The B-complex family of vitamins support metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins and many should be included in a program to encourage weight loss and increased energy, suggest the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. It encourages supplements that are not synthetic, but are plant-based or from natural substances. The association applauds a combined weight loss and exercise program for long-term success and adds that vitamin supplementation is crucial to maintaining energy and promoting weight loss.
Vitamin B-5, or Pantothenic acid, is part of an essential coenzyme that generates energy from fat, proteins and carbs, explains the Linus Pauling Institute. It is especially key in the synthesis of fats such as cholesterol and of steroid hormones. Maintaining adequate levels of energy and metabolizing fats effectively may contribute to successful weight loss. The suggested adequate intake of vitamin B-5 as set by the Institute of Medicine is 5 milligrams per day. Food sources include avocados, yogurt, milk, chicken, raw mushrooms and sweet potatoes.
Folic acid, folate or vitamin B-9, is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin crucial in the reactions necessary to metabolize DNA, RNA and amino acids, the foundation of proteins, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Proteins, among other things, are required for muscle growth and health. Increased muscle mass helps with energy and losing weight. The recommended daily allowance, RDA, is 400 micrograms per day. Food sources included fortified cereals, orange juice, lentils, spinach, garbanzo beans and fortified breads, pasta and rice.
Vitamin B-12 is the only one of the B-complex vitamins that carry a metal ion, cobalt, in its structure, giving it its other name of cobalamin, notes the Linus Pauling Institute. The cobalt component of vitamin B-12 plays a crucial role in the synthesis of hemoglobin, the pigment that carries oxygen in the blood, and for producing energy from fats and proteins. All these processes may contribute to weight loss and increased energy. The RDA is 2.4 micrograms per day, and food sources include meat, fish, shellfish and poultry. Vegetarian diets require supplementation of vitamin B-12.
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