Vitamin B1 Thiamin
Thiamin is involved in breaking down carbohydrates for energy. Thiamin is widely available in in whole grains such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, fortified breakfast cereal, pulses, nuts & seeds, peas and yeast extract. Thiamin is very unstable, easily lost in cooking water and where sodium bicarbonate is used in baking and sulphur dioxide is used as a preservative.
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin
Riboflavin helps convert carbohydrates into energy, growth and repair of tissues and maintenance of a healthy skin. Found in wholegrains, rice, eggs, milk, cheese, yoghurt, wholemeal bread, asparagus, brocolli, spinach and mushrooms. Riboflavin can be lost in cooking water and is especially unstable to ultraviolet light (UV) meaning for example that dairy milk should not be left on the doorstep.
Vitamin B3 Niacin
Niacin is needed for energy production, healthy skin, and the nervous system. Found in most foods including wholemeal bread, maize, pulses, eggs, milk, cheese, yoghurt, peas, sesame seeds, yeast extract,. Niacin is an exceptionally stable B Vitamin but losses can occur in cooking water..
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine
Pyridoxine Is involved in protein metabolism, in particular the conversion of tryptophan to niacin (Vitamin B3) and for the production of haemoglobin in the blood. Found in whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, wholemeal bread, soya beans, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, raisins, banans and yeast extract. Safe upper limits for supplementation is 10mg per day unless directed by your doctor.
Vitamin B12 is essentail for red blood cell formation, growth, and a healthy nervous system. All vitamin B12 in the food chain is primarily produced by microorganisms - yeasts, algae and gut bacteria of farm animals. Eggs, dairy milk, cheese and yoghurt are the main vegetarian sources of B12. Fortified plant foods including soya milks, breakfast cereals, veggieburger mixes, some yeast extracts and herbal soft drinks provide useful intakes in the vegan diet. Low Vitamin B12 levels can be a cause of anaemia though this can be masked if folate intake is high. According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the reference nutrient intake for Vitamin B12 in adults is 1.5 micrograms per day. Supplementation for vegans specifically is up to 2mg Vitamin B12 per day (see Vitamin B12 Factsheet)
Biotin is involved in fat metabolism, energy production and healthy skin. Biotin is produced by bacteria in our gut.Dietary sources include egg yolk, peanuts, walnuts, dried fruit yeast extract, The absorption of Biotin is impaired by Avidin, a substance in raw egg white.
Folate supports red blood cell formation, protein synthesis and DNA metabolism. Together with Vitamin B12, Folate is required for rapidly dividing cells in the bone marrow which in turn maintains a healthy red blood cell count. Pregnant women require additional intakes of folate to make sure the risk neural tude defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida is reduced. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate given as a supplement. Found in leafy green vegetables, broccoli, chickpeas, blackeyed beans, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, oranges, bananas and yeast extract. Folate is is unstable to heat and losses occur in cooking water.
Pantothenic acid is required for the release of energy from carbohydrate and fat and also antibody formation. Found in wholegrains such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, eggs, broccoli, yeast extract.
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