What is So Special about the B Vitamins?
Even before humankind had sophisticated technology, ancient men recognized that eating a certain food could maintain one’s health.
Take for example the ancient Egyptians. They know that when you eat liver, it could cure you of potential night blindness. In our present times, we came to learn that liver has Vitamin A. Night blindness, as we all know, is a sickness caused by a deficiency of Vitamin A in our body.
The Renaissance period is a time in history where people evolved their outlooks in terms of art, philosophy and many other fields. It was also a time where European-built enormous ships that could carry men across seas for the hopes of finding new lands. During this time, Renaissance people noticed that voyager’s lack of intake of fruits and vegetables led to various diseases aboard the ships.
With all the researches we have made in the past, we are now certain that there is something in our food that could maintain our overall well-being. That thing is called vitamins.
Today, we have discovered a lot of vitamins. We even have begun filing out the specific vitamin deficiency our body has. One specific type of vitamin our body needs is the B vitamin.
These vitamins are known as a class of water-soluble vitamins. This means that B vitamins are capable of dissolving in water. If that is the case, it can easily be dissolved into our body since our body is 50-65% water. And the good thing about a water-soluble vitamin is that if you take more than what you need, the surplus will be sent out of your body.
B vitamins are vital in cell metabolism. Metabolism, on the other hand, is important for our body. Its name came from the Greek word “metabole,” which means change. Its purpose is:
- Conversion of the consumed food or fuel to energy which could help in activating various cellular processes
- Conversion of food or fuel to building blocks significant for:
- Nucleic acids
- Some carbohydrates
- Elimination of nitrogenous wastes
Another characteristic this vitamin share is that they are similar to a group of friends. They are distinct from one another but they form a bond. That is why we can see similar groups of this vitamin in one food. And if we do, we call it “vitamin B complex.”
And before we forgot, we need to specify the specific name of each vitamin. These are:
- Vitamin B1
Used in the process of catabolism. This process includes the breaking down of sugars and amino acids in order to release energy.
- Vitamin B2
- Name: Riboflavin
- Triggers cofactors named FAD and FMN. These cofactors are essential for the enzyme reaction of flavoprotein as well as the activation of other vitamins
- Vitamin B3
- Name: Niacin, Nicotinic acid, Nicotinamide riboside
- Activates cofactors named NAD and NADP. These cofactors are needed in a lot of metabolic processes
- Vitamin B5
- Name: Pantothenic acid
- Needed in the metabolism of many molecules
- Vitamin B6
- Name: Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine
- Used in numerous enzymatic reactions in metabolism
- Vitamin B7
- Name: Biotin
- Significant in the combination of fatty acids as well as in gluconeogenesis
- Vitamin B9
- Name: Folic acid
- Stimulates the creation and restoration of the DNA
- Requirement in various chemical reactions
- Significant in assisting fast cell division and growth
- Important in pregnancy and infancy
- Vitamin B12
- Name: commonly called Cyanocobalamin or Methylcobalamin
- Involved in the process of metabolism in every cell found in the human body
- Influences DNA synthesis as well as its regulation
- Metabolizes fatty acid and amino acid
Vitamin B is significant of our well-being. Have too little of that vitamin and your body will surely pay the price.
Help your body function to its full potential. Help yourself with your needed supply of B vitamins.