Understanding B Vitamins: What Happened To B4, B8, B10, and B11

Thiamin kept the B1 name. B2 was already taken, so niacin got B3. As vitamin research continued, scientists found a number of substances they thought at first were new B vitamins. Some turned out to be the same B’s that had already been discovered, while others turned out not to be vitamins at all.


Understanding Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid

If you’re deficient in folic acid, you might have some of these symptoms: Anemia, nausea and loss of appetite, diarrhea, malnutrition from poor nutrient absorption, weight loss, weakness, sore tongue, headaches, irritability and mood swings, and heart palpitations.

Understanding Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

We need pyridoxine to turn the proteins we eat into the proteins we need and is also needed to covert carbohydrates from the form we store them in into the form we use for energy.

Understanding Vitamin B5: Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid gets its name from the Greek word ‘pantothen’, meaning “from all sides”. That’s because pantothenic acid is found in every food. It’s kind of nice knowing that there’s one vitamin you can’t ever be deficient in. At least some pantothenic acid is found in every single food you eat, so there’s no way you can’t get enough.

Understanding Vitamin B3 – Niacin

At the ordinary FDA level, niacin doesn’t do anything very dramatic. Except that we do need it for some of the most important functions in our body, like releasing energy in our cells, making hormones, and working with the other members of the B team to keep the body running smoothly.

The Role It Plays

Understanding Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Riboflavin was discovered in milk in 1879. Nobody realized it was a vitamin, mostly because back then nobody knew what a vitamin was. The discoverers just saw it as an interesting yellow-green pigment in the milk. The name riboflavin is a combination of two words: ribose, a type of sugar found in milk, and flavin, from the Latin word flavus, which means yellow.

Our cells need riboflavin to make energy, so we need to be sure we’re getting enough of this vital member of the B family.

Riboflavin does lots of other good things for us as well, mostly by working with the other B’s to keep our body’s systems, like the immune system, running smoothly. Riboflavin works especially closely with niacin and pyridoxine – in fact, without riboflavin, these two B siblings can’t do their main jobs at all.

Understanding Thiamin: Vitamin B1

The body goes through an amazing complex series of steps to turn food into energy. All of the B vitamins are involved in every one of those steps, alone or working together. One particular step needs an enzyme called thiamin pyrophosphate, or TPP, to work. Without thiamin, we can’t make the enzyme, and without the enzyme, the whole process stops.

Understanding Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for making the blood clots that quickly stop the bleeding whenever we injure ourselves. All vitamin K ends up in the liver, where it’s used to make some of the substances that make our blood clot. Blood normally has a number of different clotting factors – substances that help it form clots to stop bleeding from cuts, bruises, and other injuries. Vitamin K is needed to help the liver make prothrombin, the most important of the clotting factors. Some of the other factors are also made in the liver and depend on Vitamin K. Without clotting factors, blood clots very slowly or not at all, so even a small cut can bleed for a long time and even a minor bang can cause a big bruise.

Understanding Vitamin E

In the vitamin world, E stands for excellent. Vitamin E is excellent for heart health, cancer prevention, and immunity improvement. All that, and it plays well with others, too. Vitamin E teams up with Vitamin A and Vitamin C to give us maximum antioxidant protection. Vitamin E is not only just excellent for heart health research proves that it can really help prevent heart disease – safely, easily, and cheaply.

Understanding Vitamin D

All the vitamin D you need or a daily dose is packed in 10 minutes out in the sunshine. Your body makes this important vitamin from sunlight on your skin.