vitamin B complex

The vitamin B complex is a group of 12 substances that includes the eight vitamins known as


  • thiamine (vitamin B1)
  • riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • niacin (vitamin B3)
  • pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
  • pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
  • biotin (vitamin B7)
  • folic acid (vitamin B9)
  • cyanocobalamin (also known as cobalamin or vitamin B12)

    These eight vitamins, like vitamin C, are soluble in water. (In contrast, vitamins A, D, E, and F are fat-soluble.) The B vitamins were once thought to be a single vitamin – vitamin B. Although now known to be chemically distinct they do tend to occur together in the same foodstuffs and are also related in that they all play important roles in cell metabolism.


    Other substances making up the vitamin B complex, although not classified as vitamins, are chemically related to the eight types of B vitamin listed above. These include


  • choline
  • inositol
  • para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)