4. Vitamin B3


Niacin, another B vitamin, likewise generates energy for the body. Specifically, Niacin converts the body’s fat, protein and carbohydrates into energy the body can use. It plays a part in keeping the skin in good condition, and also supports some of the body’s systems, such as the nervous and digestive systems. 16 mg daily is recommended for men, while women should take 14mg of Niacin. A deficiency of Vitamin B3 can be very unpleasant; this is because it will cause some of the symptoms of dermatitis, dementia, and diarrhea. Altogether, this is a condition known as pellagra.

Pellagra can also result in the swelling of the tongue, as well as scaly sores on the skin. If left untreated, this condition can eventually become fatal. This is why it is very important to correct a niacin deficiency as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do so. Niacin sources include fish, poultry, eggs, mushrooms, and nuts. Wholegrain cereals also contribute.

3. Vitamin B6

flaky skin

Vitamin B6, like the other B vitamins, plays a role in the health of the skin as well as other parts of the body. A shortage of Vitamin B6 can lead to painful, itchy rashes, unsightly flaking skin, and like a Vitamin B2 shortage, crack formation at the corners of the mouth. Generally, 1.3mg is the accepted RDA, but as you age, you may need to increase this amount; Specifically, a slight increase in dosage over the age of 51 is recommended.

Like many of the B Vitamins, B6 can be acquired from fish, eggs, and poultry; however, it can also be found in starch-heavy vegetables such as potatoes, yams, and jicama.

2. Vitamin B7


Otherwise known as Biotin, Vitamin B7 also contributes to the body’s metabolism, and the synthesis of fat, and glycogen. Among vitamins, Biotin is among the rarest to have a deficiency, given it comes from numerous sources. Only 30 mcg of Biotin is all that an adult requires daily. Biotin deficiencies may be caused by eating raw egg whites, which can inhibit Biotin absorption. If such a deficiency occurs, it may manifest much like dermatitis, or dry skin. It may also be accompanied by loss of hair and appetite, as well as fatigue, and muscle pain.

In the event that a deficiency does arise, Vitamin B7 can be found in peanuts, egg yolks, mushrooms, and cauliflower, all of which are fairly common foods in the diet.

1. Vitamin B12


Cyanocobalamin, better known as Vitamin B12, supports the nervous and circulatory systems by protecting the health of red blood cells and nerve cells. It also plays a role in DNA construction. Ideally, an adult should have 2.4 mcg of Vitamin B12 daily. Otherwise, one might experience fatigue or shortness of breath; this generally occurs because, without sufficient B12, the body cannot make a high enough volume of red blood cells to carry oxygen and other nutrients where they need to go. This condition is known as pernicious anemia and may lead to vitiligo, characterized by white patches on the skin.

While pernicious anemia can be a serious condition if it is left untreated, fortunately, it is easily avoided with a proper diet. Cyanocobalamin can be found in the company of protein; for example, organ meats (and meat in general), dairy products, and eggs all are sources of Vitamin B12. If you are diagnosed with pernicious anemia, however, you may require a higher dosage of B12, typically in shot or pill form, to remedy the situation.

While vitamin deficiencies can be unsightly, and worse, have serious consequences, fortunately, they are also relatively easy to avoid, and to resolve. In general, a balanced diet with modest levels of meats and dairy, along with lots of fruits and vegetables, will prevent the average person from developing any serious deficiency. Otherwise, practicing proper skincare and making smart decisions outdoors will take care of the rest. For those with restricted diets, supplements are another option, though generally, natural food sources are the best way to get the most out of your vitamins.

Related: Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Silently Eroding Your Nerve Health?


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