B vitamins are present in many foods, we are not likely at risk of developing any B vitamin deficiency if we are following a well-rounded and balanced diet. However, there are certain conditions where the need for B complex supplementation becomes necessary. One can go for natural dietary supplements to cater the need for these vitamins in following conditions:
Pregnant or breastfeeding females
During pregnancy, there is a huge body demand for B vitamins, especially B12 and folate for supporting the foetal development. Generally, in vegetarian pregnant or breastfeeding females, supplementing B complex becomes very crucial. B12 or folate deficiency in such females may cause certain birth defects or severe neurological damage in the foetus or infant.
With increasing age, our ability for vitamin B12 absorption deteriorates. Also, appetite decline may also occur in old age, causing difficulty in delivery of sufficient B12 via diet alone. The body’s capability to absorb B12 from food depends largely on the adequacy of acid produced in the stomach. However, some studies suggest that around 10–30% of people above the age of 50 lose the ability to produce enough digestive acid in the stomach to aid optimum vitamin B12 absorption. In such individuals also, vitamin B complex supplementation can help a lot in achieving holistic health.
Individuals having certain medical conditions
Individuals suffering from certain medical conditions, like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, cancer, chronic alcoholism, anorexia, and hypothyroidism, may render you more susceptible to various nutrient deficiencies, particularly B vitamin deficiency. Furthermore, certain mutations like the MTHFR genetic mutation may deteriorate your body’s ability to metabolise certain vitamins, thereby causing folate deficiency and certain other serious health issues. Generally, the people who have been treated with any bariatric or weight-loss surgery are also very prone to deficiency of various vitamins of B complex.
Such patients are often prescribed to go for vitamin B complex’s supplementation to avoid such deficiencies and their devastating consequences.
People on a vegetarian diet
Vitamin B12 is naturally present in a lot of animal-based products like dairy, meat, seafood, and eggs. Strict vegans are very prone to develop vitamin B12 deficiency because this vitamin is usually absent in plant-based food. Daily B-complex supplementation can help these individuals to ensure vitamin B complex sufficiency in their bodies.
People on certain medications
Commonly prescribed medications may deteriorate the body’s ability to absorb vitaminB complex optimally. For example, certain proton pump inhibitors, which are meant to lower acidity in the stomach, can also cause a consequent decrease in the absorption of B12. While certain anti-diabetic drugs like metformin may also degrade the levels of B12 as well as folate in the body. Furthermore, certain birth control pills may also cause the depletion of many B vitaminssuch as B12, B6, folate, and riboflavin.
The RDI or recommended daily intake for various B vitamins are as follows: