Port Kennedy Central Shopping Centre

Shop 8B/397 Warnbro Sound Avenue, 

Port Kennedy WA 6172

Port Kennedy Pharmacy

The B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 AND B12) are a group of 8 vitamins with important and diverse roles in the body. They are water soluble and so any excess are removed by our kidneys. This means that there are generally no upper limits for any B vitamins except B3, B6 and B9 (more on these in upcoming blogs).

Although they are found in a variety of food sources, B Vitamins are delicate and easily destroyed by alcohol, cooking and food processing. True deficiency is not commonplace in a developed country like Australia but sub-optimal levels without obvious symptoms are possible in certain population group.  Today, our focus is on B1 and B2.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) helps our body convert food to energy and is also important for healthy nerve and muscle functions. Good sources include wholemeal cereal grains (in Australia, it is mandatory that white and wholemeal flour used for bread is fortified with thiamine), sesame seeds, legumes, wheatgerm, nuts, yeast and pork. If you eat a lot of rice, you may have lower levels. Similarly, chronic and excessive alcohol consumption on top of poor diet can result in deficiency, the signs of which are general tiredness, muscle weakness, poor coordination, confusion and irritability.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also helps us get energy from food and is important for good vision and skin health. Dietary sources include milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, wholegrain breads and cereals, egg white, leafy green vegetables, meat, yeast, liver and kidneys. Real deficiency is very rare and if it exists, the person usually lacks other B vitamins. Those at a higher risk will be chronic alcoholics who don’t drink milk or milk products. Signs of deficiency can include a sore and inflamed tongue, cracks and redness in the corners of the mouth, sore eyelids and sensitivity to light as well as inflamed skin (especially nose, cheeks and forehead).

Remember, self-diagnosed vitamin deficiency is not ideal as inappropriate supplementation may mask other, more serious deficiencies and/ or even cause harm. Hence, to B or not to B is a question best discussed with your health professional.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking, B1?

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Port Kennedy Central Shopping Centre,

Shop 8B/397 Warnbro Sound Avenue, Port Kennedy WA 6172

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