How to take B vitamins correctly
B vitamins are of great importance for normal metabolism, immunity and the nervous system, and their deficiency negatively affects appearance and health. Together with experts, we figure out how to properly take B vitamins to get the maximum benefit.

B vitamins are considered basic because they provide all the energy processes in the body.1. They are indispensable for stress, increased mental stress and unstable emotional state.1. With their help, you can strengthen the immune system, improve memory and attention, the condition of the skin, hair and nails.

The intake of B vitamins in the form of drugs and dietary supplements is required if they are not adequately supplied with food.

What are B vitamins

B vitamins are a group of biologically active substances that have similar properties:

  • are not produced in the body in the right amount, so they must come from outside;
  • dissolve in water;
  • participate in the cellular metabolism of all organs and systems, including the immune, digestive, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular;
  • have neurotropic properties, therefore they are vital for the functioning of the central and peripheral nervous system2.

Each vitamin has its own “zone of responsibility”, while all micronutrients from this group have a positive effect on the function of nerve cells. B1, B6 and B12 are considered the most effective neuroprotectors.2. The combination of these vitamins is prescribed for various neurological disorders: if the lower back is “shot”, the arm is “numb”, or the back is “jammed”.

Useful information about B vitamins

Vitamin nameHow does work
B1 or thiamineHelps to digest proteins, fats and carbohydrates, restores peripheral nerve endings, ensures the normal functioning of brain neurons. The lack of this vitamin leads to a deterioration in memory and mental abilities.2.
B6 (pyridoxine)Stimulates the production of the “happiness hormone” serotonin and reduces the likelihood of depression, as well as increases mental and physical performance2. It is very useful for women, because it reduces pain during menstruation, and during pregnancy it is involved in the formation of the brain of the unborn child.
B12 (cyanocobalamin)Helps to increase the level of hemoglobin in the blood, regulates the functions of the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system2.
B9 (folic acid)Supports the work of the cardiovascular and immune systems, is vital during pregnancy, as it is involved in the formation of the fetal nervous system. Needed by men to improve reproductive function.
B2 (riboflavin)Participates in the formation of immune defense and regulates the functioning of the thyroid gland. Helps maintain the health and beauty of skin, hair and nails.
B3 (nicotinic acid, niacinamide, PP)Accelerates the metabolism of fats and proteins, reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow to the brain.
B5 (pantothenic acid)It helps to remove toxins from the body, so it will be useful for toxicosis of pregnant women, hangovers and other types of intoxication. In addition, this vitamin slows down the aging process, prevents the appearance of early gray hair and hyperpigmentation.
B7 (biotin or vitamin H)Participates in the synthesis of collagen, helps to strengthen hair and nails. Reduces blood sugar levels and has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.

Step-by-step instructions for taking B vitamins

A simple step-by-step instruction from the KP will tell you how to determine the deficiency of B vitamins, how to choose a drug and what precautions to take while taking it.

Step 1. Go to the doctor

If you suspect that you are deficient in B vitamins, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you. An experienced therapist will study the symptoms and tell you which vitamins from this group should be taken.

It may be necessary to take tests for the level of B vitamins in order to accurately determine which micronutrient is lacking in the body.

You may need to be examined by other specialists (gastroenterologist, endocrinologist), because a deficiency of B vitamins is often observed in diseases of the liver, gastrointestinal tract, thyroid gland3.

Step 2. Choose a drug

It is optimal if the B vitamins are prescribed by a doctor. When choosing on your own, consult a pharmacist or study information about the drug or dietary supplement. First of all, you need to pay attention to the composition, dosage and regimen. 

Step 3. Follow the instructions

When taking B vitamins, be aware of their incompatibility with certain foods and medications. Do not exceed the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. This will not bring benefits, because the body will still absorb as much as it needs.

Step 4: Monitor how you feel

If after a course of taking vitamins, the state of health has not improved, consult a doctor. Perhaps the cause of poor health is not associated with a deficiency of B vitamins.

Doctor’s advice on taking B vitamins

B vitamins are widely used in medical practice. Neurologists often recommend a combination of B1 + B6 + B12 for trigeminal neuralgia, lumbago, sciatica, polyneuropathy3,4. These micronutrients restore the structure of nerve fibers and have an analgesic effect.3, and also help to reduce elevated levels of homocysteine ​​in the blood.

