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Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C – 9.312

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by J. Clifford and also J. Curely * (12/19)

Quick Facts…

B-complex vitamins and also vitamin C room water-soluble vitamins that room not stored in the body and also must it is in consumed every day.These vitamins can be easily damaged or washed out throughout food storage and also preparation.The B-complex group is discovered in a range of foods: cereal grains, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk, legumes and fresh vegetables.Citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, kiwis, and also broccoli are great sources that vitamin C.Using mega-doses of multivitamins or supplements is not recommended.

You are watching: Sort the vitamins according to whether they are water soluble or fat soluble.

What space Vitamins?

Vitamins are important nutrients found in foods. Lock perform particular and an important functions in a range of body systems, and are an essential for preserving optimal health.

The two different species of vitamins space fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins — vitamins A, D, E and also K — dissolve in fat prior to they are soaked up in the bloodstream to bring out your functions. Excesses of these vitamins space stored in the liver, and are not required every day in the diet. For an ext information ~ above fat-soluble vitamins, see truth sheet9.315 Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E, and also K.

In contrast, water-soluble vitamin dissolve in water and also are not stored through the body. Due to the fact that they are removed in urine, we need a constant daily supply in ours diet. The water-soluble vitamins incorporate the vitamin B-complex group and also vitamin C.

Water-soluble vitamins are easily damaged or to wash out throughout food warehouse or preparation. Ideal storage and also preparation of food can minimize vitamin loss. To mitigate vitamin loss, always refrigerate fresh produce, save milk and also grains far from strong light, and avoid cook vegetables v the exemption of soups whereby the broth is eaten.

What room Water-Soluble Vitamins?


B-complex Vitamins

Eight the the water-soluble vitamin are recognized as the vitamin B-complex group: thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate (folic acid), vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid. The B vitamins are widely spread in foods, and also their affect is feeling in plenty of parts of the body. They function as coenzymes that help the body achieve energy from food. The B vitamins are likewise important

Thiamin: Vitamin B1

What is Thiamin. Thiamin, or vitamin B1, help to release power from foods, promotes regular appetite, and also plays a role in muscle contraction and also conduction that nerve signals.

Food sources for Thiamin. Sources incorporate pork, legumes, fish, peas, and liver. Many commonly, thiamin is found in whole grains and also fortified grain assets such as cereal, and also enriched commodities like bread, pasta, rice, and tortillas. The process of enrichment adds back nutrients the are lost when grains space processed. Among the nutrients included during the enrichment process are thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), folate and iron.

How lot Thiamin. The encourage Dietary allowance (RDA) because that thiamin is 1.2 mg/day because that adult males and also 1.1 mg/day for adult females (Table 1).

Thiamin Deficiency. Under-consumption the thiamin is rarely in the United claims due to broad availability of enriched serial products. However, specific groups might be at risk for thiamin deficiency including people with alcohol dependence, world with HIV/AIDS, world who have actually undergone bariatric surgery, and those through low dietary intake, choose older adults. Alcoholics are specifically prone come thiamin deficiency due to the fact that alcohol reduce thiamin absorption and storage, and excess alcohol usage often replace instead instead food or meals. Symptoms of thiamin deficiency include: psychological confusion, muscle weakness, wasting, water retention (edema), enlarged heart, and also the condition known together beriberi. Thiamin deficiency is at this time not a difficulty in the joined States.

Too much Thiamin. No problems with overconsumption are known for thiamin.

Riboflavin: Vitamin B2


What is Riboflavin. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, help to release power from foods, and is likewise important because that the growth, advance and role of the cells in the body. It likewise helps to convert the amino mountain tryptophan (which renders up protein) right into niacin.

Food resources for Riboflavin. Sources encompass eggs, organ meats (liver and kidney), dark eco-friendly vegetables, milk, and whole and also enriched grain products. Ultraviolet light is recognized to damage riboflavin, i m sorry is why many milk is packaged in opaque containers rather of clear.

How much Riboflavin. The encourage Dietary allowance (RDA) for riboflavin is 1.3 mg/day for adult males and also 1.1 mg/day because that adult females (Table 1).

Riboflavin Deficiency. Under usage of riboflavin is exceptionally rare in the unified States. Teams at threat of riboflavin inadequacy encompass vegan athletes and pregnant and also breastfeeding women and their babies. Symptoms of deficiency encompass skin disorders, crack at the corners the the mouth, hair loss, itchy and also red eyes, reproductive problems, and also cataracts.

Too much Riboflavin. No troubles with overconsumption are recognized for riboflavin.

Niacin: Vitamin B3, Nicotinamide, nicotine castle Acid.

What is Niacin. Niacin, or vitamin B3, is affiliated in power production and critical cellular functions.

