Find Search

Other Information

Quest Vitamins LTD,
8 Venture Way,
Aston Science Park,
B7 4AP.

Tel: 0121 359 0056
Fax: 0121 359 0313
Registered in England No. 2530437

B Complex Vitamins


The eight true B vitamins are individually involved in co-enzyme systems necessary for the release of energy from fats, carbohydrates, proteins and alcohol. Together with Vitamin C, B vitamins are water-soluble, and are leached into cooking fluids. To conserve water-soluble vitamins, utilise vegetable cooking water in soups, gravies and sauces.


B1 - Thiamin

The major deficiency disease is beri-beri, now confined to developing countries. Minor deficiencies show as Depression, irritability, lack of concentration and memory loss. Active people need more Thiamin than those with a sedentary lifestyle. Involved in the release of energy from carbohydrate.

Best sources: Pumpkin seeds, unpolished rice and nuts. Enemies: Heat, alkali.

B2 - Riboflavin

Deficiency shows as sore, burning lips; oily Skin around the nose; or itchy, burning Eyes. Riboflavin is a bright yellow colour, which makes it useful as a food colouring, but it may cause a harmless colouration of the urine. Involved in the co-enzymes necessary for converting proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy. Useful for cracked lips and other skin conditions.

Best sources: Yeast extract, Wheatgerm, cheese.
Enemies: Heat, alkali.

B3 - Niacin (amide)

Major deficiency disease is pellagra. Minor deficiency shows as tiredness, Depression and loss of memory. Niacin can be produced in the body using tryptophan, B1, B6 and biotin. Useful for helping maintain memory function in elderly. May be used for managing blood fats (niacin form only), but usually at high levels under professional guidance.

Best sources: Yeast extract, meat, nuts. Enemies: Food processing.

B5 - Pantothenic Acid

Adrenal gland function and the formation of anti-bodies involve Pantothenic Acid. B5 is part of the coenzyme A, which is involved in energy release from all foods. Deficiency is not well defined. Fatigue, Headache, dizziness and muscle weakness are generally associated with minor deficiency in a B vitamin. Sometimes popularly known as ?anti-stress? vitamin. Sometimes also used for arthritic Pain.

Best sources: Nuts and seeds Enemies: Heat, acid and alkali.

B6 - Pyridoxine

Involved in the conversion of Essential Fatty Acids to prostaglandins, which help regulate hormone balance. May be used to reduce Depression associated with PMS. B6 may be used for preventing travel sickness, but success is not 100%. Helps stabilise fluid levels through Sodium/Potassium balance. Essential for protein and fat metabolism. Can be depleted by the contraceptive pill, HRT, alcohol and Smoking.

Best sources: Wheat germ and fish Enemies: Food processing.

B12 - Cobalamin

Major deficiency is pernicious Anaemia, a condition which can be life threatening. Vitamin B12 relies on a substance known as ?intrinsic factor? for absorption. Intrinsic factor is found in the gastric juice. B12 is needed for synthesis of DNA, metabolism of fatty acids, and maintenance of the myelin sheath around nerves. Investigated for use by MS sufferers. B12 may be deficient in vegans, alcoholics or people with bacterial or parasitic Infections. B12 deficiency may be masked if Folic Acid intake is inadequate.

Best sources: Animal products, some algae and fortified foods.
Enemies: Alkali in cooking.

Folic Acid

Deficiency causes megaloblastic Anaemia, more commonly found during Pregnancy.
Deficiency of Folic Acid during pregnancy may also result in birth defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid is needed for synthesis of DNA and cell division. It is most likely to be deficient in the elderly, alcoholics and expectant mothers. Low folic acid intake can result in high blood levels of homocysteine, a factor which increases the risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. Strangely, just as B12 deficiency can be masked by inadequate folic acid, high levels of folic acid may also mask a B12 deficiency.

Best sources: Liver, wheat germ, and green leafy vegetables.
Enemies: Oxygen at high temperature.


Involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, energy and fats. Biotin is important in fat manufacture, glycogen manufacture and branched chain amino acid metabolism. Deficiency in adults is rare, but is more common in babies and small children resulting in the Skin conditions seborrhoeic Dermatitis and Leiner?s disease. May sometimes be suggested for chronic cases of Candida albicans yeast overgrowth.

Best sources: Liver, egg yolk, soya flour, cereals and yeast.
Enemies: Cooking methods. (Note: biotin is bound to avidin in raw egg white, but freed on cooking).


Not a B vitamin itself, but a co-factor. Deficiency results in Skin conditions, such as Vitiligo (loss of skin pigmentation), Eczema or irritability and Depression. PABA appears to be involved in the metabolism of Amino Acids and red blood cells and is part of the structure of folic acid. May have protective use against UV radiation, but only when applied to skin in sun lotions.

Best sources: Liver, eggs, Wheatgerm and molasses.
Enemies: None known.

Choline & Inositol

Choline and Inositol are not B vitamins but B complex factors which can be made in the body. Choline stimulates the production of Lecithin and is also part of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is vital to nerve impulse transmission. As an emulsifier, people with Atherosclerosis, Angina, thrombosis, Stroke, high blood pressure, senile dementia and Alzheimer?s disease may benefit from a supplement.

Best sources: Liver, lecithin. Enemies: Food processing

Why Choose a B Complex Supplement?

As a general supplement, a B complex is especially useful for:-

  • People who are under Stress - to replace the B vitamins used in a stress situation, for example, increase in demand on energy release, adrenal health and the health of the nervous system - B5 and B6.
    Vitamin C complements B Vitamin Activity as it is involved in the formation of corticosteroids in the adrenal gland. The antioxidant nature of vitamin C may also be of benefit to help quench free radicals produced as a by-product of stress.

  • Active people, sportsmen and women, body builders, cyclists etc. because the more active a person is, then the more B vitamins they will need in the conversion of fats, carbohydrates and protein to produce energy - B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6.
  • Tired people are often slightly deficient in B vitamins. This may be through a poor diet. Refined or processed foods are denatured of essential nutrients, trace Elementss and B complex vitamins. Large numbers of the population in the western world consume processed, refined foods with poor nutrient value.
  • Skin, hair, Eyes and general digestive health, because of the ?energy? factor, all of these will suffer if insufficient energy is being produced in the cells. Structural integrity of skin, thickness and colour of hair - biotin and PABA.
  • Maintaining health of red blood cells - folic acid, B12 and PABA.
  • Maintaining oral health and mucous surfaces of digestive tract - B1, B2 and folic acid.
  • Brain function - choline, inositol, niacin, B1, B5 and B6.

Print this page