A B complex supplement may or may not be a healthy way of adding some of the benefits of B vitamins to the diet. Folic acid, also called vitamin B9, is essential for pregnant women, for example, as it has been shown to reduce the risk of certain birth defects. Other potential benefits may include raising the metabolism, which can help with weight loss. A supplement may also help with maintaining skin and muscle tissue, and help people better fight off illnesses by boosting the immune system.
Some medical professionals are opposed to taking most vitamin supplements, since a complete diet provides plenty of vitamin sources. While it would be ideal if everyone ate perfectly healthy diets, the truth is plenty of people don’t always eat the most balanced things. For this reason, there are many medical professionals in support of taking a B complex supplement. Most experts recommend that a woman start taking folic acid before she tries to get pregnant, for example, as this will further reduce risk of some birth defects that can occur very early in fetal development.
Not getting enough of certain vitamins can lead to some very serious conditions. Most people do get, if not total, than at least adequate amounts of B and other vitamins through their diet, however. Good food sources of various B vitamins include lentils, liver, bananas, potatoes, turkey, brewer’s yeast, molasses, and tuna. Some people claim a lot of benefit from taking a vitamin B complex, however, and all are soluble in water, so they don’t need to be taken with fats. Any excess in small amounts is excreted from the body and tends not to cause harm.
There’s been much talk about how vitamin B supplements may help promote calmer mood, make individuals more capable of handling stress, and may slightly reduce the risk of heart disease, possibly due to the complex’s ability to affect mood and stress. People who suffer from mood disorders or premenstrual dysmorphic disorder may benefit from adding a supplement to their diets in combination with medication and therapy to treat these conditions.
One benefit of B vitamins is that they may lower the risk of pancreatic cancer. It is necessary to eat foods rich in the B group to get this benefit, however, since studies have shown that adding a supplement alone does not reduce risk. Research does show that there may be significant benefit to taking a B complex supplement, especially for people whose diet isn’t perfect, and particularly if they have mood disorders or a high degree of stress in their life. In all cases, people should check with a medical professional before taking any kind of nutritional supplement to be certain that it will not affect any pre-existing medical conditions or conflict with any medications they may be taking.