Thiamin, Rivoflavin, Niacin, Pyridoxine: The B Vitamins and Why We Need Them
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Thiamin, Rivoflavin, Niacin, Pyridoxine: The B Vitamins and Why We Need Them

The B Vitamins

There are eight separate vitamins that make up the B vitamin group. They are known collectively as the B-complex vitamins. There is a misconception that these vitamins have a single function and are bonded together. In truth, each of the B vitamins has a unique function that contributes to the overall health of the body. But which of these B vitamins do you need? Here's how to find out:

Know what the B vitamins are.

The B vitamins are also called by a different name. Thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), cyanocobalamin (B12), pantothenic acid and of course, biotin. Each of them have different uses for different needs. Here is an outline of what each B vitamin offers:


This B vitamin is important for blood formation and circulation. It also plays a role in the proper metabolism of carbohydrates. It helps prevent depression, strengthens cardiac function and promotes healthy nerves. Do you suffer from heartburn? This vitamin helps improve this condition.


This vitamin also helps in the formation of red blood cells and assists the body in processing oxygen. It helps in the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids and carbohydrates. It helps prevent migraines and cataracts.


Niacin helps improve the appearance of the skin and lower cholesterol levels in the body.


The body benefits from pyridoxine in many ways. This vitamin helps in the metabolism of certain amino acids that build protein and also helps in the formation of red blood cells, neurotransmitters and proteins. It's helpful in relieving asthma and symptoms associated with PMS.

Folic acid

Pregnant women and those who wish to become pregnant will find this B vitamin important. It metabolizes protein and also promotes proper cell division. It helps stabilize homocysteine levels and protects the fetus against birth defects.


The main function of this B vitamin is to enhance the production of red blood cells. This is an important process that helps in preventing pernicious anemia. It helps in DNA synthesis and its repair.

Pantothenic acid

This B vitamin helps promote the function of the central nervous system. It improves adrenal gland functions and promotes healthy skin and muscles. It metabolizes carbohydrates, fats and proteins. If you suffer from allergies, this vitamin is a big help.


Biotin is the beauty vitamin. The intestines produce it naturally although it is also found in many foods. This B vitamin promotes healthy hair and nails and can help correct scaly dermatitis.

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