B Vitamins: What Are B Vitamins & What Do They Do?

What is vitamin B?

There isn’t actually just one vitamin B — in fact, B vitamins are a group of eight essential vitamins: vitamin B1, B2 B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. 


These vitamins are water-soluble, which means they are more easily and quickly absorbed into our bodies than fat-soluble vitamins. Generally, B vitamins play an essential role in supporting overall health.


What does vitamin B do?

B vitamins are important for helping ensure the body’s cells function properly and for enzyme reactions. Additionally, they play an important role in helping the body use macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) for energy.


Which B vitamin gives you energy?

Some people find that taking B12 increases their energy levels, but this is a result of treating a deficiency. 


What is vitamin B1?

Thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, helps to convert glucose into energy and plays a role in cell function. Sources of thiamin include whole grains, nuts, and legumes.


Product Recommendation

Vegan B-Complex Drops

Extra strength, Neuro health, Metabolic support

Methyl B12 Organic Spray

Neuro health, Cognitive function, Cellular health



Benefits of thiamin

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is important for its role in energy metabolism. Thiamin plays a role in multiple levels of cellular health including growth, development, and overall function.


What is vitamin B2?

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is primarily involved in energy production and helps with skin and eye health. One tasty vegan-friendly food source of riboflavin is leafy green vegetables.


Benefits of riboflavin

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is an essential component of energy production as well as supporting cellular function, growth, and development. Additionally, it supports metabolism and helps maintain normal levels of amino acids in the blood. 


What is vitamin B3?

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is essential for the body to convert macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein) into energy. It also supports skin health and the nervous and digestive systems. Sources of niacin include whole grains, nuts, and mushrooms. 


Benefits of niacin

Vitamin B3 (niacin) supports metabolism and overall health. Niacin releases chemicals that help improve blood flow. 


What is vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) helps to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also supports the production of red blood cells and steroid hormones. Pantothenic acid is found in a range of foods, but some sources include yeast, peanuts, and legumes.


Benefits of vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) supports cellular health and is needed to break down macronutrients.


What is vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, supports the metabolism of protein and carbohydrates. It also aids in producing red blood cells and influences brain processes and development, immune function, and steroid hormone activity. Food sources of B6 include legumes, green, leafy vegetables, and fruit.


Benefits of vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is involved in metabolizing amino acids, the creation of neurotransmitters and red blood cell production, and plays a role in protein metabolism.


What is vitamin B7?

Biotin, also called vitamin B7, supports energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and glycogen synthesis. Sources of biotin include cauliflower, peanuts, yeast, and mushrooms.


Benefits of biotin

Vitamin B7 (biotin) is a cofactor for critical steps in the metabolism of fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids. 


What is vitamin B9?

Folate, known as vitamin B9 or folic acid, is needed to form red and white blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. It also helps the development of the fetal nervous system and cell growth. Food sources of folate include green leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, cereals, and citrus fruits. 


Benefits of folate

Vitamin B9 (folate) is used for the formation of red and white blood cells, cell growth and proper cell division, and aids in amino acid metabolism.


What is vitamin B12? 

Vitamin B12, sometimes known as cobalamin, assists the body’s nervous system, supports cognitive function, and provides energy to those who are deficient. B12 also aids the body in DNA synthesis and red cell production. 


Benefits of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is required for the development and function of the central nervous system, DNA production, and red blood cell development. 


How to take B vitamins

B vitamins are often found in everyday foods such as rice, beans, almonds, broccoli, spinach, avocados, and bananas. You can also supplement with B vitamins.


MaryRuth’s products containing B vitamins

MaryRuth’s has a variety of supplements with vegan sources of B vitamins.

Discover our gummies, liquids, and other products containing some or many B vitamins here. As always, we’re here to support you with all of your supplement needs! 


Product Recommendation

Organic D3+B12 Gummies

Bone health, Red blood cell health, Immune support

D3 + B12 Gummies (Strawberry)

Bone strength, Red blood cell health, Immune support



Which Multivitamin is for Me?
Which Multivitamin is for Me?
8 Travel-Friendly Supplements to Pack for Your Next Trip
12 Travel-Friendly Supplements to Pack for Your Next Trip
A Beginner’s Guide to Vitamins and Supplements
A Beginner’s Guide to Vitamins and Supplements
Liquid Vitamins vs. Pills: How They Compare
Liquid Vitamins vs. Pills: How They Compare