Biotin (vitamin B7) and thiamine in the form of monopreparations are often prescribed for diabetes.

It should be noted that monodrugs have more contraindications compared to combined dosage forms, so they should not be taken without the permission of a doctor.

Tablets doctors recommend taking 1-3 times a day, without chewing and drinking a small amount of liquid. The doctor prescribes the injection regimen individually3,4

Popular questions and answers

The most popular questions about taking B vitamins are answered by our experts: pharmacist Nadezhda Ershova and nutritionist Anna Batueva.

When is the best time of day to take B vitamins?

– Take B vitamins after meals, it is advisable to divide the daily dose into 2-3 doses. If you are taking only 1 tablet or capsule, then it is best to take it in the morning. Some drugs and dietary supplements with B vitamins have a tonic effect, so you should not drink them before bedtime.

How to choose the dosage of B vitamins?

– The choice of dosage is the task of a specialist (therapist, neurologist, nutritionist). For the prevention of hypovitaminosis, vitamins are prescribed in doses that do not exceed the physiological daily requirement. Increased doses of vitamins are required to treat some pathological conditions. In this case, the treatment is carried out in short courses. When choosing a drug on your own, you need to study the composition, familiarize yourself with the contraindications and follow the rules for taking the drug recommended by the manufacturer.

How are B vitamins best absorbed?

– It is undesirable to combine vitamins with the intake of strong tea, coffee, alcohol and dairy products. If you use antibiotics, oral contraceptives, antacids (such as heartburn medications), it’s best to schedule your vitamin intake at least one hour later.

How to combine B vitamins with each other?

– Vitamins of group B, when mixed, can reduce the activity of each other, however, modern production technologies can cope with this problem. Effective preparations are presented on the pharmaceutical market, where one ampoule or tablet contains several vitamins of group B. But this technology is not used by all manufacturers, especially dietary supplements.

What is the best way to take B vitamins?

– Much depends on the reason for which the doctor prescribed vitamin therapy. Vitamins in the form of injections act faster and are usually prescribed as analgesics for neurological pain. In most cases, it is better to use tablet forms. The course of treatment with injections, on average, is 7-10 days. Tablets can be taken for 30 days or longer.

How does B vitamin deficiency manifest itself?

– Insufficiency of B vitamins can develop during pregnancy, against the background of an unbalanced diet, gastrointestinal diseases and chronic stress. Deficiency symptoms may include:

• dry skin;

• brittle hair and nails;

• apathy and depression;

• fast fatigue and lack of energy;

• problems with memory;

• numbness and tingling of the extremities;

• “zaedy” in the corners of the mouth;

• hair loss.

A competent specialist, based on the symptoms, will be able to pinpoint which vitamin deficiency from this group needs to be replenished.

What are the consequences of an overabundance of B vitamins?

– Overdose while observing the recommended doses is unlikely – B vitamins are water-soluble, do not accumulate in the body and are quickly excreted.

Can I get my daily requirement of B vitamins from food?

– It is possible if the diet is varied, balanced and contains products of animal origin. Therefore, most often the deficiency of vitamins of group B occurs in vegetarians, vegans and those who observe fasting and a strict diet. Older people are often deficient in these vitamins because their diet is low in meat products. Most B vitamins are found in legumes, liver, egg yolk, nuts, cereals, buckwheat and oatmeal, dairy and sour-milk products, meat and fish of various varieties. Vitamins from legumes and cereals are better absorbed if they are soaked before cooking.

Sources of:

  1. Sechenov University. Article from 16.12.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX. E. Shih “Vitamins of group B help to better endure mental stress.”
  2. Remedium. B vitamins in clinical practice. THOSE. Morozova, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, O.S. Durnetsova, Ph.D. Article from 16.06.2016/XNUMX/XNUMX.
  3. Russian medical journal, No. 31 dated 29.12.2014/XNUMX/XNUMX. “Algorithms and clinical guidelines for the use of Neuromultivit in neurological practice”. Kutsemelov I.B., Berkut O.A., Kushnareva V.V., Postnikova A.S.



  4. “Clinical aspects of the use of B vitamins”. Biryukova E.V. Shinkin M.V. Russian medical journal. No. 9 dated 29.10.2021/XNUMX/XNUMX.


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