3 Group B vitamins (B6, B9 or folic acid, B12): benefits, uses, deficiency

You find in this Youtube video and in this article:

- The functions of vitamin B6, B9, B12

- Signs of vitamin B6, B9, B12 deficiency

- Food sources of vitamins B6, B9 and B12

- Vitamin B6, B9 and B12 supplementation

- Elderly people and group B vitamins

- Vitamin B9 or folic acid during pregnancy

Let's start with vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 plays a fundamental role in psychological balance and mood.

It is involved in the production of energy, red blood cells and hemoglobin (protein found inside red blood cells, its function is to transport oxygen through the blood).

Vitamin B6 is also involved in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

This vitamin is often recommended in case of fatigue in association with magnesium, but also to fight against premenstrual syndrome (symptoms that occur just before the onset of menstruation) and to stimulate the immune system in older people.

It is found in particular in meat, poultry, fish (tuna, cod, salmon), eggs, potatoes, sesame and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin B9, which you may know as folic acid or folate, is a vitamin that plays a fundamental role in the multiplication and renewal of cells, particularly skin and intestinal cells.

Vitamin B9 is necessary for the production of red and white blood cells. 

It is also involved in the production of chemical messengers that regulate brain activity.

Folic acid (vitamin B9) is very important for the proper development of the nervous system of the embryo. This is why it is recommended in the first months of pregnancy, but also from the moment of conception of the child.

Folate (vitamin B9) deficiency occurs most often in alcoholics, people who suffer from chronic intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease (also known as gluten intolerance), but also in patients who are taking certain types of treatment for cancer or various infections.

The symptoms of folate deficiency are the appearance of muscle cramps, anemia and therefore fatigue and headaches.

It is important to know that the lack of vitamin B9 during pregnancy can cause malformations of the fetus such as spina bifida (abnormality of the closure of the spine) or anencephaly (absence of part of the brain, skull and scalp).

Vitamin B9 is most often prescribed to treat anemia and limit the risk of malformations in the embryo.

It can also be recommended as a preventive measure to limit the risk of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.

Be aware, however, that this vitamin can interact with drugs such as certain antibiotics, anticancer drugs and anti-epileptics, so ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking it.

The main food sources of vitamin B9 are dark green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, lamb's lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, dried vegetables, oranges and brewer's yeast.

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Vitamin B12 is very important for the renewal of cells, in particular red blood cells and cells for bone maintenance. It participates in the production of energy by the cells and also plays an important role in the proper functioning and maintenance of the nervous system.

Vitamin B12 is mainly stored in the liver, it can come from our food, but also from our internal production in the intestine.

Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to tingling, muscle cramps, anemia, fatigue, constipation alternating with diarrhea, mood and memory disorders as well as weight reduction.

The lack of vitamin B12 is generally observed in people who suffer from chronic intestinal diseases, in the elderly (its absorption decreases with age), but also in people who follow a strict diet (vegan, vegetarian) due to the lack of meat or fish intake.

Vitamin B12 is especially recommended for the elderly in order to make up for deficiencies and thus remedy mood disorders, fatigue, etc., as well as for pregnant women, nursing mothers and people who may be deficient in vitamin B12, such as vegans.

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Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that vitamin B12 is very rare in fruits and vegetables. It is mainly found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.

It is possible to evaluate one's needs in vitamin B12 by a blood test, do not hesitate to ask your doctor, especially for the elderly.

Dr Noura Marrai (Doctor of Pharmacy, YouTuber Health, creator of the health well-being Pharmaquiz application),

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