Written by Antonio Reyes RDN
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Pantothenic Acid is a vitamin that helps a very important enzyme called ACOA that plays a key role in the synthesis and breakdown of all three major macronutrients of human metabolism being carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Best Sources: eggs, liver, and salmon.
RDI: 5 mg
Growth delay, dermatitis, neurological, immune, hematological, reproductive and gastrointestinal abnormalities.
Excessive oral pantothenic acid ingestion seems to be very well-tolerated, even at doses as high as 10 to 20 g/day, is well tolerated although mild diarrhea may occur.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Pyridoxine aids in the synthesis and breakdown of unsaturated fatty acids and proteins, it also helps in the metabolism and synthesis of essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA, on the other hand, it is a vitamin needed for the conversion of Tryptophan to Niacin (Quinurenine Route) an essential metabolic route for normal growth.
Best Sources: milk, eggs, and oats.
RDI: 1.3 mg
Anemia, itchy rashes, scaly lips, cracks in the corners of the lips and inflammation of the tongue, depression, confusion, and weakening of the immune system. Babies who don't get enough vitamin Pyridoxine can easily irritate or develop extremely sensitive hearing or become more prone to seizures.
High consumption through dietary supplements for more than a year can cause severe damage to the nervous system, causing loss of control of body movements. In general, these symptoms go away when you stop taking the supplements. Other symptoms of toxicity include painful and skin reactions, hypersensitivity to sunlight, nausea, and heartburn.
Vitamin B8 (Biotin)
Biotin is an essential component of enzymes, as such It is involved in the synthesis and breakdown of fatty acids and amino acids, Biotin’s key role in metabolism focuses on facilitating the elimination of CO2 and NH2 (amino group) from the breakdown of protein, high levels of CO2 and NH2 are toxic.
Best Sources: eggs, milk and red meat.
RDI: 30 mcg
A deficiency can cause vomiting, lethargy, and hypotonia (decreased tension or muscle tone, or the tone of an organ).
No adverse side effects were reported after acute oral or intravenous administration of doses 600 times higher than food intake.
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Essential for the biosynthesis of nucleic acids (DNA); especially important during early fetal development. Essential for normal maturation of red globules.
Best Sources: wheat, egg, fish, lentils, peas, asparagus and broccoli.
RDI: 0.4 - 0.6 mg
Important Note: Folic acid requirements are increased in pregnancy because of the rapidly dividing cells in the fetus and elevated urinary losses. As the neural tube closes by day 28 of pregnancy, when pregnancy may not have been detected, folic acid supplementation after the first month of pregnancy will not prevent neural tube defects, therefore it is important to take supplementation as soon as possible, up to 0.6 mg is recommended.
Megaloblastic anemia causes red blood cells to not properly develop. weakness, symptoms include tiredness, concentration problems, irritability, headache, palpitations, and shortness of breath. It can also cause open ulcers on the tongue and inside the mouth, as well as changes in skin, hair or nail color. Women who do not consume enough folate are at risk of having babies with neural tube abnormalities, such as spina bifida, premature or low birth weight.
Consumption of high concentrations of folic acid could "compensate" a vitamin B12 deficiency. Folic acid can correct anemia, but no nerve damage caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.
Abuse of Folic Acid can lead to permanent damage to the brain, spine and nervous system, high doses of folic acid may also increase the risk of colorectal cancer and possibly other types of cancer.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Essential for the biosynthesis of nucleic acids, nucleoproteins (histones and telomerase) which aid in cell replication and proliferation, also it helps breakdown odd-chain fatty acids, as well, Cobalamin it's involved in the metabolism of nerve tissue (embryogenesis).
Best Sources: eggs, milk and red meat.
Important Note: Vegan diets are extremely low in the Vitamin B Complex, especially B12, as it is nonexisting outside animal food sources, therefore supplements are needed to compensate.
RDI: 2.4 mcg
Weight loss and megaloblastic anemia. In addition, neurological problems such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet may occur. Other symptoms of Cobalamin deficiency include balance problems, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and inflammation of the mouth or tongue. In infants, signs of a Cobalamin deficiency include stunting, movement problems, and developmental delays.
No toxicity symptoms have been found, nevertheless, supplementation with Cobalamin may cause acne in some individuals.