B-complex vitamin deficiency and supplementation

  • Gustav Schellack
  • Pamela Harirari Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • Natalie Schellack Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Keywords: vitamin B, B-complex vitamins, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, biotin, inositol, folic acid, folate, cobalamin, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, beriberi, pellagra, pernicious anaemia, megaloblastic anaemia, intrinsic factor, haema

Abstract

Vitamins are either fat- or water-soluble micronutrients that are derived from a healthy, well-balanced diet. The B-complex vitamins are well-known examples of water-soluble nutrients that are readily absorbed from a healthy gut, and easily eliminated via renal excretion. They are required for their vital physiological functions and are significant contributors to the maintenance of optimal health. Multiple B-vitamin deficiencies are quite common. Therefore, a balanced diet, including a full spectrum of B vitamins, is usually needed when any of them are found to be deficient. Conversely, their therapeutic value is limited to supplementation during states of deficiency since they have no additional benefits in the presence of an adequate dietary intake. In general, their active supplementation should only be used to correct deficiencies. This article provides an overview of B-complex vitamin deficiencies and their supplementation.

Author Biographies

Gustav Schellack
BCur, Adv Univ Dipl Nurs Sc (HSM), Hons BSc (Pharmacology) Clinical Research Manager and training specialist in the pharmaceutical industry, with a special interest in clinical research and applied pharmacology
Pamela Harirari, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
BPharm Academic Intern Department of Pharmacy Faculty of Health Sciences Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Natalie Schellack, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
PhD (Pharmacy) Associate Professor Department of Pharmacy Faculty of Health Sciences Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
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