Vitamin B Complex; Health Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage


Why Do You Need Vitamin B Complex?

Vitamin B complex is called complex because it is a group of vitamins B that are essential to the body. Vitamin B complex contains 8 different types of vitamin Bs, namely;

Vitamins, especially vitamins B, play important roles in the body and enhance body functions if they are gotten in required and sufficient amounts. Most people get sufficient vitamins from just foods since a wide range of foods are vitamin-rich.

On the flip side, factors such as dietary choices, pregnancy, age, genetics, excessive alcohol consumption, and other medical conditions make the body demand more vitamins, especially vitamin B.

Thus, in this case, it is best to increase your vitamin B intake through supplements since the body cannot make do with only the ones gotten through meals. Vitamin B complex supplements are supplements that contain all 8 different types of vitamin Bs.

This article embellishes the health benefits, side effects, and dosage of the vitamin B complex.

B Complex Supplements

B complex supplements are a blend of all the 8 B vitamins into one pill. Vitamin B is a water-soluble vitamin, which means your body does not get to store them. Thus you need a steady supply of vitamin B through foods and other healthy sources.

B vitamins play important roles in the body and are important in maintaining good health. The following are the benefits of the 8 contents of B complex vitamins;

Vitamin B1 (thiamine): Thiamine is an essential vitamin B that plays an important role in the conversion of nutrients in the body and also ensures an efficient body metabolism. The best food sources of thiamine are; sunflower seeds, pork, and white germ.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Riboflavin helps in the conversion of food into energy and also functions as an antioxidant. Healthy food sources of riboflavin include; mushrooms, slices of beef, and organ meats.

Vitamin B3 (niacin): Niacin is an essential vitamin in the production and repair of DNA. Food sources of niacin include; lentils, tuna, and chicken.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): it ensures that you obtain energy from all the foods you eat without leaving any out. Also, vitamin B5 is essential in the production of hormones secretion and cholesterol.  Food sources include; yogurt, fish, liver, and avocados.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): it metabolizes amino acids. It is also required in the production of red blood cells and neurotransmitters. Food sources are; chickpeas, potatoes, and salmon.

Vitamin B7 (biotin): biotin metabolizes fat and carbohydrates. It is also popular for its regulation of gene expression roles. Food sources of biotin are; eggs, yeast, liver, cheese, and salmon.

Vitamin B9 (folate): folate, also known as “pregnancy vitamin,” is involved in the metabolism process of amino acids and also in the healthy growth of cells. It is a contributory factor to the production of red and white blood cells and the efficient division of cells. Liver, leafy green vegetables, and liver are the best sources of folate.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): cobalamin is the most popular vitamin B of all the vitamin Bs. It assists in the proper functioning of neurological processes. In addition, it is vital for the development of red blood cells and DNA. Cobalamin is found in meats, kinds of seafood, eggs, and dairy.

From the list, it is obvious that a number of these vitamin Bs share similar characteristics, but notwithstanding, they perform their unique individual functions in the body and are needed in different amounts.

Who Needs Vitamin B Complex the Most?

Since vitamin B is a common vitamin that can be easily gotten from foods, its deficiency cases are quite low, as people may not be too exposed to the risks of developing it, as long as they follow proper feeding routines, with healthy and veggies-rich diets.

However, a number of factors have been identified to increase the demand for vitamin B complex, and if caution is not taken, there will be a case of vitamin B complex deficiency. Those who may need more vitamin B than others include;

Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

In order to support fetal growth and development, vitamin B is essential. However, during pregnancy, a woman is at more risk of developing vitamin B deficiency. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, especially the ones on vegan diets, are advised to supplement their meals with b complex supplements.

Vitamin B12 (folate) vitamin deficiency in pregnant women could lead to birth defects in infants.

Older Adult

Age is a factor that increases the demand for vitamin B complex. Thus, older people cannot get sufficient b complex vitamins from foods alone. They need vitamin B supplements to keep them going. Vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults can lead to cases of depression and other mood spoilers, particularly in women who are in their menopausal age.

People with Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions are also causes of vitamin B deficiency in people. Thus, vitamin b supplements are required to make up for the lost ones as a result of the illness. Some of these health conditions include; cancer, Crohn’s disease anorexia, among others.

Vegan and Vegetarians

Since most vitamin Bs are found in meats and other animal products, people on vegetarian and vegan diets tend to lose out of natural vitamin Bs from food sources. This is why they are advised to adopt vitamin B supplements into their vegan/vegetarian diets.

People on Certain Medications

Some medications have been found to inhibit the proper functioning and absorption of some B vitamins. Some of these prescriptions include; birth control pills, among others.

Health Benefits of B Complex Vitamins

Boost Mood and Reduces Stress

A man with his head in his handsVitamin B complex is known to improve mood, reduce stress, and beat down fatigue. According to research, vitamin B complex can “life your spirit” and enhance cognitive performance in people, especially in young adults.

Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Although vitamin B complex is not a cure for mental illnesses, they help improve symptoms of psychological and mental issues, especially ones associated with mood.

The study holds that deficiency of certain B complex vitamins can increase the risks of depression and anxiety. This is why it is important to get enough vitamin Bs for your body in order to prevent psychological imbalances.

Side Effects of Excess Usage

Vitamin B complex is not a nutrient that the body provides on its own because it is water-soluble. It can only be gotten from foods and supplements.

Side effects of vitamin B complex occur as a result of the excess or prolonged usage of the supplement.

For example;

  • Excessive usage of niacin may lead to side effects like vomiting and skin flushing and severe symptoms like; liver damage and high blood sugar levels.
  • In addition, prolonged usage of vitamin B6 can lead to severe symptoms like light sensitivity, nerve damage, and skin lesions.
  • Excess usage of other kinds of vitamin Bs can cause urine discoloration, which is the body’s sign that there is an excess unused vitamin in the blood.


Each of the 8 types of vitamin B has its own recommended dosage. Sometimes these dosages depend on age, gender, and other factors like pregnancy, breastfeeding, and so on.

Based on gender, the recommended dosage of the vitamin B complex are as follows;

B complex vitamins                                        Women                           Men

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)                                    1.1 mg                              1.2 mg

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)                       5 mg                                 5 mg

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)                                   1.1 mg                              1.3 mg

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)                                  1.3 mg                              1.3 mg

Vitamin B3 (niacin)                                          14 mg                               16 mg

Vitamin B7 (biotin)                                           30 mcg                             30 mcg

Vitamin B9 (folate)                                           400 mcg                          400 mcg

Vitamin B 12 (cobalamin)                                2.4 mcg                            2.4 mcg

Side Effect of WhiskeyPregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need more B vitamins, as they at higher risks of suffering from its deficiency. On the other hand, infants and children need lesser than the above-required dosage.

For people who are vitamin B deficient, it is best to replenish it from supplements rather than food for a speedy recovery.

In conclusion, the vitamin B complex is a combination of a lot of different vitamin Bs, with each functioning in its own unique way. Vitamin B complex can be gotten through foods, especially meats and other animal products. Higher amounts can also be gotten from b complex supplements. As much as they supply a number of essential health benefits, their excessive and prolonged usage can also lead to severe side effects.