Vitamin B Complex – Composition, & Sources of Vitamin B

Vitamin B Complex

B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important functions in the cell metabolic process and synthesis of red blood cells. Though these vitamins share similar names (B1, B2, B3, and so on), they are chemically unique substances that typically coexist in the same foods. In basic, dietary supplements including all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex.

Specific B vitamin supplements are described by the specific number or name of each vitamin, such as B1 for thiamine, B2 for riboflavin, and B3 for niacin, as examples. Some are more typically acknowledged by name than by number: niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and folate.

Vitamin B complex is composed of eight B vitamins:
  • B-1 (thiamine)
  • B-2 (riboflavin)
  • B-3 (niacin)
  • B-5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B-6 (pyridoxine)
  • B-7 (biotin)
  • B-9 (folic acid)
  • B-12 (cobalamin)
B-1 (thiamine)

Thiamine consists of a pyrimidine ring attached to a thiazole ring by a methylene bridge. Thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) is an active coenzyme form of vitamin thiamine. Vitamin B-1 is vital to the healthy growth and function of organs, including the brain and heart.

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B-2 (riboflavin)

Riboflavin is a yellow substance (Flavus = yellow in Latin) including an isoalloxazine ring with a ribitol (sugar alcohol) side chain. Riboflavin is relatively heated stable but decomposes in the presence of visible light (photosensitive).

The body requires vitamin B-2 to break down fats and drugs.

B-3 (niacin)

Niacin is a general name for the nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, either of which may serve as a source of the vitamin in the diet. Niacin is a basic derivative of pyridine. The body needs niacin to preserve healthy skin, nerves, and digestion. Doctors in some cases recommend high dosages of niacin to assist enhance cholesterol levels.

B-5 (pantothenic acid)

The name pantothenic acid is derived from the Greek word ‘pantothene,’ implying from “everywhere” and provides a sign of the large distribution of the vitamin in foods. Pantothenic acid is formed by a combination of pantoic acid and β-alanine. Vitamin B-5 is important for the health of the brain and nervous system.

B-6 (pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 consists of a mixture of 3 various closely related pyridine derivatives specifically:

  1. Pyridoxine
  2. Pyridoxal
  3. Pyridoxamine
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All the 3 have equal vitamin activity, as they can be interconverted in the body. Vitamin B-6 assists the body to make new red cells, which carries oxygen throughout the body. It also helps keep the immune system strong.

B-7 (biotin)

Biotin was known previously as vitamin Biotin is an imidazole derivative. It includes a tetrahydrothiophene ring bound to an imidazole ring and a valeric acid side chain. Enzyme-bound biotin, biocytin is an active type of biotin. Biotin is covalently bound to an ε-amino group of lysine of an enzyme to form biocytin. Biotin is necessary for healthy hair, nails, and nerve function.

B-9 (folic acid)

Folic acid includes three parts, pteridine ring, p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), and L-glutamic acid. In a folic acid particle, the variety of glutamic acid residues varies from one to seven. Folic acid usually has one glutamic acid residue. The body utilizes folic acid– or folate, its natural type– to make DNA and genetic material. During pregnancy, folic acid might lower the threat of certain abnormalities and defects.

B-12 (cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 bears a complicated corrin ring (consisting of pyrroles comparable to porphyrin), linked to a cobalt atom kept in the center of the corrin ring, by 4coordination bonds with the nitrogen of the pyrrole groups.

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The remaining coordination bonds of the cobalt are related to the nitrogen of dimethyl benzimidazole nucleotide and the 6th bond is connected to either methyl or 5′- deoxy adenosyl or hydroxy group to form methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, or hydroxy cobalamin respectively.

The body’s nerve and blood cells require vitamin B-12. Appropriate levels of B-12 likewise prevent pernicious anemia, which is a shortage of this nutrient.

Sources of Vitamin B


Lots of foods include B vitamins, which makes it simple to get enough from your diet. It’s best to get your B vitamins from a wide variety of food sources. This helps to guarantee you’re getting enough of each type.

You can find vitamin B in:
  • Milk, cheese, eggs, liver, and kidney.
  • meat, such as chicken and red meat.
  • fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
  • shellfish, such as oysters and clams.
  • dark green veggies, such as spinach and kale.
  • veggies, such as beets, avocados, and potatoes.
  • entire grains and cereals.
  • beans, such as kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas.
  • nuts and seeds.