Food sources for Niacin. Niacin is current in a wide range of foodstuffs including animal and also plant sources.

How lot Niacin. The recommended Dietary pin money (RDA) because that niacin is 16 mg/day for adult males and also 14 mg/day for adult females (Table 1).

Niacin Deficiency. Niacin deficiency is no a trouble in the joined States and also is mostly restricted to human being who eat very limited diets and diets low in protein. Pellagra is the an illness state that occurs together a result of serious niacin deficiency. Symptoms incorporate skin problems, cradle issues, and also mental confusion.

Too lot Niacin. Consuming large doses that niacin supplements past 35mg/day may reason flushed skin, rashes, hypotension symptoms, or liver damages (Table 2). Over-consumption that niacin is not a problem if that is obtained through food.

Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine

What is Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6, otherwise well-known as pyridoxine, pyridoxal or pyridoxamine, aids in protein metabolism, red blood cabinet formation, and behaves as an antioxidant molecule. It is additionally involved in the body’s production of chemicals such as neurotransmitters and hemoglobin.

Food resources for Vitamin B6. Sources incorporate legumes, body organ meats, fish, meats, starchy vegetables, and whole grains and fortified cereals.

How lot Vitamin B6. The recommended Dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin B6 is 1.3 mg/day because that adult males and females through period fifty (Table 1). The RDA because that male and females end fifty year of period is 1.7 mg and also 1.5 mg, respectively.

Vitamin B6 Deficiency.Vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon and also usually connected with short concentrations of various other B-complex vitamins, prefer vitamin B12 and also folic acid. Deficiency symptoms incorporate dermatitis, swollen tongue, peripheral neuropathy, anemia, depression and also confusion, and weakened immune function. A vitamin B6 deficiency in babies can reason irritability, acute hear issues, and convulsive seizures.

Too much Vitamin B6. Over consumption from food sources have actually not been reported to cause adverse health and wellness effects, however chronic excess sheep of vitamin B6 native supplements have been recognized to an outcome in nerve damages (Table 2). The Food and Nutrition plank (FNB) has developed an upper limit that 100 mg/day because that adults.

Folate: Folic Acid, Folacin

What is Folate. Folate, also known together folic mountain or folacin, aids in protein metabolism, promoting red blood cell formation, and lowering the threat for neural tube birth defects. Folate may additionally play a duty in managing homocysteine levels, therefore reducing the threat for coronary heart disease.

Food sources for Folate. Sources of folate encompass liver, kidney, dark eco-friendly vegetables, meats, legumes, fish, whole grains, and also fortified grains and also cereals. Examine the nutrition label to see if folic acid has been added.

How lot Folate. The encourage Dietary pin money (RDA) because that folate is 400 mcg/day because that adult males and also females. Pregnant will increase the RDA because that folate to 600 mcg/day (Table 1).

Folate Deficiency. Folate deficiency affects cabinet growth and protein production, which have the right to lead to all at once impaired growth. Anemia is the main clinical authorize of folate deficiency and includes symptoms choose fatigue, headache, and also heart palpitations. A folate deficiency in ladies who are pregnant or of son bearing age may result in the delivery of a baby v neural tube defects, such together spina bifida. (Table 1).

Too lot Folate. Over usage of folate supplies no recognized benefits, and may mask B12 deficiency as well as interfere v some medications (Table 2). For this reason, the FNB developed an top limit for folate native supplements or fortified foodstuffs of 1000 mcg/day.

Vitamin B12: Cobalamin

What is B12. Vitamin B12, also known together cobalamin, aids in the building of hereditary material, production of common red blood cells, and also maintenance that the worried system.

Food resources for Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 have the right to only be discovered naturally in foods items of animal origin such as meats, liver, kidney, fish, eggs, milk and also milk products, oysters, shellfish. Some strengthened foods, favor breakfast cereals and also nutritional yeast may also contain vitamin B12.

How much Vitamin B12. The encourage Dietary pin money (RDA) because that vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg/day because that adult males and also females (Table 1). Countless adults end the age of fifty execute not get enough vitamin B12, the diet guidelines introduce consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency most typically affects vegans, babies of vegetable mothers, and the elderly. Symptoms of deficiency encompass anemia and neurological changes, such together numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. In order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency, a diet supplement have to be taken. Part people construct a B12 deficiency because they can not absorb the vitamin through their stomach lining. This can be treated with vitamin B12 injections.

Too much Vitamin B12. No difficulties with overconsumption of vitamin B12 are known.


What is Biotin. Biotin help release energy from carbohydrates and aids in the line of fats, proteins and carbohydrates from food.

Food resources for Biotin. Sources of Biotin include liver, kidney, egg yolk, milk, most fresh vegetables, yeast breads and cereals.

How much Biotin. The sufficient Intake (AI) because that Biotin is 30 mcg/day because that adult males and females (Table 1).

