B-complex vitamins together with Vitamin C forms the category of water-soluble vitamins. B-complex is a broad term that consists of B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12, folic acid, niacin (nicotinic acid), pantothenic acid, and biotin.
The water-soluble vitamins, remain inactive in their free states, and need to be activated to their coenzyme forms. When transformed as coenzymes, they help the body in obtaining the required energy from food that we eat. Both B-complex vitamins and vitamin C are neither stored in our body nor produced. This means they need to be supplied to our body either through the daily diet or through a high-quality multivitamin supplement. Water soluble vitamins are extremely essential for healthy skin, proper functioning of nervous system, normal appetite, good vision and red blood cell formation.
The water-soluble vitamins get absorbed in our intestines and then they pass directly to the blood. Blood performs the transportation function and the vitamins get carried to the tissues which utilise them. “Intrinsic factor for absorption” is associated with the assimilation of Vitamin B12.
Water-soluble vitamins generally get removed from the body through urine on a daily basis. Thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, ascorbic acid, pantothenic acid, and biotin are found as free vitamins in urine. Some biotin, folic acid and the whole of Vitamin B 12 get excreted through feces.
The deficiency of water soluble vitamins causes disorders such as to beriberi, pellagra, pernicious anaemia and scurvy. The increased consumption of brown rice will help in checking thiamine deficiency to a good extent. Also called ascorbic acid, Vitamin C plays an important role in strengthening bone, teeth and blood vessel walls. It also helps in wound healing. It also plays a prominent role in the proper functioning of our immune system. The body’s demand for Vitamin C increases if you are pregnant, under stress or addicted to nicotine.