Discover Vitamin B Benefits and The Best B Vitamin Levels

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BVitaminsB vitamins are well regarded for their ability to provide your body energy. They play an important role in cellular metabolism. Additionally, organs that require high amounts of energy, such as the brain, heart and skin, especially benefit from appropriate vitamin B levels. Like many vitamins, B vitamins are essential for optimal health. Because the body cannot manufacture these nutrients, they must be obtained through diet and supplementation.

Consuming energy boosting vitamins is an appealing thought for many, but exploring the science behind B vitamins calls for a pause before labeling them as the miracle cure for lethargy. Many of the leading brands of energy drinks and shots include exorbitant amounts of B vitamins in their products and boast “a powerful blend of B vitamins for energy” and the offer to help you “sail through your day without feeling jittery or tense.” Again, an attractive claim – but at Cooper, we always strive for an answer backed by science.

What are the B Vitamins?

Once thought of as a single nutrient, the B vitamins are actually eight separate structures which perform unique functions in the body. The chart below lists each B vitamin, their natural food sources, and compares the levels found in two Cooper Complete multivitamins with a leading brand B complex. The chart also notes the RDA, AI and UL levels which will be discussed later in the article. You will notice that vitamins 4, 8, 10, and 11 are missing from the chart. These compounds were once considered vitamins, but more recent research has proven that the substances aren’t true vitamins because the body can make them itself, or they are not crucial to our health. The remaining true B vitamins are each distinctive, but in many cases research has shown that there is added benefit when they are taken together. In the world of supplementation, this is accomplished through taking a comprehensive daily multivitamin or a B-complex.

Multivitamins such as Cooper Complete Original and Cooper Complete Basic One are formulated to fill in any nutritional gaps left from a less-than-perfect diet. Ideally, we would obtain all the nutrients we need from the food we eat, including B vitamins. However, since this is often unattainable, multivitamins can help. B-complexes are compounds that highlight B vitamins specifically.

All of the B vitamins are water-soluble. This means that when you eat or take more of these vitamins than your body needs, your body will absorb just the amount it requires, and will then flush the excess through your digestive system. So, if you are spending extra money on B-complexes, energy drinks and other products in an attempt to raise your B vitamin levels beyond the required level for perceived added benefit, your body will not be fooled – it only takes what it needs.

Experts are now finding that even though most water-soluble vitamins are not stored by the body, you can’t assume that it is safe or effective to take extremely high levels. For some of the B vitamins, a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) has been specified to prevent unhealthy reactions.

Best B Vitamin Levels 

Knowing that it is unnecessary and potentially detrimental to take B vitamins at higher than needed levels, identifying the correct amount to take is important. The FDA requires that supplement labels include the percent of the Daily Value (DV) for each vitamin the product contains. However, the DVs have not been updated since 1968 and, in many cases, do not reflect the latest research for ideal intake levels. Instead, we recommend looking to Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Adequate Intake (AI) levels, which are updated more frequently.

RDAs are the average levels that are sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements, and AIs are an approximation used when there is not sufficient information to develop an official RDA. As you can see from the chart, Cooper Complete multivitamins are robust while not being excessive. With the exception of Biotin and Folic Acid, Cooper Complete satisfies the RDA/AI’s for each B vitamin, which is addressed in the Additional Information section below.

Doctors sometimes prescribe B-Complexes when a specific deficiency is uncovered, but the average consumer only needs to take a well-formulated multivitamin so that not only will your need for B vitamins be addressed, but also other nutrients are included for a well-rounded approach to supplemental health. In other words, a Cooper Complete multivitamin is “more complete” than a B-Complex.

B Vitamin Levels and Food Sources

Additional Information

Vitamin B7 (biotin) – The RDA for biotin is satisfied in Cooper Complete Original, but this vitamin has been left out of Cooper Complete Basic One. This is because Basic One is designed to be a one-a-day multivitamin, whereas the original formula is eight tablets-per-day. Our team of doctors and nutritionists had to be selective when deciding which nutrients to include in order to keep Basic One a convenient, swallowable one-a-day. Biotin is used mainly to promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. It is a key ingredient in Cooper Complete Dermatologic Health, as higher doses of biotin (6000 mg) have been shown to be effective in treating brittle fingernails and toenails.

Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – Both Cooper Complete Original and Basic One contain 200 mg of folic acid, lower than the RDA of 400. This was a calculated reduction by our team of doctors and scientists in response to an increase in B9 fortified foods. In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration began requiring the fortification of cereal and other grain products with folic acid. As a result, the U.S. has seen a decrease in B9 deficiency. For additional information, check out the article, Folic Acid Benefits and Risks.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) – Cooper Clinic has found that a sizeable number of people need vitamin B12 supplementation beyond what a daily multivitamin provides in order to avoid deficiency. In these cases, Cooper Complete offers a stand-alone liquid B12. For more information, read the article, Do You Need More Vitamin B12?

Article provided by Cooper Complete team.

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