Vitamin B Deficiency and Its Symptoms

May 23, 2022

Vitamin B Deficiency And Its Symptoms Min

Vitamins and minerals are vital elements which help keep a sound mind and body. Although they have individual functions, they closely work together to help the body develop and work properly. [1]

A vitamin group that has some of the bigger responsibilities is the vitamin B family which includes: Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). And together, they are called the vitamin B complex. [2]

Vitamin B

The eight vitamins play key roles in energy production, nerve damage management, cell formation, and mood regulation. This is how powerful the use of vitamin B complex is.

B-vitamins are water-soluble. It means they cannot be stored in the body for long periods of time. The body constantly need a steady supply of B vitamins either through food rich in vitamin B or if needed through supplements.

Vitamin B Deficiency


In order to keep an overall healthy well-being, B-vitamins should be included in one’s balanced diet. Otherwise, the body will be at risk of serious illnesses and conditions. The following are symptoms due to vitamin B deficiency: [3]

  • Vitamin B1 – lack of appetite, weight loss, poor reflexes, heart problems, and memory problems.
  • Vitamin B2 – skin disorders, hair loss, itchy eyes, swelling of the mouth and throat, and swollen, cracked lips.
  • Vitamin B3 – depression, skin disorders, digestive problems, and fatigue.
  • Vitamin B5 – mood disorders, restlessness, lack of appetite, insomnia, and numbness and burning of hands and feet.
  • Vitamin B6 – anemia, swollen tongue, confusion, scaling on the lips, weakened immune system, and depression.
  • Vitamin B7 – loss of hair, brittle nails, skin disorders, fatigue, and depression
  • Vitamin B9 – mood disorders, headaches, fatigue, heart problems, and skin, nail or hair problems.
  • Vitamin B12 – weight loss, memory problems, digestive problems, fatigue, depression, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.


Prevention is still better than cure. While it is important to look out for the symptoms above, it is necessary to know how to avoid vitamin B deficiency. Here are the top possible causes of this condition:

  • A Non-Balanced Diet
  • Excessive Alcohol Intake
  • Different Medications
  • Malabsorption Syndrome

Unlike other nutrients, the body cannot naturally produce B-vitamins. They can be found from certain food groups such as meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, citrus fruits, and leafy vegetables. Hence, a balanced diet must be followed to give the body its daily dose of B-vitamins.

Animal meat, however, has the richest levels of vitamin B, which puts vegans and vegetarians at risk for vitamin B deficiency. [2]

Alcohol causes the kidneys to wash out B vitamins from the system faster than usual. This gives the body less time to benefit from B vitamins absorbed from food and supplements, which may then lead to vitamin B deficiency. [2]

It is fine to unwind and have some fun with alcohol from time to time, but it should still be consumed in moderation.

There are types of prescribed medications that can increase the risk of vitamin B deficiency. Below are some medications that deplete specific B-vitamins from the body:

  • Vitamin B6 – antibiotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, penicillamine, diuretics, and acid-reducers. [3] [4]
  • Vitamin B9 – pain medications, steroids, diabetes medications, antibiotics, and oral contraceptives. [3]
  • Vitamin B12 – proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), diuretics, antidepressants, diabetes medications, antibiotics, and cholesterol medications. [3] [4]

Malabsorption syndrome is a group of disorders where the small intestine is prevented from absorbing a sufficient amount of nutrients like B-vitamins. Examples of gut malabsorption conditions are Chron’s or Celiac disease.

B-vitamins are usually absorbed into the bloodstream and will then be transported throughout the body. If the nutrients cannot go through the bloodstream, it will significantly decrease the body’s vitamin B levels, thus causing a great impact on a person’s health. [2]

Vitamin B-Complex Supplements

When it is impossible to obtain all the vitamin B needs through food intake, then one may opt to take vitamin B-complex supplements.

Vitamin B complex such as Fortiplex has high doses of vitamins B1, B6, and B12 that can help prevent nerve damage and regulate mood disorder. Also, its added vitamins B2 and B3 improve the benefits of bodily processes and emotional functions. For an SRP of Php 18.68 only per capsule, one can be assured of the full benefits with Fortiplex. However, it is still advisable to eat food rich in Vitamin B whenever possible.


[1] National Institute on Aging. (2019). Vitamins and Minerals. National Institute on Aging. Retrieved from:

[2] Everlywell. (2019). B Vitamins: Causes and Symptoms of Deficiency. Everlywell. Retrieved from:

[3] Berry, J. (2019). A Complete Guide to B-Vitamins. Medical News Today. Retrieved from:

[4] Hilsabeck, K. (2019). Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion: 7 Nutrients Commonly Depleted by Medications. Olivamine. Retrieved from: