Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about B Vitamins and other Vitamin topics.
Vitamin B is essential for good health, and there are several types of B vitamins that work together to keep your body running smoothly. B vitamins are water-soluble, so they aren't stored in the body and you need to replenish them every day. Many factors can deplete B vitamins even more, including excessive exercise, dieting, smoking, alcohol consumption, and even taking oral contraceptives. That's where supplements can help.
For example, Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is not stored in the body, so it's important to get enough in your diet from food and supplements. Vitamin B2 works in conjunction with other B vitamins to help the body release the energy it stores as carbohydrates. If you're participating in sports, or even if you are just moderately active, you get your energy from the body's ability to process carbohydrates.
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, has been shown to lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels and can help prevent the narrowing of the blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Also, anyone who follows a strict vegetarian or vegan diet needs vitamin B12 supplements because the best food sources for B12 are animal products. Although some non-animal products contain B12, the amounts are not enough to meet the body's needs. If you don't get enough B12 in your body, you can develop anemia or you may experience weakness, loss of balance, or tingling in the arms and legs.
But Vitamin B's benefits don't stop with physical health. A recent study in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that adults who were being treated for depression had high levels of the amino acid called homocysteine in their blood, which can make it difficult to break down folic acid. Consequently, anti-depressants appeared to be more effective in people who took folic acid supplements, although the connection between depression and problems processing folic acid remains unknown.