Vitamin B1

What is it?
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is an essential vitamin involved heavily in glucose production.

What does it do?
Vitamin B1 has been used to improve heart health and ease digestion. It has also been used to manage thiamine deficiency.  

Vitamin B2

What is it?
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is an essential vitamin that is required for some enzymes in the body to act normally. It may serve some benefits for cardiovascular health in genetically susceptible people. Riboflavin produces two cofactors known flavoproteins, FAD and FMN. Some proteins in the body are dependent on these cofactors to help them function properly and optimally.

What does it do?
Riboflavin has been affiliated with reducing homocysteine levels (a marker for cardiovascular disease). Vitamin B2 has also been affiliated with reducing migraine frequency. Riboflavin is also needed to help support and facilitate energy metabolism and has implications for the antioxidant system of the body.

Vitamin B3

What is it?
Niacin is an essential B vitamin. Supplementation results in improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, since a side effect of supplementation is increased insulin resistance, niacin supplementation only provides benefits for cardiovascular health if precautions are taken.

What does it do?
The body uses vitamin B3 to make energy from fats and carbs. Vitamin B3 has been used to improve heart health and lower cholesterol. It has also been used to improve symptoms of diabetes.

Vitamin B5

What is it?
Pantothenic acid is one of the B vitamins that is critical in the formation of co-enzyme A, a molecule which helps a large amount of enzymes function in the body and for energy production in general. Found in most food groups; chicken, beef, egg yolk, and organs are high sources for animal products, while root vegetables such as potatoes, whole grains, tomatoes, and broccoli are plant sources that also have a large level of pantothenic acid.

What does it do?
The body uses vitamin B5 to break down carbs and fats. Pantothenic acid has been used to promote heart and liver health. It has also been used to lower cholesterol and ease swelling in the joints. As a precursor to co-enzyme A, it is required in approximately 4% of all known enzymes as a cofactor, mostly known for being involved in energy production.  

Vitamin B6

What is it?
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is one of the water-soluble B vitamins and is used in producing coenzymes in the body. It is a mixture of six inter-convertible pyridine vitamins or related compounds. Plants and microorganisms can synthesize B6; however humans must acquire B6 from the diet. Vitamin B6 is abundant in meats, fish, poultry, shellfish, leafy green vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains.

What does it do?
Vitamin B6, pyridoxine, is important for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy. It is used to treat a certain type of anemia, specifically the lack of red blood cells. Vitamin B6 also is necessary to support cellular respiration, release of glucose stores, and amino acid metabolism.  

Vitamin B12

What is it?
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin or cyanocobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin known to play roles in neurology. Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, dairy products, and fortified cereals. Since vitamin B12 is found in many foods, deficiency is more common in the elderly, strict vegetarians, those who take oral contraceptives, or those taking medications for gastric disorders or insulin resistance.

What does it do?
Vitamin B12 is used as a cofactor for enzymes that support DNA synthesis and energy metabolism. Vitamin B12 is involved in the synthesis of phospholipids, neurotransmitters, and the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids in cells.