More About B Vitamins
B Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B is actually a family of water-soluble vitamins that’s important for the health of many organs and body systems. B vitamins serve as coenzymes, which are biochemical cofactors that are necessary for a wide range of chemical reactions in the body.
The “coenzyme” form of a B vitamin refers to its biologically active form in the human body. B vitamins are especially important for nervous system and neurological health, but their roles as coenzymes make them critical for normal cellular function.
- Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) – Thiamin plays a central role in the generation of energy from carbohydrates. It’s involved in RNA and DNA production, as well as healthy nervous system function. It’s also involved in the production of hydrochloric acid, an important aspect of healthy digestion. The biologically active coenzyme form of vitamin B-1 is thiamin co-carboxylase.
- Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) – Riboflavin is important for circulatory and immune health and is especially important for developing fetuses during pregnancy. It’s involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. One of the biologically active forms of vitamin B-2 is riboflavin-5-phosphate.
- Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) – Also known as niacinamide and nicotinic acid, niacin plays a role in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and is involved in the production of hydrochloric acid. The nicotinic acid form helps to support healthy circulation and also helps to maintain cholesterol levels already within the healthy range. One biologically active coenzyme form of vitamin B-3 is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD.
- Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid) – Vitamin B-5 is extremely important for healthy cognitive function due to its role in the production of neurotransmitters. Like other B vitamins, it’s involved in the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates for energy. Most importantly, pantothenic acid is required for the synthesis of coenzyme A, which is necessary for numerous body functions. Another form of vitamin B-5 is pantethine.
- Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) – Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B-6 is involved in cardiovascular and immune system health and helps to balance sodium and potassium levels. Pyrodoxine also plays a role in the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine. The biologically active coenzyme form of vitamin B-6 is P-5-P.
- Vitamin B-7 (Biotin) – Vitamin B-7 is necessary for normal growth and body function. It’s a key regulatory element in gluconeogenesis (the generation of glucose from carbon sources), fatty acid synthesis, and in the metabolism of some amino acids. Alongside its role in energy production, biotin enhances the synthesis of certain proteins and promotes normal immunity. Biotin is probably best known for its role in skin health and, to a lesser extent, for hair and nail health.
- Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) – B-12 is vitally important for the growth and health of the nervous system, as well as for cellular growth and longevity. It’s involved in digestion and the absorption of foods, and its role in the metabolism of homocysteine makes it important for cardiovascular function. Like other B vitamins, it’s also involved in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. The biologically active coenzyme forms of vitamin B-12 are dibencozide and methycobalamin.
Other B vitamins and B vitamin-like nutrients with important physiological roles include folate, choline, inositol and para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA, a common ingredient in many commercial skin care products. (see all of our B Vitamins)
The NOW® Difference
Since 1968 NOW has been empowering people to lead healthier lives with our award-winning dietary supplements and natural products. We know you have a lot of brands to choose from when it comes to dietary supplements. When you choose NOW you’re choosing one of the industry’s oldest and most established manufacturers. We’ve fostered long-standing relationships with the world’s top ingredient suppliers, and we source only premium quality ingredients for all NOW products, including our vitamin line.
With our state-of-the-art, in-house laboratory facilities and more than 100 experts focused on ensuring our products meet our industry-leading commitment to quality, you can trust NOW for all of your B vitamin supplement needs.