Keep going with B-complex vitamins and omega 3

Keep going with B-complex vitamins and omega 3

If you’re looking for something to keep you going, B-complex vitamins and omega 3 are your perfect duo.

B-complex vitamins:

When it comes to the B-complex vitamins, chances are that you know some of them, whether it’s by their numerical name – i.e. vitamin B12 – or another name, like cobalamin.

There are eight B-complex vitamins, each with a unique purpose on a cellular level. B-vitamins can help you manage stress and support daily energy. Let’s take a look at what each one does, where you can find it in your diet, or supplements to help you fill in the gaps.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Thiamin plays a critical role in energy metabolism, and therefore, in the growth and development of cells. Only a small amount of this vitamin can be stored in the liver and it can be used up rapidly, so it must be replenished daily.1 Thiamin is found naturally in meats, fish, and whole grains. It is also often added to breads, cereals, and baby formulas. Other sources of vitamin B1 include beans, lentils, green peas, sunflower seeds, and yogurt.2.  Interestingly, heating foods can reduce their thiamin content.3.

 Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is a key component of coenzymes involved with the growth, development and function of cells in your body. It also plays a key role in turning the food you eat into the energy you need. Most riboflavin is used immediately and not stored by the body, so excess amounts are excreted in urine.4.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3, or niacin, works with more than 400 enzyme systems for various reactions. Niacin helps convert nutrients from food into energy, as it’s part of a coenzyme that’s needed for protein and carbohydrate metabolism.5. Niacin deficiencies are rare, as it can be found in many foods, including both plants and animals. Common sources include poultry, beef, fish, legumes, brown rice and bananas.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

Like other B-vitamins, vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, helps turn your food into energy, especially making and breaking down fats.6. Vitamin B5 is found in almost all plant and animal foods to some degree because the vitamin is found in all living cells. Some of the best sources of vitamin B5 are beef, chicken, fortified cereals, mushrooms, avocado, potatoes, nuts, seeds and oats.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin found in many foods. The body needs vitamin B6 for more than 100 enzyme reactions involved in energy metabolism, including the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also supports nervous system health.7. Some foods that are rich in vitamin B6 include tuna, salmon, chickpeas, poultry, bananas, papayas and dark leafy greens.8.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

You may recognise vitamin B7 by its more common name, biotin. Biotin is well known for its support of healthy skin, nails and hair and plays a vital role in assisting enzymes in breaking down proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also helps regulate signals sent by cells and the activity of genes.9. Foods that contain biotin include eggs, salmon, avocados, pork, sweet potato, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic acid)

Vitamin B9, or folate, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps to form genetic material such as DNA and RNA. It plays a key role in maintaining healthy homocysteine levels already within the normal range. Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the blood. High levels are considered to affect the function of the cardiovascular system. Folate is present in a wide variety of foods and is better absorbed by the body. Good sources of folate include dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds and seafood.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. Vitamin B12 is great for supporting daily energy. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a type of anaemia that makes individuals tired and weak. Vitamin B12 in foods is bound to the protein you eat and then is released in the stomach into its free form. Vitamin B12 is found in a variety of animal foods, such as fish, red meat, eggs, poultry and dairy products.

Omega 3 to keep you going:

Omega 3’s are a type of essential fatty acid commonly found in fish, algae, nuts and seeds. The three main types of omega 3’s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

ALAs are “short-chain” fatty acids that are typically found in plant-based sources like flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. EPA and DHA are more biologically active “long-chain” fatty acids commonly found in cold-water fish and other seafood.

Our bodies are not able to make our own omega 3 fatty acids. Although ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA within the body, this conversion is poor at a rate of less than 5%.10. That is why omega 3’s are called essential fatty acids, meaning it is essential to find sources from food or supplements to maintain healthy levels.

Omega 3 fatty acids are important for the maintenance of both brain and heart health. Omega 3’s, specifically EPA and DHA, have been shown to help maintain healthy levels of triglycerides and HDL (“good”) cholesterol. This can help support blood vessel health and maintain proper nutrient delivery.11.

Brain health:

The brain needs omega 3’s and DHA is the most abundant omega 3 fatty acid in the brain. Research shows the importance of omega 3’s on cognitive function and memory.12.

Research shows that supplementation with fish oils in healthy older adults may support memory function.13. In a meta-analysis designed to determine the effects of DHA intake, alone or combined with EPA on specific aspects of memory (episodic, working and semantic memory) in healthy adults aged 18 and older, researchers found that DHA, alone or combined with EPA improved memory function in healthy older adults with mild memory concerns.14.

Heart health:

Research supports the importance of both EPA and DHA for cardiovascular health. In a recent meta-analysis published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that reviewed 40 clinical trials involving 135,267 participants, researchers concluded that consuming more EPA and DHA is associated with a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease. The researchers also stated that supplementation with EPA and DHA is an effective strategy for supporting heart health and that the protective effects of EPA and DHA probably increases with dosage.15.

EPA and DHA supplements are also known to lower blood pressure. In an analysis of 171 clinical trials, researchers found that compared with control, EPA and DHA supplements produced significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.16.

By incorporating both B-complex vitamins and omega 3 into your daily diet or supplementation routine, you can enhance your energy levels, improve mental clarity, and promote overall vitality.


  12. Dyall SC. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA. Front Aging Neurosci. 2015; 7(APR). doi:10.3389/FNAGI.2015.00052.
  13. Alex A, Abbott KA, McEvoy M, Schofiled PW, Garg ML. Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and cognitive decline in non-demented adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Rev. 2020; 78(7):563-578. doi:10.1093/NUTRIT/NUZ073.
  14. Yurko-Mauro K, Alexander DD, Van Elswyk ME. Docosahexaenoic acid and adult memory: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0120391. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120391.
  15. Bernasconi AA, Wiest MM, Lavie CJ, Milani R V., Laukkanen JA. Effect of Omega-3 Dosage on Cardiovascular Outcomes: An Updated Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression of Interventional Trials. Mayo Clin Proc. 2021; 96(2):304-313. doi:10.1016/J.MAYOCP.2020.08.034.
  16. AbuMweis S, Jew S, Tayyem E, Agraib L. Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid containing supplements modulate risk factors for cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of randomised placebo-control human clinical trials. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2018; 31(1):67-84. doi:10.1111/JHN.12493.

*The information provided on this blog is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Article provided by Solgar


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