Welcome to ReviewBox! Vitamin B, or B-Complex, has enormous health benefits, which is why it is regularly consumed through food and dietary supplements. It is also used for burns and skin injuries through topical medicines such as creams, ointments and lotions.
You may be asking yourself: "Which of all the products and brands is best? We'll give you all the information you need about vitamin B below, so that by the end of this article you can clear up any questions you may have right now - don't miss out!
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The Best Vitamin B: Our Picks
- 3 Buying guide
- 3.1 What is vitamin B and what are its benefits?
- 3.2 What are the main functions of vitamin B?
- 3.3 Vitamin b12 as cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin - what should you look out for?
- 3.4 How else can I consume vitamin B?
- 3.5 How much do vitamin B supplements cost?
- 3.6 Where to buy vitamin B supplements?
- 4 Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate the different types of B vitamins
The Best Vitamin B: Our Picks
What is vitamin B and what are its benefits?
B vitamins are water-soluble, i.e. they dissolve in water; therefore, in case of excess, they are easily excreted in the urine. Therefore, high doses of B-vitamin supplements are not toxic, and are an excellent complementary option.
Vitamin B12 (or cobalamin) is the only vitamin of the group that is only found in foods of animal origin, so supplements fortified with this vitamin are a good alternative for vegetarians or vegans, since B12 deficiency causes fatigue and weakness.
What are the main functions of vitamin B?
Vitamin b12 as cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin - what should you look out for?
B12 cyanocobalamin: Supplements in this category are the most commonly used form of vitamin B12. They are exclusively of animal origin, and their popularity is due to the fact that they are excellent for improving the nervous system and provide the body with a lot of energy. This type of B12 can be stored for a long time without the risk of being toxic.
B12 methylcobalamin: This type of B12 is the most effectively metabolised in the body and has a wider range of benefits: it helps to improve eyesight, sharpen the cognitive functions of the brain, optimise the circulatory system and improve kidney function. However, it should be consumed under medical supervision.
|Cyanocobalamin is the form of vitamin B12 found only in animal foods||Methylcobalamin is the only form of vitamin B12 with activity in the brain|
|Promotes energy||Is better absorbed and retained in tissues than cyanocobalamin|
|Is the most widely used form of vitamin B12 supplements||Is metabolised by the liver more efficiently than cyanocobalamin|
|Cyanocobalamin supplements are the most effective and economical||Helps improve vision|
|No toxic doses||Improves the circulatory system|
|Can be stored for a long time||Helps develop the cognitive functions of the brain|
|Improves the nervous system||Recommended for vegetarians with kidney disease|
|Also recommended for smokers|
How else can I consume vitamin B?
Some of the foods with the highest percentage of vitamin B are sardines, salmon, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas, soya, broad beans), egg yolks, liver, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts) and seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)
On the other hand, vitamin B can also be administered through creams, ointments and topical lotions to treat different skin problems and to regenerate tissues. The most common are moisturising and healing creams with combined B vitamins.
How much do vitamin B supplements cost?
Vitamin B can be consumed in food or through supplements. The costs of the latter usually vary greatly, as they depend on the number of tablets and the components of the same; therefore, they start at 100 MXN up to 2500 MXN, and even more.
Where to buy vitamin B supplements?
They are also available online at Amazon, Linio, Ebay and Mercado Libre, which also give you the possibility of buying from home, where you can also receive your order.
Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate the different types of B vitamins
Because there is such a wide range of vitamin B vitamins on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which is the best one to buy. It is therefore important to consider certain factors when purchasing B vitamins. In this list you will find the main factors to consider:
Drops or tablets
Vitamin B supplements can come in the form of drops or capsules. Drops are used to supplement small or normal daily doses of this vitamin, and are usually for infants and vegetarian children. Tablets are cheaper and are generally used by adults.
Drops are more practical to give to children, who require lower doses than adults, although the disadvantage is that they are usually more expensive than tablets.
Drops are more recommended when taken in low doses, as they are more convenient, especially for young children. Tablets may be better for adults, as well as being cheaper.
Doses of 2.5 mcg (micrograms), 100 mcg, 400 mcg and up to 1000 mcg are available. In children, the lower doses are used daily; in adults, higher doses are usually used once or twice a week.
For healthy adults, some options for supplementation are: 2.5 mcg of vitamin B12 at main meals (2 or 3 times a day), 100 mcg once a day, or 1000 mcg twice a week, although amounts will vary on a case-by-case basis.
In pregnant women, very high doses, such as 1000 mcg supplements, are not recommended, as they can interfere with vitamin B9 (folic acid). Below we will show you the recommended daily amount in mcg for each age group, so that you have a reference:
- Under 6 months: the recommended dose is 0.3 mcg.
- 6 months to 1 year: the recommended dose is 0.5 mcg.
- 1 to 3 years: the recommended dose is 0.7 mcg.
- 4 to 6 years: the recommended dose is 1 mcg.
- 7 to 10 years: the recommended dose is 1.4 mcg.
- Over 10 years: the recommended dose is 2 mcg.
- Pregnant women: the recommended dose is 2.2 mcg.
- Breastfeeding women: the recommended dose is 2.6 mcg.
As it is a water-soluble vitamin, it does not accumulate and can be eliminated in the urine. Therefore, in the prescribed doses, it is a safe and non-toxic supplement. It also prevents avoidable health problems, especially in vegetarians.
In the case of vitamin B6, long-term use in doses above 500 mcg per day can cause nausea and neurological problems, e.g. numbness in the arms and legs, which usually disappear when the supplement is stopped.
There are often myths about the expiry date of medicines. Obviously, it is important to check the expiry date when buying vitamins, which usually expire several months, or even years, after they have been manufactured.
Many experts say that medicines do not expire on the exact date on the packaging, but long after. The date of manufacture and expiry are more associated with a reference range of prescription time, rather than a literal and irrevocable datum.
There are even vitamins, or any other type of medicines, that can expire before their expiry date if they are not kept in a cool, dry place. Therefore, the most important thing is to preserve supplements, drops and creams from excessive heat and humidity.
There is also no risk in consuming vitamins that have expired, as in the worst case they will not work. In the case of creams, if they are unopened, they will still work and fulfil their function perfectly well, even if some time has passed since they expired.
(Featured image photo: peogeo/ 123rf.com)