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How Do I Choose the Best B Complex Supplement?

B complex supplements can provide many health benefits.
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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2014
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To choose the best B complex supplement, consumers should check nutrition labels to ensure all eight essential B vitamins are present. Those with additional health needs may benefit from choosing a supplement that includes added vitamins, such as A, E, and D. Individuals should consider speaking with their doctors prior to changing their diets, to learn what vitamins will specifically improve their health, and whether they are already eating enough as part of their daily routine.

Unlike vitamins A or D, which can be referenced singly, there is more than one type of B vitamin found in food. These B vitamins are often found together in many different food varieties, and may be reproduced chemically as individual vitamins, or a group. Those pills which feature all eight vitamins are known as a B complex supplement. They include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and vitamin B12.

Individuals interested in a complete B complex supplement should begin by reading the nutrition label. This will list all included nutrients, and the consumer can determine whether the eight essential vitamins are present. Those B vitamins which do not contain the complete complex will often include on the primary label those nutrients which are present.

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Consumers who are taking a B complex supplement may benefit from purchasing a formula that includes additional vitamins. Vitamin C often plays a central role in the health of the immune system, and Vitamin D can improve the density of bones. These additional nutrients can be combined with the complex of vitamin B without harming the integrity of the ingredients.

The different vitamins found in the B complex may also be included in a multi-vitamin nutritional supplement. This type of medication is typically recommended by doctors for daily ingestion to improve overall health in individuals who may not be eating a diet that meets their body's nutritional needs. Multi-vitamin supplements are often formulated for specific age ranges or gender, and can include vitamins A and E, as well as iron, calcium, and potassium, in addition to other nutrients.

Those who are considering adding a B complex supplement to their diets may first wish to speak to their doctors. A health care professional can recommend, based on a person's age and health risks, the amounts of each type of B vitamin an individual may need. For example, an older women may require more B12 than a pre-teen young woman, and pregnant or breastfeeding women exist in the highest nutritional need category of all. A doctor can also determine whether the patient is already receiving an adequate amount of a certain type of vitamin in his diet already, so as to avoid over-consumption. Both too little and too much B vitamin can create health concerns.

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