By Kavitha Balakrishnan ,Nutritionist
THE ROLE OF VITAMIN B
Vitamin B helps with metabolism, red blood cell formation and kick-starting the body’s immunity .Specifically, vitamins B1, B6,B12 and folic acid promote good nerve health .They can be found in food or taken as supplements. A lack of these B vitamins can result in nerve damage or pain.
Below is a list of vitamin B subtypes and their benefits, food sources and symptoms if they are lacking in the body .If you have a hectic life , they are also readily available as supplements.
Vitamin B1 is required for nerve health and proper brain functioning. This vitamin assists in the development of myelin, an insulting layer that surrounds the nerve to speed up neural transmission .It also plays a role in structure and integrity of brain cells.
Food source: Grains, seeds, nuts and yeast.
Deficiency symptoms : Irritability , poor nerve functioning and Wernicke-korsakoff syndrome whereby vision ,muscle control and memory are affected.
Vitamin B6 is required for brain development and immunity .It is involved in the production of neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that allows nerve cells to communicate with each other .It is also required in myelin formation and ensures proper fat and protein metabolism.
Food source: Grains, vegetables, seafood, poultry, nuts, liver and fruits.
Deficiency Symptoms: Insomnia, depression, and seizures in new –borns, nerve damage in the hands and feet, confusion.
FOLIC ACID (VITAMIN B9)
Folic acid or vitamin B9 is important for brain function and in mental and emotional health. It helps in DNA and RNA production for cells and tissue growth. Lack of this may result in birth defects such as spine bifida, where the spinal cord is improperly developed.
Food source: Vegetables, seeds, liver, poultry, eggs, cereals, and citrus fruits.
Deficiency symptoms: Fatigue, mental sluggishness, forgetfulness and developmental problems.
Vitamin B12 plays a role in the maintenance of healthy nerve cells and brain development. It facilitates myelin production and is required for DNA synthesis.
Food source: Liver, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
Deficiency symptoms: Fatigue, depression, nerve damage (neuropathy), numbness and nerve degeneration.