Tag Archives: Vitamin B7

Get Your B’s

bBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

B vitamins are necessary for growth, development, enzyme activity, red blood cell formation, energy production, and proper brain function.  The term B complex encompasses eight chemically related essential vitamins that work together to boost both our mood and our energy.  Often found in the same foods, these required water soluble vitamins are not stored in our bodies and need to be replenished daily for optimal health.  What are these important vitamins and what role do they play in the health and function of our bodies?

  • Vitamin B1 or Thiamine –  B1 is involved in metabolism and conversion of carbohydrates into energy, assuring smooth functioning of the body’s organs especially the heart, brain, lungs and kidneys. Vitamin B1 helps reduce stress, strengthens the nervous system and is responsible for the production of neurotransmitters that relay messages to the muscles and nerves.  Sources of B1 include whole grains, pork, organ meats and kidney beans.
  • Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin –  Vitamin B2 helps breakdown carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy production.  B2 is necessary for the production of red blood cells and antibodies.  B2 helps protect the nervous system and strengthens the immune system.  Sources of B2 include whole grains, dairy products, almonds, eggs and leafy green vegetables. 
  • Vitamin B3  or Niacin –  This powerful vitamin is needed for proper circulation, healthy skin, and nervous system function.  B3 plays an important role in energy production and supports a well-functioning digestive system.  Niacin is believed to be helpful in reducing bad cholesterol and plays a significant role in heart health.  Sources of B3 include fish, chicken, nuts and beans. 
  • Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid Sometimes referred to as the “anti-stress vitamin,” B5 plays an important role in the production of adrenal hormones and is considered a vital body chemical involved in many metabolic functions and the production of neurotransmitters.  B5 also aids in energy production, the formation of antibodies, and supports hair, skin and immune health.  Sources of B5 include a wide variety of plant and animal foods including meats, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, fish, nuts and seeds. 
  • Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine –  B6 is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing.  It is required for normal brain function, health of the nervous system, and cellular growth.  It aids in immune system function, the production of red blood cells and the breakdown and digestion of proteins.  Sources of B6 include poultry, soy, avocados, whole grains, seafood and bananas.
  • Vitamin B7 or Biotin –  B7 aids in the formation of new skin and hair cells, fatty acid production, metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and in the utilization of all other B complex vitamins.  Biotin promotes healthy nerve tissue and bone marrow and strengthens connective tissues.  Sources of B7 include meats, vegetables, salmon, eggs dairy, sweet potatoes and whole grains. 
  • Vitamin B9  or Folic Acid Folic acid is necessary for healthy cell division and replication.  It functions as a co-enzyme in DNA and RNA synthesis.  B9 is involved in protein metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, energy production and brain, heart, circulatory, and immune health.  B9 is found in green vegetables, lentils, beans and fortified grains. 
  • Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin B12 is involved in growth and protection of the nervous system and is the most chemically complex of all the vitamins.  It plays an important role in protein synthesis necessary for cardiac function, aids folic acid in the production of red blood cells, and helps in the utilization of iron.  B12 is necessary for healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients and aids in cell formation and cell longevity.  Sources include eggs, meats, poultry, shellfish and dairy products. 

Because B vitamins work together, a deficiency in one often indicates a deficiency in another. This can lead to poor functioning of any or all the B vitamins.  So, why do we need these B vitamins?  As it turns out for many, many  beneficial reasons, including  energy production, a healthy nervous system, good digestion, healthy hair, skin and nails, proper cardiac function, immune system health and normal growth and development to name just a few.  In general, it is best to  supplement with a B Complex formula to ensure that you get  all of the essential B vitamins daily.

B-Complex #6 by Thorne Research
B-Complex #6 by Thorne Research –  An optimal balance of bioactive B vitamins with extra B6.  Contains all 8 essential B vitamins.
Ultra B Complex by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals
Ultra B Complex by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals –  A complete B vitamin complex containing biologically active B vitamins for increased bioavailability for super absorption and enhanced utilization. 
Ortho B Complex by Ortho Molecular
Ortho B Complex by Ortho Molecular –  A complete vitamin B complex in a once daily natural vegetarian capsule. 

Vitamins and Minerals 101

VitaminsAndMinerals101By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients because, by acting in concert, they perform hundreds of roles in the body every day.  The human body requires these vital nutrients in order to function properly, grow and develop normally and prevent disease.  There are 13 essential vitamins and each play a role in crucial body functions.  Deficiencies in these vitamins can and do lead to health problems.  Just as insufficient amounts of key micronutrients can cause significant harm to your health, sufficient quantities can provide a substantial benefit. 

The essential 13 and their optimum daily intake:

