The title was originally going to be "riboflavin or not riboflavin" but that just didn't sound right so I changed it at the last minute.  Actually I want to talk about all of the B vitamins, not just B2,  and whether or not you need to or should supplement. There are actually 8 B vitamins, in various forms, and together they are sometimes called the B complex vitamins. They are B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamine). Sometimes you will also see inositol and PABA (para-amino benzoic acid) listed with the B vitamins.  B complex vitamins help with the metabolizing of fats, protein and also help convert carbohydrates into glucose.  They are neccesary for healthy skin, hair, nails, eyes and help with nervous system function. The individual B vitamins and their function are as follows:

  • B1 and B2 are important for healthy functioning of the muscles, nerves, and heart

  • B3 helps regulate the nervous and digestive systems

  • B5 and B12 are required for normal growth and development

  • B6 supports the immune system and aids the body in breaking down protein

  • B7 is involved in the production of hormones

  • B9 helps cells make and maintain DNA


Like all vitamins the best way to get your B vitamins is through diet. Foods that are a good source of vitamin B are green leafy vegetables, cereals and whole grains, chicken, eggs, fish, milk, fruits, nuts, bananas and certain types of beans (kidney). All of these foods should already be in a well rounded diet, but if the diet is lacking some or all of these foods (can you say fast food), a supplement may be beneficial. Deficiency in B vitamins can cause a number of symptoms, including tiredness, anemia, loss of appetite, depression, abdominal pain, muscle cramps, hair loss, and eczema. Sometimes I will recommend B complex vitamin supplementation for my paitents with restless leg, certain types of neuropathy including post herpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy, depression and/or anxiety. If you decide to take a B complex supplement be sure to choose a reputable company that makes a quality product. But remember for most people a few changes at the grocery store is the easiest way to make sure you've got your B's covered. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post please feel free to contact me. Or if you are looking for a chiropractor in Campbell county call  Alexandria Chiropractic Center at 859-635-6666  to make an appointment.

Actually I guess I could have titled this post "To thiamine own self be true"...nah that sounds corny :-)



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