This was this weeks threaded discussion in Vitamin & Mineral Metabolism:
The B-vitamins are considered energy vitamins by many. In fact, marketers refer to energy when these vitamins are included in products. Discuss the legitimacy of referring to these vitamins as the energy vitamins. If you agree with this term, give evidence for the claim. If not, give good reason why this claim should not be used.
My post focused on the fact that b vitamins do not supply energy.
Carbohydrate, fat and protein supply the fuel for energy.
The B vitamins help the body use energy from food buy do not serve as fuel themselves.
Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and biotin participate in the release of energy from carbohydrate, fat and protein.
A coenzyme containing vitamin B6 assists enzymes that metabolize amino acids. Folate and vitamin B12 help cells to multiply.
The eight B vitamins play many specific roles in helping the enzymes to perform thousands of different molecular conversions in the body.
They must be present in every cell continuously for the cells to function as they should.
A deficiency of any single B vitamin seldom shows up in isolation because people do not eat nutrients one by one; they eat foods containing a mixture of many nutrients. (Whitney, Debruyne, Pinna, & Rolfes, 2011) Dietary vitamin B12 absorption is impaired following some bariatric surgeries as a result of reduction of hydrochloric acid and inadequate secretion of intrinsic factor in the stomach, which are both required for the release of vitamin B12 from foods. Most bariatric surgery centers recommend intramuscular injection of vitamin B12 every three months, beginning three months following surgery or earlier if routine blood tests suggest this are necessary.
Vegans consume no B 12 in their diet. Vegetarians may also be at risk. When deficiency does develop it may progress to a dangerous extreme because the deficiency in B 12 may be masked by a high folate intake. Older populations, people with anemia and people with gastrointestinal problems also may be at risk.
Another group I didn’t mention in my post, persons following a gluten free diet. Gluten free foods are usually not fortified the ways foods containing gluten may be.
Rickers, L., & McSherry, C. (2012). Bariatric surgery: nutritional considerations for patients. Art & Science Nutrition, 41-48.
Whitney, E., Debruyne, L. K., Pinna, K., & Rolfes, S. R. (2011). Nutrition for Health and Health Care . Belmont: Wadsworth.
Don’t fall prey to claims of B vitamins boosting energy. If you don’t fall into the categories of who may be deficient, there is no need to waste money on these products.