  • Vitamin A – Also known as retinol, vitamin A strengthens immunity, supports healthy vision and assists in formation and maintenance of healthy teeth, bones, skin, soft tissues and mucous membranes.  5,000-10,000 IU
  • Vitamin C –  Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an important antioxidant that supports the immune system, promotes wound healing, assists in iron absorption and promotes healthy teeth and gums.  1,000-3,000 mg
  • Vitamin D –  Known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the body needs sunshine to produce it, vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and aids in maintaining proper blood levels of phosphorus, both of which are needed for normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones.  400 IU
  • Vitamin E –  An antioxidant, known as tocopherol, that plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and assists in the use of vitamin K.  Although vitamin K is not listed as one of the essential 13, it aids in the formation of red blood cells and promotes bone health.  200 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) –  Essential to heart function and healthy nerve cells, vitamin B1 helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.  50-100 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)  –  While working in tandem with other B vitamins, vitamin B2 supports production of red blood cells and is essential for growth.  15-50 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) –  Considered to have cholesterol-lowing effects, vitamin B3 helps maintain healthy skin and nerves.  15-50 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) –  Essential for food metabolism, pantothenic acid supports the production of hormones and cholesterol.  50-100 mg
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) –  Necessary for the metabolism of protein and carbohydrates, biotin also aids in the production of hormones and cholesterol.  400-800 mcg
  • Vitamin B6 –  Also called pyridoxine, vitamin B5 helps form red blood cells and maintain brain function.  50-100 mg
  • Vitamin B12 –  Needed for metabolism, vitamin B12 helps maintain the central nervous system and helps form red blood cells.  200-400 mcg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid) –  Working in conjunction with vitamin B12, folic acid is needed for the production of DNA, which controls tissue growth and cell function.  400-800 mcg

There are basic differences between vitamins and minerals.  Vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, light, air or acid.  Minerals are inorganic and hold onto their chemical structure.  Minerals found in soil and water have an easy route to your body through plants, fish, animals and fluids that you eat and drink.  Vitamins, on the other hand, are more fragile and can become inactive through cooking, storage and exposure to light and air.  Many vitamins and minerals work cooperatively to help your body absorb and use their nutrients.  Vitamin C, for example, aids in iron absorption and vitamin D enables your body to use the calcium you ingest, rather than extracting it from your bones. 

Vitamins are typed as either water-soluble or fat-soluble.  Water-soluble vitamins are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, B complex and folic acid, are easily absorbed by the body and are not stored in large amounts.  Because water-soluble vitamins are not stored, more consistent intake is important.  Any excess of these vitamins is removed by the kidneys and excreted.  Fat-soluble vitamins are found in animal fats, vegetable oils, dairy foods, and oily fish.  Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K, are absorbed though the intestinal tract with the help of bile acids and are stored in the liver and fatty tissues for use as needed.   

Essential roles of water soluble vitamins:

  • Produce energy
  • Release energy from food
  • Build proteins and help cells reproduce
  • Make collagen for wound healing, support vessel walls and form a base for teeth and bones

Essential roles of fat soluble vitamins:

  • Aid in keeping eyes, skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system in good repair
  • Build bones
  • Aid in absorption of other nutrients
  • Antioxidant protection

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, many of us consume more calories than we need yet without taking in the recommended amounts of numerous nutrients.  Low dietary intake of these nutrients can become a cause for concern.  These nutrients include deficiencies in:

  • For adults – Calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
  • For children and adolescents –  Calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E.
  • For specific population groups, such as women of childbearing age, adults with darker skin and those with insufficient exposure to sunlight  – Vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, and vitamin D.

Minerals, which are necessary for building strong bones and teeth, controlling body fluids inside and outside cells and turning foods into energy, include but are not limited to:

  • Calcium Calcium, which has several important functions, is the most abundant mineral in the body.  Functions include helping to build strong bones and teeth, regulating muscle contractions, including heartbeat, and assisting in blood clotting.  1,500-2,000 mg
  • Iron –  Iron helps make the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Excess iron cannot be excreted by the body.  Consult your healthcare provider before taking supplements containing iron.  Supplementation with iron is not recommended for children under 18 years of age.   18-30 mg
  • Magnesium –  Magnesium supports the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones for bone health, and helps turn food into energy.  750-1,000 mg
  • Potassium –  Potassium has many important functions including controlling fluid balances in the body and maintaining healthy blood pressure.  99-500 mg
  • Beta- carotene –  The body turns beta-carotene into vitamin A and, as such, performs the same function in the body as vitamin A.  5,000-25,000 IU
  • Zinc –  Zinc aids in processing carbohydrates, protein and fat, helps make new cells and enzymes and assists in wound healing.  30-50 mg

Dietary supplements ensure that adequate amounts of nutrients are obtained on a daily basis especially when optimal amounts are not obtained through a healthy, varied diet.  Whether you are a youngster or a senior, male or female, there is a multivitamin and mineral supplement that is right for you.  If you are on medication or have a health condition, please check with your health provider to determine the best supplement to meet your individual needs. 

Basic Maintenance Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Supplement Without Iron by Metabolic Maintenance –  A daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement which includes all the essential nutrients for organ function and protection. It contains the finest hypo-allergenic ingredients to guarantee optimal absorption and utilization.

Bio-Multi Plus Iron Free by Biotics Research –  Versatile, balanced multiple vitamin and mineral supplement supplying unique forms of important micro-nutrients available exclusively from Biotics Research Corporation. 

Complete Nutritional System Multivitamin by Rainbow Light Nutrition –  A special blend of essential vitamins and minerals plus superfoods and botanicals to promote increased natural energy production, immune support and healthy stress levels.  Contains iron. 

PhytoMulti without Iron by Metagenics –  A proprietary blend of 13 concentrated plant extracts and phytonutrients with scientifically tested biological activity for complete wellness support. 

Daily Best by DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont –  A balanced blend of high potency, daily multiple vitamins and minerals with antioxidants.  Provides support for bone health, cardiovascular health, metabolic function and fat metabolism.  Contains iron.

Multi-Nutrients 3 Citrate/Malate Formula (without Copper and Iron) by Vital Nutrients A comprehensive multivitamin/mineral formula with potent antioxidants in a gentle bioavailable formula.