Vitamin B complex is a group of eight vitamins which were initially thought to be a single vitamin because of their co- existence in the same foods. The eight vitamins included in B complex are B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin or nicotinamide), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cyanocobalamin, methycobalamin, hydroxocobalamin).
Other members in group Vitamin B and B12 differ in that any excess of the former is excreted through urine whereas Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver. No toxicity with vitamin B complex has been reported because of which a regular intake of all these essential vitamins is advised without even checking blood levels. Vitamin b12 is essential for red blood cell formation, myelin sheath formation around the nerve cells and various metabolic processes in the body. Deficiency of vitamin b12 can cause serious symptoms which are reversible initially but may become irreversible if left untreated for very long intervals. Vitamin b12 deficiency causes pernicious anemia in which large sized red cells are present in the blood. B12 is essential for the production of DNA in red blood cells which remains defective in the absence of this vitamin or with decreased levels. RNA becomes active and excessive protein in the cell causes it to swell at change the shape of cell. Decreases number of functional red blood cells in the body causes pallor, breathlessness, weakness, lethargy and heart disease. Cyanocobalamin supplements or hydroxocobalamin injections are used to reverse b12 deficiency symptoms
Sub -acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord occurs in b12 deficiency. It is a disease of the brain and spinal cord which results from defective myelination of nerve cells. Vitamin b12 takes part in the production of myelin sheath around nerve cells which is important for the transmission of impulse from one cell to the next. A person with b12 deficiency presents with a set of neurological symptoms such as depression, decreased cognitive skills, forgetfulness, imbalanced gait, decreased or loss of sensations in extremities, decreases sensations on both sides of the body and dementia. Clinical signs include positive Babinski’s sign and weak or absent reflexes. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be covered by taking supplements in daily routine.
Summarizing the importance of water soluble vitamins, they are essential for a healthy body and mind. B complex tablets are prepared in a combination to supplement the daily need of all eight vitamins. Vitamin B12 is a very vital component of B complex as it is essential for energy production, red blood cell production and nervous system myelin sheath formation and is available individually in the form of tablets and injections. Injections are used for rapid reversal of deficiency symptoms. As there are just a few rich sources of vitamin B12, it is prepared artificially from a few forms of yeast and bacteria. Vegetarians are at greater risk of developing B12 deficiency as vegetables are very poor in this vitamin. They ought to take b12 supplements on regular basis to avoid nervous system and circulatory system symptoms. Vitamin B12 injections may be injected by another person or may be self- administered easily. It is wise to prevent a disease instead of treating it later on. The treatment regime should be followed regularly and life- long maintenance dose should be consumed to avoid recurrence of disease symptoms.