The eight vitamins that make up the B complex are very important to the diet, supporting many important physical and mental processes. For anyone interested in feeling their best every day, a sufficient daily intake of this essential set of vitamins is an absolute necessity.

The Vitamin B complex is made up of several separate vitamins. These are B1, also called thiamine, B2, also known as riboflavin, B3, which is also referred to as niacin, B6, also called pyridoxine, B9, commonly called folic acid, B12, also known as cyanocobalamin, biotin and pantothenic acid.

These vitamins are essential to helping the body to convert food to energy, as well as to breaking down the fats and proteins that make the nervous system run efficiently. They support oral health, muscle tone, and help to keep the skin, hair and eyes healthy. The Vitamin B complex also helps to maintain mental functioning, including thinking and short-term memory.

Because of the many important tasks performed in the body by the Vitamin B complex, deficiencies can result in serious health problems and disease, affecting mind and body. Perhaps of these, beriberi is the most well known. This can come from a consistent and serious lack of thiamine in the diet. Symptoms include anemia and muscular weakness and spasms, particularly in the legs. Atrophy of the muscles and even paralysis can occur.

There are many physical problems that result from a failure to consume sufficient amounts of the Vitamin B complex.

The negative effects can include a lack physical coordination, the eyes can become light sensitive, open sores can appear on the internal and external parts of the mouth, the teeth can become sensitive, the tongue can become swollen, severe and continuous diarrhea can occur, and the skin can develop lesions. Serious failures in the nervous system and brain damage can also stem from a lack of these vitamins.

In addition the myriad of physical symptoms associated with ongoing and serious deficiencies in the Vitamin B complex, there are also significant mental symptoms as well. These include dementia, confusion and other mental disabilities.

In many cases, even serious symptoms caused by a lack of B vitamins can be alleviated with Vitamin B complex based treatments. However, some types of damage can be permanent. It is far better to avoid such debilitating symptoms by making sure to consume sufficient daily amounts of the very important Vitamin B complex.

Vegetarians, especially those following vegan diets, need to be particularly aware of their Vitamin B complex intake, as many of the richest sources are animal based. If vegetarian, it is important to be knowledgeable about the nutritional content of the food you consume, particularly for families raising vegetarian children. Many find Vitamin B complex supplements to be a safe and sure means of making sure that the daily intake of these essential nutrients are met.

Because they are so essential to many important aspects of physical health and mental functioning, we should all take care to meet the daily intake requirements of each of the vitamins that make up the B complex. Supplements offer a safe and sure method of doing so for many people.

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