Introduction

B vitamins include a number of different vitamins. They include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin B12. B vitamin supplements may include all or some of these types. B vitamins are thought to improve brain function and blood flow. They are often recommended for pregnant women. B vitamins can be taken as pills or as a powder.

Dosages

There are no advised doses for B vitamins.

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Esophageal cancer—likely to protect against esophageal cancer B1
  • Stroke—likely to reduce number of strokes I1-I5

May Be Effective

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Cognitive disorders—unlikely to prevent cognitive decline A1-A9
  • Major adverse cardiovascular events—unlikely to result in fewer events D1
  • Osteoporosis fractures—unlikely to help prevent fracture E1

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take B vitamins in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether they are safe to use for a long period.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019 -
  • Update Date: 09/09/2019 -