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B-Complex Supplements: Benefits and Precautions

There are eight types of B vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. While there are supplements supplying each of those types, you probably don't want to have to pop 8 pills every day just to get your recommended vitamin B intake. That's where B complex supplements come in handy. They combine all 8 vitamin B types in their active forms, meaning your body can make use of them. Could vitamin B complex supplements help you? Let's dive deeper to find out.

Benefits of B-Complex Supplements

Lower Stroke Risk

shutterstock_320995667 Studies have shown that folic acid – a form of vitamin B9 – can reduce the risk of stroke by 7%. Folic acid can even help individuals with high blood pressure. The acid works by breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that damages the inner walls of arteries and boosts the likelihood of stroke. Participants in one Chinese study were less likely to have a stroke during the 4.5-year study period if they took vitamin B supplements with blood pressure medication as opposed to those who only took the medication.

Increased Energy

shutterstock_294312155 When people are deficient in B vitamins, many – including vegans, older adults, pregnant women and alcoholics will feel sluggish and tired. That's because all types of B vitamins are crucial in helping your body transform carbs (the food you eat) into energy that will give your body what it needs to not only feel upbeat, but fight off infections as well.

Building Strong Bones

shutterstock_220995898 We often give calcium all the credit for building strong bones. But vitamin B is no slouch in that regard. Studies of older adults have shown that vitamin B deficiency correlates with an increased risk of bone fractures. Considering that a bone fracture can lead to life-threatening complications in older adults, I'd say making vitamin B supplements a part of your diet is worth it.

Preserved Vision

shutterstock_187264688 Japanese researchers found that glaucoma patients who took vitamin B supplements daily for 5 years had less vision loss than those who did not. That's because a vitamin B12 deficiency leaves optic nerves more open to damage. Don't have glaucoma? Vitamin B can still work to keep your eyes in tip-top shape by preventing age-related eye degeneration.

Immune System Boost

shutterstock_402830614 Studies have shown that individuals who suffer from immune system-related conditions such as allergies can benefit from B vitamins. The vitamins reduce flare-ups by binding to allergens and blocking their allergic potential.

Precautions

As with any supplement, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor before beginning to use B complex vitamins – especially if you're planning on using them to treat a health condition. Be sure to follow dosage instructions for whichever vitamin B supplement you choose. While some vitamin B types, like B12, can be taken without fear of overdose, other types – like B3 and B6 taken in excess can lead to symptoms like nausea. When you do buy vitamin B complex supplements, be sure to stick to the organic kind. Here are a few good brands: Sources: DrHoffman.com European Journal of Internal Medicine Current Therapeutic Research Mayo Clinic Journal of Bone and Mineral Research MensHealth.com Harvard.edu DailyBurn.com

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