Sleeping on the commute
A business man sleeps on the train on his way home from work. Getty Images/Chris McGrath

Vitamin B-complex is one of the daily essential vitamins the body needs to function optimally. It is typically recommended as a supplement to address vitamin deficiency caused by alcoholism, poor nutrition, certain health conditions, and during pregnancy. It is also a known mineral taken to help combat constant tiredness and fatigue.

B-complex is composed of eight types of B-vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 pyridoxine, B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamine). Each has its benefits, but when combined create a potent supplement to treat many dietary and medical conditions. Most of these are found in typical foods, but those who have no access to balanced meals will need to take vitamins daily.

Who should take it?

B-complex vitamins are essential for helping the body maintain good health. These vitamins are water soluble, which is why they must be taken daily as the body is not able to store them (unlike fat-soluble ones, which stay in the body until they are needed).

Because B-vitamins have an energy boosting effect, it is recommended that you take them in the morning on an empty stomach. Some health experts say splitting their intake in the morning and then in the afternoon, to make sure that you have enough energy going for the whole day.

Vitamin C-complex is recommended particularly for older adults and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. People with health issues such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, anorexia, hypothyroidism, alcoholism, cancer, and those who have undergone weight loss surgeries are also often prescribed with these supplements because they tend to have nutrient deficiencies. The same also applies to people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Benefits of Vitamin B-Complex

The main reason why people should take Vitamin B-complex is that it helps boost one’s mood and reduce fatigue. This is backed by scientific studies showing that those who were given high-dose B complex supplements fared better when it comes to performance and handling stress. This mineral combo also benefits those are experiencing depression and anxiety symptoms.

Being water-soluble, it’s not likely that people will overdose on Vitamin B-complex, though it helps to stay within the recommended daily dose, just to be on the safe side. Too much niacin (B3), for example, can lead to high blood sugar levels and liver problems. You might also notice discolored urine when you pee, though this is generally not alarming because it only means the body is getting rid of vitamins it was not able to use.

When taking Vitamin B-complex supplements, make sure that you choose only reputable products that have been tested by the USP and approved by the US FDA.