What is The Best Vitamin b Complex Supplement Brand to Buy in 2017?
Vitamin B complex is a supplement containing eight B vitamins—B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12. These vitamins are extremely important for a variety of bodily functions, including hormonal activity, energy production and boosting the immune system.
What is the best vitamin B complex supplement? Keep reading to find out!
Who Needs Vitamin B Complex Supplements?
As with other vitamins or minerals, the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin B complex varies depending on sex and age. Each type of vitamin B is required in different amounts too. For example, it is recommended that both men and women consume about 5 mg of vitamin B5 daily. However, men should consume 16 mg of vitamin B3 daily, while women should only consume 14 mg (source).
Although there is an abundance of food sources containing B vitamins, certain people are at a higher risk for a deficiency.
B vitamins can be found in whole grains (which contain vitamin B1), chicken (which contains vitamin B3) and leafy greens (which contain vitamin B9). So, if you are vegetarian, you may not be getting enough of the B vitamins found in meat products. Likewise, if you are gluten-intolerant, you may not be meeting the daily requirements for vitamin B1. Older adults and those with alcoholism or heart failure are also at a higher risk of vitamin B deficiency.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency, you can definitely benefit from a supplement.
What Vitamin B Complex Supplements Do
Vitamin B complex supplements treat and prevent vitamin B deficiencies. The symptoms of vitamin B deficiency can have serious or lasting effects.
Each B vitamin has a different function and all are very important for the human body. Vitamins B1 and B2 are important for the muscles, nerves and heart. Vitamin B3 helps convert food into energy, while B5 breaks down fats and carbohydrates for energy. The latter, along with vitamin B7, is also responsible for hormone production. Even the immune system is supported by a B vitamin (B6). Vitamin B9 helps to create and maintain DNA. Finally, vitamin B12 plays a role in the nervous system and red blood cell formation (source).
Clearly, the B vitamins are crucial to nearly every organ system. So, a breakdown in any one of these systems may point to a vitamin B deficiency.
However, you don’t need to have symptoms of a deficiency to take a B vitamin complex supplement; you can use them to protect yourself in the long run. Some studies find that B vitamins (specifically vitamins B6, B9 and B12) slows cognitive decline (source). These particular B vitamins may also prevent macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that becomes more prevalent as we age (source).
One important thing to note is that the B vitamins are typically safe because they are water-soluble. So, your body will get rid of any excess. However, if you consume a B vitamin complex supplement in very large doses (more than the recommended daily amount), it can have adverse effects. These rare overdoses can lead to skin problems, vision problems and heart complications. Remember to follow the instructions on the label and speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.
So, how can you choose the best B vitamin complex supplement?
How To Choose The Right Supplement
When choosing a vitamin B complex supplement (or any supplement, for that matter), always read the label.
Though vitamin B complex supplements come in different forms (such as liquid or pills), they are all absorbed equally well. So, in terms of absorption, you don’t need to worry about which form you choose.
However, the taste of the vitamin may be affected by the form. For example, powdered and chewable vitamins may have a bitter aftertaste. The pills may also be hard to swallow, so you may want to opt for a chewable, gummy or liquid version if you have difficulty swallowing.
Another thing you need to look out for is the dosage of each vitamin B. Our body needs different amounts of each vitamin B, so if the supplement contains equal amounts of each, it isn’t well-balanced (source). If you take too much of one type of vitamin B, your body will get rid of it through urine.
The label will also contain information about potential allergens, food dyes and preservatives.
As always, the less unnecessary ingredients, the better!
Speaking of ingredients, you’ll want to find a supplement with natural versions of vitamins B9 and B12. Many supplements contain folic acid, the synthetic form of vitamin B9, which may be linked to an increased risk of cancer (source)! Some also contain vitamin B12 in its synthetic form, as cyanocobalamin, which releases a small amount of cyanide into your body (source). If you are looking to go as natural as possible, you’ll want a supplement with folate and vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the product you’re using is safe. You can usually tell if an edible product is safe by its certifications and approvals by regulating bodies, such as the FDA.
Our Picks for the Best Vitamin B Complex Supplements:
Out of these five vitamin B complex supplements, I think the Garden of Life Vegan B Vitamin is the best choice.
Though it may seem pricier than other B complex supplements, it is worth it. Unfortunately, many of the low cost supplements on the market contain synthetic versions of vitamin B9 and B12. The synthetic versions have been shown to be less effective than the natural version.
This particular supplement is also vegetarian-friendly and contains beneficial probiotic and vegetable blends. Overall, the quality makes up for its relatively high price.