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10 fascinating facts about B vitamins


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Vitamin B1 was the first neurotropic B Vitamin to be discovered – Dutch physician and pathologist. Christiaan Eijk,an, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1929 for his research around Vitamin B1. 1,2

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The colour of pure Vitamin B12 is dark red 3

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Isolated Vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon. Low B6 levels are usually associated with other Vitamin deficiencies 4

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2 out of 5 people over the age of 50 years are unable to absorb Vitamin B12 from animal products in their diet 5

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Severe thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency can cause a form of dementia 2

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B Vitamins are water soluble and not stored in the body in any significant amounts. They are excreted in the urine.6

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Vitamin B12 must bind to a substance secreted by the stomach (Intrinsic Factor) before it can be absorbed.5

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Processing, refining and cooking foods can decrease the thiamine (Vitamin B1) content e.g. baking wheat into bread, throwing out vegetable cooking water and polishing brown rice.7

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Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products and cannot be found naturally in any substantial amounts in plant-based foods except for dried purple laver or nori (seaweed)5,8

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Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions in the body.6

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