B vitamins are water soluble, meaning they are not stored in the body and should be
taken in the diet on a daily basis. There are 8 forms of vitamin B, namely, vitamin B1
(Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid) B6 (Pyridoxine), Folic
Acid, B12 (Cobalamin) and Biotin.

The detail below of each form of vitamin B shows how important it is in our daily diet
and how our health can be impacted if there is a daily deficiency.

Thiamine (vitamin B1):
Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1. It has several important functions, including:
 working with other B-group vitamins to help break down and release energy
from food
 keeping nerves and muscle tissue healthy
Good sources of thiamine

Thiamine is found in most types of food. Good sources include:
 brewer’s yeast
 vegetables
 nuts and seeds
 peas
 fresh and dried fruit
 eggs
 wholegrain products
 some fortified breakfast cereals

Riboflavin (vitamin B2):

Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2. Its functions include:
 keeping skin, eyes and the nervous system healthy
 producing steroids and red blood cells

Good sources of riboflavin
Good sources of riboflavin include:
 brewer’s yeast
 liver, calf’s
 almonds
 rice
 mushrooms
 kale
 broccoli

Niacin (vitamin B3):

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. It has several important functions, including:
 helping produce energy from the foods we eat
 helping keep the nervous and digestive systems healthy

Good sources of niacin
Good sources of niacin include:
 brewer’s yeast
 rice bran
 wholewheat flour
 peanuts
 eggs
 sunflower and sesame seeds

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5):
Pantothenic acid has several functions, such as helping release energy from the
food we eat.

Good sources of pantothenic acid
Pantothenic acid is found in virtually all meat and vegetable foods. Good sources
 brewer’s yeast
 peanuts
 mushrooms
 porridge
 tomatoes
 liver, calf’s
 avocado
 broccoli
 wholegrains, such as brown rice and wholemeal bread

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6):
Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine. It has several important functions, including:
 allowing the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in
 helping form haemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen around the body

Good sources of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods such as:
 brewer’s yeast
 sunflower seeds
 walnuts
 hazelnuts
 buckwheat flour
 whole cereals, such as oatmeal, wheat germ and rice
 eggs
 vegetables
 soya beans
 peanuts
 brown rice
 potatoes

Vitamin B12:
Vitamin B12 has several important functions and is involved in:
 making red blood cells and keeping the nervous system healthy
 releasing energy from the food we eat
 processing folic acid
A lack of vitamin B12 could lead to vitamin b12 anaemia.

Good sources of vitamin B12
These include:
 meat
 liver
 salmon
 cod
 cheese
 eggs
 yeast extract

Folic acid:
Folic acid, known as folate in its natural form, is one of the B-group vitamins.
Folate has several important functions:
 works together with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells
 helps reduce the risk of central nervous system defects such as spina bifida in
unborn babies
A lack of folate could lead to folate deficiency anaemia.

Good sources of folate
Folate is found in small amounts in many foods. Good sources include:
 brewer’s yeast
 broccoli
 brussel sprouts
 asparagus
 peas
 beans and pulses
 brown rice
 kale and spinach

Biotin is a B vitamin that functions in the manufacture and utilization of fats and
amino acids. Biotin is vitally important for metabolism. It is manufactured in the
intestines by intestinal bacteria so gut bacteria is essential for the production of

Good sources of biotin
Biotin can be found in:
 brewer’s yeast
 organ meats
 soybeans
 peanuts
 oatmeal
 walnuts
 peanut butter

Brewer’s yeast:
It is the one food source that contains the highest value of most sources of vitamin B.
It can be incorporated into the diet in the following ways:
 Add to porridge
 Add to smoothies
 Sprinkle into soup or stews
 Added to baked goods
 Mix a small amount into salad dressings
 Add to cottage cheese or yogurt

Brewers yeast contains high purine levels making it unsuitable for people with gout,
kidney disease or arthritis.