Difference Between Vitamin B12 and B Complex

Vitamin B12 vs B Complex

Nutrition and nutritional supplements have come a long way from stored melons in ships to be given to journeying sailors to avoid the scurvy, to pop in the mouth tablets over the past two centuries. Vitamin is an organic compound required in small amounts to maintain good health. They are usually taken through diet as the organisms cannot produce these compounds within them. There are currently recognized thirteen vitamins, which excludes all the other minerals in macro and micro amounts, and essential amino acids required in considerable amounts. These vitamins can be water soluble or water insoluble. One such water soluble vitamin is vitamin B complex, which includes B12 in its ranks.

B Complex

Vitamin B is required for the proper functioning of the immune system, nervous system, cell growth and its metabolism, maintenance of healthy skin nails and hair. Supplements with the eight major types of vitamin B are called B complexes. These include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic, pyridoxine, biotin, folic, and cyanocobalamin. Any deficits can result in improper function of the above mentioned systems, leading to reduced levels of energy, apathy, memory loss, etc. The B vitamins are found in unprocessed whole foods. This complex usually does not cause toxicity as it can be flushed out from the circulation due to water solubility.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, or cyanocobalamin, is a sub type of vitamin B, which has to be taken from animal food products, and it is not available through vegetable products. This vitamin is required for the proper function of the brain, nervous system and the formation of blood cells. The absorption of B12 is mediated through the intrinsic factor secreted by the cells of the stomach and absorbed at the ileum. The deficit of this vitamin is associated with pernicious anemia, and the toxicity is associated with a mild rash due to excess.

What is the difference between Vitamin B12 and B Complex?

• B complex vitamins include Vitamin B12 as well, thus any factor related to B12 is relative to B complex, as well.

• But if we are to consider the majority rules of B complex, it does not need a transporter or an absorption assistive molecule like B12.

• B complex is mainly absorbed in the jejunum, but B12 are absorbed in the ileum.

• B complex is related to the general cellular metabolism, whereas B12 is specific to the nervous system and the blood cells.

• B complex has no toxicity effects, and b12 has low toxicity.

• The dietary sources of B complex are mainly based on vegetable and grain products, but B12 is mainly in animal products.

Supplementation of these vitamins are possible, and if not receiving enough through diet, supplementation is the only way to lead a healthy life.