Biotin Deficiency. Biotin deficiency is uncommon. A couple of of the symptom of biotin deficiency incorporate hair loss, skin rashes, and also brittle nails, and for this reason biotin supplements are often promoted for hair, skin, and also nail health. However, these insurance claims are only a few case reports and small studies.

Too lot Biotin. No difficulties with overconsumption are recognized for Biotin.

Pantothenic Acid: Vitamin B5

What is Pantothenic Acid. Pantothenic Acid, also known together vitamin B5, is involved in power production, and also aids in the formation of hormones and also the management of fats, proteins, and also carbohydrates from food.

Food resources for Pantothenic Acid. Practically all plant- and also animal- based foods items contain pantothenic mountain in varying amounts. Wealthiest dietary sources incorporate fortified breakfast cereals, liver, kidney, meats, and also seeds.

How lot Pantothenic Acid. The adequate Intake (AI) because that Pantothenic acid is 5 mg/day for both adult males and also females (Table 1). Pregnancy will boost the AI for Pantothenic acid to 6mg /day (Table 1).

Pantothenic mountain Deficiency. Pantothenic mountain deficiency is uncommon because of its large availability in most foods.

Too much Pantothenic Acid. No difficulties with overconsumption are recognized for Pantothenic Acid. Rarely, diarrhea and also gastrointestinal distress will occur with too much amounts.

Vitamin C: Ascorbic Acid, AscorbateWhat is Vitamin C


The body requirements vitamin C, additionally known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, to remain in ideal working condition. Vitamin C benefits the human body by holding cells together through collagen synthesis; collagen is a connective tissue that stop muscles, bones, and also other tissues together. Vitamin C also aids in wound healing, bone and tooth formation, increase blood courage walls, boosting immune device function, increasing absorption and utilization of iron, and acting together an antioxidant.

Vitamin C works v vitamin E together an antioxidant, and also plays a critical role in neutralizing complimentary radicals throughout the body. V its antioxidant activity, studies suggest vitamin C may help prevent or delay the breakthrough of specific cancers, heart disease, and other conditions in i beg your pardon oxidative anxiety plays a causal role. Research continues to paper the degree of this effects.

Food resources for Vitamin C. Many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, the finest sources are citrus fruits, peppers, kiwi, strawberries, and also broccoli. For example, one orange, one kiwi, 6 oz. (3/4 cup) the grapefruit juice, or 1/3 cup that chopped sweet red pepper every supply enough vitamin C because that one day.

How much Vitamin C. The recommended Dietary allowance (RDA) because that Vitamin C is 90 mg/day because that adult males and 75 mg/day for adult females (Table 1). Because that those that smoke cigarettes, the RDA for vitamin C rises by 35 mg/day, in order to against the oxidative impacts of nicotine. Vitamin C recommendations likewise increase throughout pregnancy and also lactation, watch Table 1.

Vitamin C Deficiency. Although rarely in the united States, major vitamin C deficiency may an outcome in the disease known as scurvy, causing fatigue and also a lose of collagen stamin throughout the body. Lose of collagen results in loose teeth, bleeding and swollen gums, and improper wound healing.

The following problems have been displayed to boost vitamin C demands (Table 1):

Environmental stress, such together air and noise pollutionTissue healing of woundsGrowth (children native 0- 12 months, and pregnant women)Fever and infectionSmoking

Too much Vitamin C. In spite of being a water-soluble vitamin the the human body excretes when in excess, vitamin C overdoses an increase the danger of adverse health effects, prefer kidney stones, diarrhea, rebound scurvy, and increased oxidative damage. For this reason, the FNB has established an upper limit of 2000 mg/ day.

Can Vitamin C Prevent/Treat the usual Cold?

The debate over utilizing mega sheep of vitamin C to protect against or law the common cold and also other infections continues to be a renowned topic. Vitamin C appears to have actually the capability to enhance various immune cabinet functions, however, the precise dose and also ideal time of vitamin C intake has actually not been totally elucidated. Overall, the evidence says that adequate dietary vitamin C intake and also possibly greater intake at plasma saturating level (100-200 mg/day) may aid prevent the usual cold by optimizing cell and also tissue levels. Regular intake at doses of 200- 1000 mg/day might be especially helpful in reduce cold incidence in human being exposed to excessive physical practice or cold environment and also those with marginal vitamin C status, such together the elderly and also chronic smokers. Among the general population, vitamin C input at doses of 200 mg/day or more is moderately efficient in boosting the severity and also duration the the typical cold. In terms of treatment of created infections, some evidence indicates significantly greater doses (grams) may be beneficial in the recovery procedure by ameliorating the decline in leukocyte vitamin C levels; however, more research still requirements to address safety concerns. Furthermore, this effect shows up to have actually the most benefit on those with an extremely low vitamin C levels.


Water-soluble vitamins incorporate the vitamin B-complex and also vitamin C, and also are vital nutrients needed day-to-day by the body in very small quantities.The B-complex vitamins have the right to be found in a variety of enriched foodstuffs like grain grains and breads, as well as other foods items such as meat, poultry, eggs, fish milk, legumes, and fresh vegetables. Vitamin C have the right to be uncovered in a many fruits and vegetables.Overall, in the United says deficiency is rare for B vitamins and vitamin C; through exceptions because that alcoholics, those ~ above very minimal diets, and the elderly.Special attention need to be paid to folate (folic acid) intake throughout pregnancy, in bespeak to stop birth defects.Vegans should be conscious of vitamin B12 intake because it is not present in tree foods.Some problems warrant boost in vitamin C intake, such as exposure to cigarette smoke, eco-friendly stress, growth, and sickness.Over intake of the water-soluble vitamin is typically not a problem in the united States, especially if the nutrients are derived through food.Large amounts of vitamin B-complex and vitamin C supplements and multivitamins are not recommended.

Table 1. Recommended dietary Intake (RDA) and also Adequate entry (AI) because that Water-Soluble Vitamins

Life phase GroupThiamin B1 (mg/d)Riboflavin B2 (mg/d)Niacin B31 (mg/d)Vitamin B6 (mg/d)Folate (mcg/d)Vitamin B12 (mcg/d)Biotin (mcg/d)Pantothenic mountain (mg/d)Vitamin C (mg)
0 – 6mo0.2*0.3*2*0.1*65*0.4*5*1.7*40*
7mo – 12mo0.3*0.4*4*0.3*80*0.5*6*1.8*50*
Children (Boys and also Girls)
1 – 3y0.50.560.51500.98*2*15
4 – 8y0.60.680.62001.212*3*25
9 – 13y0.90.9121.03001.820*4*45
14 – 18y1.21.3161.34002.425*5*75
19 – 50y1.21.3161.34002.430*5*90
51 +yrs1.21.3161.74002.430*5*90
14 – 18y1.01.0141.24002.425*5*65
19 – 50y1.11.1141.34002.430*5*75
51 + yrs1.11.1141.54002.430*5*75
14 – 18y1.41.4181.96002.630*6*80
19 – 50y1.41.4181.96002.630*6*85
14 – 18y1.41.6172.05002.835*7*115
19 – 50y1.41.6172.05002.835*7*120
Table 1 is a summarization the the standards for nutrient recommendations of water-soluble vitamins: The Dietary reference Intake (DRI). This recommendations accomplish the average day-to-day nutritional needs of all healthy people. To ensure the needs of all in the population, the DRI usually exceeds the needs for many people. They perform not cover needs for illness and also special health and wellness disorders.RDA and also AI values from the 1998 and 2000 DRI reports.1 NE=Niacin Equivalents. 1mg that Niacin=60mg of tryptophan; 0-6mo=preformed niacin (not NE).2 at 6 months of age, babies may be presented to solid foodstuffs while remaining on formula or chest milk. There might be some overlap in specific nutrient requirements.(mg=milligrams, mcg=micrograms)*AI value

Table 2. Tolerable upper Intake Level (UL) because that Water-Soluble Vitamins

Life stage GroupThiaminRiboflavinNiacin (mg/d)Vitamin B6 (mg/d)Folate (mcg/d)Vitamin B12BiotinPantothenic AcidVitamin C (mg/d)
Children (Boys and also Girls)NDNDNDNDND
1 – 3y1030300400
4 – 8y1540400650
Males and FemalesNDNDNDNDND
9 – 13y20606001200
14 – 18y30808001800
19 >70y3510010002000
Pregnancy and LactationNDNDNDNDND
14 – 18y30808001800
19 – 50y3510010002000
Table 2 is a summarization that the Tolerable top Intake Level (UL) for water-soluble vitamins: The Dietary referral Intake (DRI). The UL is identified as the highest level of daily nutrient intake the is likely to attitude no threat of adverse health impacts to practically all people in the basic population. The UL represents total daily intake from food, water, and supplements.UL worths from 1998 and also 2000 DRI reports.1 at 6 months of age, infants may be presented to solid foods while continuing to be on formula or chest milk. There might be part overlap in specific nutrient requirements.(mg=milligrams, mcg=micrograms)ND=Not determinable because of lack the data the adverse results in this period group. Resource of intake have to be from food only.


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*J. Clifford, katifund.org Nutrition Specialist, room of Food Science human being Nutrition; J. Curely, Graduate Student, department of Food Science person Nutrition . L. Formerly updated by: Bellows and also R. Moore. 3/02. Modification 12/19.