Vitamin B-complex refers to the eight essential water-soluble B vitamins that play a role in the body's metabolic process.  These vitamins are vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), biotin, folic acid and the B12 (cobalamins).
Lots of B vitamins are available from different kinds of foods.  These include meat, grains, nuts and dairy products.  Since these vitamins are present in lots of natural food sources, a vitamin B complex deficiency rarely occurs.  But when it happens, it usually manifests itself with the following:

1. Fatigue

B vitamins are essential substances that help to generate energy from the foods we eat.  If you are deficient in these vitamins, you will become weak, anemic and you will lose the firmness and strength of your muscles. 

2. Nervous System Disorders

One of the main functions of vitamin B complex is to ensure the proper function and development of the nervous system.  A deficiency in these essential substances can lead to confusion, irritability, depression, and insomnia.  It can also trigger beriberi and rapid eye movements which are difficult to control.

Lack of vitamin B3 can cause mental irritability and possible dementia if left untreated.

A deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause degeneration of the nerves in your toes and fingers.  This is manifested by numbness and tingling sensation in the affected areas.

3. Digestive Disorders

Vitamin B complex plays a role in the breaking down of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  A deficiency of these essential substances can lead to digestion problems.

Vitamin B5 and biotin for example are the body's agents for the breakdown of foods into energy.  A deficiency of this particular substance can lead to nausea, abdominal cramps and vomiting.  But it is however worth noting that since vitamin B5 is available in almost all food groups, a deficiency of essential vitamin is very unlikely except in severe forms of malnutrition.

4. Skin Disorders

One of the most common manifestations of vitamin B complex deficiency is the appearance of cracks around the mouth.  This condition, which is known as chelitis, usually becomes infected and can cause pain and discomfort. 

Another possible effect of vitamin B deficiency is the occurrence of dermatitis or painful irritation of the skin around your nose and mouth.


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