B Vitamins are a water-soluble vitamins that are essential for many aspects of health, including brain function, heart health, and the production of red blood cells and DNA. In addition, B vitamins are also popular among weight loss enthusiasts. Some people even think that it can fight fatigue, increase energy, and speed up metabolism.
Vitamin B Types
There are many different types of vitamin B. These are:
- thiamine (B-1)
- riboflavin (B-2)
- niacin (B-3)
- pantothenic acid (B-5)
- pyridoxine (B-6)
- biotin (B-7)
- folate (B-9)
- cobalamin (B-12)
These vitamins are required for metabolism to function properly. The primary function of B vitamins is to aid in the metabolism of macronutrients in your body to produce energy. Thiamine (B-1) is an example that aids in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy by the body’s cells. Thus, a deficiency in one or more of these vitamins may show that your metabolism is not functioning properly. This makes losing weight even more difficult. B vitamins are also found in foods such as lean meat, milk, eggs, beans, and lentils. (1)
Vegans are more likely to be deficient in vitamin B12 because plant-based foods contain little to no B12. However, having a normal range of vitamin B12 has been linked to a lower risk of weight gain and obesity. An extensive study of 9,075 people found that having higher blood levels of vitamin B12 was associated with a lower risk of obesity. Similarly, another study of 976 people found that having low levels of vitamin B12 was associated with an increased risk of being obese. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
In theory, as we age, we will face vitamin deficiency at some point. Because of the lack of an acid called HCL, which is produced by the stomach partial cells. The level of this acid will start declining as you reach your thirties, which makes B12 hard to get from the diet you ingest. Having a normal range of vitamin B12 has been linked to a lower risk of weight gain and obesity. B vitamins are also found in lean meat, milk, eggs, beans, and lentils. Vegans are more likely to be deficient because plant-based foods contain little to no B12. Keep in mind, too much or overdose of B vitamins can also cause damage to your health. Therefore, it is important to speak with the doctor about proper dosage.
- Low Vitamin B12 and Lipid Metabolism: Evidence from Pre-Clinical and Clinical Studies. Nutrients. 2020.
- Severe but Not Moderate Vitamin B12 Deficiency Impairs Lipid Profile, Induces Adiposity, and Leads to Adverse Gestational Outcome in Female C57BL/6 Mice. Front Nutr. 2016.
- Inverse Association Between Serum Vitamin B12 Concentration and Obesity Among Adults in the United States. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019.
- Association of vitamin B12 with obesity, overweight, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, and body fat composition; primary care-based study. Med Glas (Zenica). 2013.
- Negative correlation among vitamin B12 levels, obesity severity and metabolic syndrome in obese children: A case control study. J Pak Med Assoc. 2017.
- Vitamin B12. National Institute of Health (NIH).
- Thiamine (B-1). MelinePlus.