- vitamin B complex
an important group of water-soluble vitamins containing vitamin B1, vitamin B2, etc.[1925-30]
* * *Water-soluble organic compounds with loosely similar properties, distribution in natural sources, and physiological functions.Most are coenzymes, and all appear essential to the metabolic processes of all animal life. They include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B12 (cobalamin); some authorities also include choline, carnitine, lipoic acid, inositol, and para-aminobenzoic acid. Vitamin B6 is needed for metabolism of amino acids and prevention of skin and nerve disorders. Vitamin B12 prevents pernicious anemia and is involved in nucleic-acid synthesis, fat metabolism, and conversion of carbohydrate to fat. The B complex vitamins are particularly abundant in cereal grains, meats, nuts, and some fruits and vegetables.
* * *▪ chemical compoundsseveral vitamins (vitamin) that traditionally have been grouped together because of loose similarities in their properties, their distribution in natural sources, and their physiological functions, which overlap considerably. All the B vitamins, like vitamin C, are soluble in water, in contrast to the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.vitaminsMost of the B vitamins have been recognized as coenzymes (substances that participate with enzymes in accelerating the interconversion of chemical compounds), and they all appear to be essential in facilitating the metabolic processes of all forms of animal life. The complex includes pantothenic acid, niacin, biotin, folic acid, riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin (vitamin B1), 6 (vitamin B6), and 12 (vitamin B12) (cobalamin). The compounds carnitine, choline, lipoic acid, inositol, and para-aminobenzoic acid perform analogous functions in animals and have been included among the B vitamins by certain authorities. See table of the vitamins (vitamins).
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