The B Vitamins
Below is a general overview of the main B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin and cyanocobalamin. In general, B vitamins are coenzymes in metabolic pathways. They are all water soluble
Functions: Coenzyme in respiration
Sources: Wheat grain and rice husks
Requirements: RDA: 1.5mg
Related diseases: Beri beri: Muscle waste, circulatory failure and paralysis
Functions: Forms coenzyme FAD required in respiration
Sources: Leafy vegetables, fish and eggs.
Requirements: RDA: Men: 1.5 mg Women: 1.1-1.3 mg
Related diseases: Sores on mouth, eyes and skin
Niacin B3, also known as Nicotinamide
Functions: Forms coenzyme NAD in animals, used in respiration. Forms coenzyme NADP in plants, which is used in photosynthesis.
Sources: Meat fish and dairy products
Related diseases: Pellagra: Diarrhoea, mental disorder and dermatitis
Pantothenic acid B5
Functions: Forms coenzyme A used in respiration
Sources: Most foods, but the best sources are egg white, liver and yeast.
Related diseases: Fatigue, poor motor coordination
Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine
Functions: Forms coenzymes for transamination synthesis of amino acids.
Sources: Most foods
Requirements: RDA: 2.5mg
Related diseases: Kidney stones
Functions: Coenzyme in carbon transfer in nuclei acid metabolism
Sources: Green vegetables, legumes, wholewheat
Requirements: RDA: 400 micro grams, more for pregnant and lactating mothers.
Related diseases: gastrointestinal disorders
Functions: Coenzyme for fat synthesis and glycogen formation
Sources: Legumes, vegetables, meat.
Requirements: RDA: 300 micro grams
Related diseases: Dermatitis, muscle pains and depression
Functions: Coenzyme in carbon transfer in nucleic acid metabolism
Sources: Meat, eggs, dairy products
Requirements: 3 micrograms
Related diseases: Pernicious anaemia