The 8 B vitamins: why supplement them with active B complex.

sense of time Le 8 vitamine del gruppo B: perchè integrarle con il complesso B attivo.

Why it is useful to supplement the B vitamin complex

Of all the recommended supplements, that of the 8 B vitamins is one of the most common and has long been used by doctors and nutritionists especially for children, pregnant women, and people with low immunity.

Le vitamins of the group B work with each other in synergy  in promoting the reduction of fatigue and tiredness, and physiological function; these vitamins help strengthen nerves and improve nerve impulse transmission.

In general, B-complex supplementation is required in the presence of particular conditions in which their absorption and metabolism is impaired.

Situations that require supplementation of B vitamins in particular 

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • cancer patients
  • HIV
  • frequent use of antibiotics or other medications
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • renal conditions
  • autoimmune diseases
  • autistic children
  • smokers
  • Those who practice vegan or vegetarian diet
  • anorexia
  • pregnancy
  • hormonal imbalances
  • pernicious anemia
  • in case of SIBO (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth) i.e., intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which identifies a physio-pathological condition characterized by increased bacterial concentration in the upper tracts of the intestine
  • leaky gut (or permeable bowel syndrome)
  • mutations in the MTHFR gene
  • Diets very rich in simple carbohydrates require a higher requirement for Vitamin B1

Importance of nutrition and B vitamins

A diet that is as varied as possible and rich in fresh, organic foods is the starting point for meeting the requirements of all nutrients useful for the well-being of our bodies. It is important, therefore, to vary as much as possible and to combine different foods appropriately.For example, vitamin B12 is contained exclusively in foods of animal origin, and therefore, in the case of vegan and/or vegetarian diets, it may be very important to use a dietary supplement.


Our body is unable on its own to synthesize B vitamins; in fact, these can only be taken in through food, but their intake through food Is often unsatisfactory.

Dietary regimens such as the vegan or vegetarian diet, moreover, can cause deficiencies in precisely these important substances, even to the point of impairing the functions of the immune system same.

In fact, B vitamins play a key role in the most important metabolic processes, enabling the transformation of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins into energy; thus contributing to proper energy metabolism that results in the balance of neurotransmitters and the nervous system ( effects on brain function) and the proper maturation and growth of cells of the immune system (effects on cellular metabolism).

Their function integrally involves every aspect of our health and in particular they are important for:

  •  The normal formation of red blood cells
  •  Maintain strong and healthy hair, skin, eyes and all the mucous membranes of the body
  •  Normal functioning of energy metabolism and nervous system
  •  normal homocysteine metabolism
  •  women in pregnancy as they protect and promote the development of the embryo;
  •  Balancing the production of hormones and cholesterol
  • proper glucose metabolism (vitamin b1)

In particular, the vitamins B1, B2 and B5 would promote greater adaptation to stress by modulating physiological function corticoadrenal.

Why take the whole complex and not just one type of B vitamin? 

The most useful recommendation (but too little emphasized even by insiders) is to make sure you are taking a product that contains all B vitamins, especially because taking large amounts of folic acid can mask the effects and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, correcting megaloblastic anemia, but without preventing neurological damage. It should be pointed out, however, that megaloblastic anemia induced by vitamin B deficiency12 can also be caused by a folic acid deficiency.

The joint and synergistic action between vitamin b12 and folates is very important; in fact, these are responsible for the activation of cobalamin, so adequate concentrations of both substances are required to have efficient metabolism.

Taking them always in combination and not individually is the best strategy, so it is always recommended to use the B complex and, if necessary, to combine the product that contains all 8 vitamins with additional targeted supplementation of individual B vitamins for example B1 or B3, depending on the specific personal needs to be addressed.

Each form exhibits different biochemical functions , but the B vitamins work best in combination and through their interaction with each other; in fact, they support and reinforce each other in their effects.

There is still too little talk about complex B

Below found some videos on Youtube that talk about the topic. Unfortunately, in the Italian language there is really little to be found on the topic, which is proof that still in our country the topic of integration and the culture of proper integration is far behind abroad unfortunately.

How fast does vitamin B complex work?

Usually the effects from taking B vitamins are seen quickly particularly in individuals who have a major deficit of these substances, as they are in fact water-soluble vitamins and are available to our bodies very quickly.

Timetable for daily intake of the B vitamin complex

A high-dose B vitamin complex has a positive effect on energy metabolism and can give a lot of energy, so the ideally best time is after breakfast and avoid the evening hours so as not to risk sleep disturbances or too much energy when it is physiologically the time for our bodies to rest.

What is the best formulation to supplement B vitamins?

First of all, a product should be chosen that contains the full B complex; but even this is not enough: in order for our bodies to assimilate B vitamins, they need to be converted into their "active" form.

The vitamin B complex includes 8 vitamins:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine);
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin);
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin);
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid);
  • Vitamin B6;
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin);
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid);
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin).

The following table lists the different types of B vitamins by comparing their active form with that idle:

DescriptionActive FormInactive Form
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)Thiamine mononitrate and thiamine diphosphateThiamine
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)Riboflavin-5-phosphate and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)Flavine mononucleotide (FMN)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP)none
Vitamin B5 (Panthenotenic Acid)Pantothenic acidnone
Vitamin B6pyridoxal-5-phosphate P-5-PPyridoxine hydrochloride
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)Biotinnone
Vitamin B9 (Folate)Folate 5-methyl-te- trahydrofolate (5-MTHF)Folic acid
Vitamin B12Methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, hydroxycobalaminCyanocobalamin


It has been found that as many as 20% of the population is unable to transform the inactive form.

Inactive forms of vitamins must be converted (through methylation) by the liver to become active and assimilable or bioavailable forms to be absorbed and metabolized by our cells.

Unfortunately, some disease states, especially in the liver, the use of certain drugs, genetic polymorphisms or a hereditary deficiency of functional enzymes adversely affect this process.

If we do not supplement with the correct formulas i.e. active, our liver cannot convert them quickly enough to make them assimilable, consequently most of these inactive vitamins will be eliminated through urine being water-soluble substances.

 One of the best supplements of methylated B complex

There are indeed many supplements on the market, and more and more of them are also appearing on supermarket shelves, but very few of them have the methylated formulations i.e., assimilable even by people who have difficulty converting the substances.

Why this is. Most vitamin B supplements contain the inactive forms of each vitamin B because they are less expensive.

Not only that but many multivitamin supplements on the market are totally synthetic, have too low a dosage, and are full of dangerous additives.

Just to name a few of the most popular ones and which surprisingly are given with an incomprehensible lightness even to children and the elderly we find:

The Be Total  widely used by physicians for years, and who among us has not used it at least once in a lifetime? And Metagenics' Bdyn (B-Dyn), which unlike the other has active formulas but despite this remains a very poor supplement compared to others on the market of a much higher standard and surprisingly less expensive, yet even this one is dispensed to even very frail patients by physicians even in functional medicine:

I would like to reiterate that these are products that are not of high quality, and it will take an article on this topic as well to explain why they may be not only unhelpful but harmful.

After years of trying, lots of money spent on supplements of all kinds, I found from the Doctor's Best brand this really good product and one of the best sellers in the world:

Doctor's Best, active B complex:

This is the supplement I have tried and have been taking for years, and it is among the best as a formulation for properly and effectively absorbing B-complex.

You can find it conveniently in our online shop:

Why prefer this supplement for activated or easily assimilated B complex

Doctor's Best Fully Active B Complex contains all eight important B vitamins, a full spectrum designed for optimal absorption and utilization to support overall health and well-being. Water-soluble B vitamins play an important role in cellular metabolism, supporting DNA, organs, genes, cells, tissues, skin health, the immune system, enzyme functions, and energy production.

Quatrefolic® is the glucosomal salt of (65)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the most bioavailable form of folate, providing greater stability and solubility in water. Folate is an essential vitamin for supporting DNA, proper cell division, cardiovascular, mental, and emotional well-being.

The 5 vitamins present in an activated or more tolerated form enclosed in this bottle take into serious consideration the needs of individuals therefore with genetic enzyme deficiencies.

We will return to this group b supplement in a dedicated article explaining in detail its formulation and what differentiates it from others, so much so that, like me, many people who have used it later never leave it. The difference from others is truly remarkable.

But in our Blog shop  

if you search and compare you can also find other very well formulated and complete products for your other needs always checking well ingredients and doses of each substance, like this one from Now Foods

In any case, as always, remember it is good to be followed by an experienced professional who can recommend the most targeted and personalized supplementation, which always varies from person to person.

In our Blog, the topic of methylated B-vitamin supplementation can already be found with reference to folate and b12 in this contribution

Happy reading and good and proper integration to all!

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