Some years back, I woke up one morning with an excruciating pain in my right hand and wrist. The pain was so much that I had to seek medical help. When the diagnosis came, they called it carpal tunnel syndrome. It is also called pinched nerve. I was expecting to be given a jaw-breaking named drug but alas, I was given a drug called neurovit forte and the components are vitamins B1, B6 and B12.
So as usual, I discussed the condition with my father. Yes, I always discuss things like this with him because he is the real scientist (a professor of Botany) while I am an English language graduate and a self-taught scientist.
He had a story to tell me. He told me about a family friend of ours whose daughter suffered paralysis and after a series of tests, it was discovered that she lacked one of the B vitamins. She was given doses of the particular B vitamin she needed and recovered. So, I said to myself: what’s so special about this vitamin B complex? Let’s go on the journey together to unravel the mystery behind this vitamin that keeps our body going well like a well-oiled machine.
B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function and cell metabolism.
B vitamins are water-soluble, which means your body does not store them. They are excreted from the body daily and for this reason, your diet must supply them each day. Most people get the recommended amounts of these vitamins through diet alone since they are found in a wide variety of foods.
However, factors like age, pregnancy, dietary choices, medical conditions, genetics, medication and alcohol use increase the body’s demand for B vitamins. The B vitamin family is made up of eight B vitamins, they are:
B1 helps the body make healthy new cells. It’s often called an anti-stress vitamin because of its ability to protect the immune system. This vitamin is necessary to help break down simple carbohydrates. You can get it from whole grains, peanuts, beans, spinach, kale, blackstrap molasses and wheat germ
This B vitamin works as an antioxidant to help fight free radicals which are particles in the body that damage cells. It may also prevent early aging and the development of heart disease. In addition, riboflavin is important for red blood cell production, which is necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body.
Several studies suggest B2 can help stave off migraines, but more research is needed to be sure. Be careful, while sunlight does the body good, ultraviolet light reduces the riboflavin content in food sources. You can get it from Almonds, wild rice, milk, yogurt, eggs, Brussels sprouts, spinach and soybeans.