When it comes to learning about what vitamins your body needs, it can often feel overwhelming to discover that there are eight B vitamins. Each vitamin in this group plays a different role in the body, making them all as important as each other. You might have noticed, however, that vitamin B12 is often talked about on its own.
To help you understand what vitamin B supplement is right for you, this guide will take you through the main differences between vitamin B12 and B complex vitamins.
What Is The Difference Between Vitamin B12 and B Complex?
When someone mentions vitamin B12, they are simply referring to just one of the B vitamins. Also known as Cobalamin, vitamin B12 has many functions in the body, including contributing towards keeping the nervous system healthy.
B complex, on the other hand, is the term used when referring to all eight B vitamins. This includes B12. These are all water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body.
What Vitamins Are In B Complex Supplements?
The eight vitamins found in the B complex are:
1. Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
2. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
3. Vitamin B3 (niacin)
4. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
5. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
6. Vitamin B7 (biotin)
7. Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
8. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
What Supplement Is Right For You?
When deciding what supplement is right for you, it’s always best to seek professional advice beforehand. A nutritional expert or health professional will be able to assess your bodily functions, establishing whether symptoms are mild enough for a B complex supplement or slightly more tailored for a B12 supplement.
It’s very common for people to take vitamin B12 supplements alone, especially if following a vegetarian or vegan diet. This is because the majority of vitamin B12 is sourced from animal based products, such as meat (like premium jerky)and dairy.
How To Get More Vitamin B
The best way to manage your intake of vitamin B is through a healthy and balanced diet. All of the B vitamins (apart from vitamin B12) can be found in:
• Fresh fruits and vegetables
• Green leafy vegetables
• Whole grains
With regards to animal sources, you will also find some B vitamins in:
If you feel as though your diet cannot give you the nutrients you need, consider speaking to a health professional about taking a supplement. They will help to establish whether a B12 or B complex vitamin (or something completely different!) is right for you.
You should never self-diagnose an issue, which is why it’s not always easy to decide what type of supplement is right for your body. There are many reasons as to why your B levels may fall; from changes in diet to serious health concerns.
Now that you know the difference between B12 and B complex supplements, shopping for and distinguishing between the two should be easy. Understanding the essential vitamins that your body needs will give you a greater chance of supporting it.