The Vitamins B complex is a group of 8 vitamins, which work together as well as separately to ensure the smooth and efficient running of our bodies. Keep reading to find out what each B vitamin is important for, how much you need, and how you can get enough from the food you eat.

Vitamin B1 – Thiamine

thiamine

Vitamin B1 helps the body digest carbohydrates and is also involved in regeneration and making new cells. Thiamine is also known as an ‘anti-stress’ vitamin that has positive effects on mood and helps the body withstand stressful physical and mental conditions.

Food Sources: Beef, fish, milk, nuts, oats, lentils, and green peas.

Requirements

Group Requirements (mg/day)
Men 1.5
Women 1.1
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 1.6
Infants 0.4
Children 1

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

almonds

Riboflavin boosts antioxidant activity in the body and also has an important role in energy release by boosting transport of oxygen to all our cells and organs.

Food Sources: Almonds, milk*, beef, egg, mushrooms.

*TDC Tip: Store milk in opaque containers to prevent degradation of riboflavin.

Requirements

Group Requirements (mg/day)
Men 1.3
Women 1.1
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 1.6
Infants 0.5
Children 0.6

 

Vitamin B3 – Niacin

Ahi Tuna Slices

Niacin is closely related to heart health as it boosts good, HDL, cholesterol. Like other B Vitamins, Niacin is also needed for energy production and converting the food we eat to fuel.

Food Sources: Tuna, chicken, peanuts, green peas, avocado.

Requirements

Group Requirements (mg/day)
Men 16
Women 14
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 18
Infants 4
Children 8

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid

pantothenic acid

 Apart from utilizing the food we eat to yield energy, Vitamin B5 is also needed to help with the formation of sex and stress related hormones, such as testosterone and cortisol.

Food Sources: Mushrooms, avocados, eggs, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes.

Requirements

Group Requirements (mg/day)
Men 5
Women 5
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 5
Infants 1.8
Children 4

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

pyridoxine

Pyridoxine is heavily involved in the breakdown of proteins to energy. Optimal levels are also important to regulate mood and sleep patterns as it effects the production of important regulatory hormones such as melatonin, serotonin, and noradrenaline. It also works alongside other B Vitamins to decrease heart disease markers.

Food Sources: Sunflower seeds, chickpeas, pistachio, tuna, spinach, banana.

Requirements

Group Requirements (mg/day)
Men 1.3
Women 1.3
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 2
Infants 0.3
Children 1

Vitamin B7 – Biotin

biotin

Biotin is often termed ‘the beauty vitamin’. This is because the health and vitality of your hair, skin, and nails are highly affected by your body’s biotin levels.

 

Food Sources: Peanuts, almonds, eggs, dark chocolate, carrots.

Requirements:

Group Requirements (mcg/day)
Men 30
Women 30
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 35
Infants 10
Children 15

Vitamin B9 – Folate

folate (1)

Folate is possibly the most important nutrient during early pregnancy. Read more about the importance of it for your baby here. There is also evidence that increasing your folate intake from food can keep depression symptoms at bay and improve memory.

 

Food Sources: Spinach, kale, dates, salmon, beetroot.

Requirements

Group Requirements (mcg/day)
Men 400
Women 400
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 600*Supplement recommended
Infants 80
Children 200

Vitamin B12 – Cobalmin

cobalmin

Vitamin B12 is crucial for cellular energy, maintaining a healthy nervous system, and helping iron to work efficiently in the body.

 

Food Sources* – Beef, chicken, salmon, milk, eggs.

* TDC Tip: If you are vegan or vegetarian, a vitamin B12 supplement is strongly recommended as the vitamin is only present in animal products.

Requirements

Group Requirements (mcg/day)
Men 2.4
Women 2.4
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 2.8
Infants 0.9
Children 1.2