protein and fats and the production of blood cells. It is a required vitamin for the maintenance of our nerve sheaths. During the synthesis and repair of our DNA, B12 acts as a coenzyme.
B9 more commonly known as Folic Acid interacts with B12 in the synthesis of DNA which is very important for all the cells in our body. This is why it is also very essential for pregnant women to get a highly available and absorbable source of folic acid. When combined with B12 and Vit. C are all necessary for the breakdown of protein and the formation of hemoglobin. This is the compound that aids in the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Biotin acts as a coenzyme in the carboxylation reactions that are useful in many of the body's functions.
Pantothenic Acid is used in the breakdown of Carbs, lipids (fats) and some amino acids. It also aids in the synthesis of coenzyme A for chemical reactions in the body.