The clinical utility of the B Vitamins: A snapshot

The B Vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that include thiamine (vitamin B1; active form is thiamine diphosphate), riboflavin (vitamin B2; active form riboflavin-5’-phosphate), niacin (an umbrella term for niacinamide, nicotinamide, nicotinic acid; vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6; active form is pyridoxyl-5’-phosphate (PLP)), folate (folic acid and the active forms of folinic acid and methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF)) and cobalamin (vitamin B12; active forms of methylcobalamin, hydroxycobalamin). The B vitamins have a multitude of functions in the nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems, energy metabolism, metabolism of DNA, cell signalling, and various metabolic reactions. Some of the clinical applications include stress, depression, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, memory impairment, anaemia, insulin resistance.

B vitamins have a synergistic effect with each other. It is best to supplement with the complete B vitamin complex rather than supplementing with just one or a couple of the B vitamins.[1] With this being said, after a consultation, a practitioner will be able to determine the primary and secondary B vitamins for the individual and prescribe accordingly.

Conclusion: The B Vitamins are a synergistic group of water-soluble vitamins that have numerous functions in each of the body systems. Some of the clinical applications include stress, depression, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, memory impairment, anaemia, insulin resistance. The B vitamins should be thought of as essential in improving health and vitality.

McEwen BJ. The Clinical Utility of the B Vitamins: A Snapshot. J ATMS, 2020; 26(3): 138-41.

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