tired businesswoman with head in hands
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To B or Not ...

You definitely should. Without enough B12 (and folate), for example, you can become tired, weak, constipated, or depressed. And that’s just one of the kinds of vitamin B you need. For a big hit of vitamin B12, try clams or beef liver.

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chick peas
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Vitamin B6

Without enough of this B, you may get sick more often and feel depressed or confused. You may also get scaly, cracked lips. You only need a small amount of it each day, though, and most of us get that. If you want to make sure, your best bets are chickpeas, tuna, and -- surprise -- beef liver.

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women friends having drinks at a bar
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B1 (Thiamin)

Your body may not absorb enough of this if you often have more than a few drinks. Without it, you may have weakness, fatigue, and even brain damage. It can also lead to psychosis. So get your B1. Enriched rice, trout, and black beans are good sources.

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grilled beef liver kebabs
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B2 (Riboflavin)

Most Americans get plenty of riboflavin. That's a good thing, because a serious lack of it can damage your liver and nervous system.  For the most per bite, eat a big plate of beef liver. Can’t do it? Milk, yogurt, and beef are good second choices. There are also plants that can provide the B2 you need. For instance good sources include quinoa, muesli, and fortified vegan breakfast cereals. And don't forget avacado or wild rice -- both are rich sources of B2. 

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woman with glass of milk
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B3 (Niacin)

Niacin helps your digestion, skin, and nerves work the way they should. It also helps change food to energy. You can get it from milk, eggs, rice, and fish. But don’t overdo it. Too much can cause liver damage, peptic ulcers, and skin rashes.

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grilled beef liver kebabs
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B7 (Biotin)

A lack of B7 can lead to skin rashes, hair loss, high cholesterol, and heart problems. You can find it in cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, soy flour, cereals, and yeast.

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Folic Acid (Folate)

This is an important member of the B vitamin family -- especially if you’re pregnant, because it can help prevent certain birth defects. Folic acid is the lab version of folate, which is naturally found in foods. Whip up some spinach and black-eyed peas to get some in your diet.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 06/13/2020 Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on June 13, 2020


1) Caiaimage / Agnieszka Wozniak / Getty Images

2) vertmedia / Thinkstock

3) Sam Diephuis / Getty Images

4) vkuslandia / Thinkstock

5) Pixland / Thinkstock

6) Kwangmoozaa / Thinkstock

7) Sebastian Pfuetze / Getty Images


National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

National Center for Biotechnology Information: “Thiamin(e): the spark of life.”

MedlinePlus: “Drugs and Supplements.”

Mayo Clinic: “Drugs and Supplements.”

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on June 13, 2020

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.