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B vitamins are water soluble essential nutrients that should be provided daily for optimal nutritional status. B vitamins from fresh whole foods makes for a fantastic addition to many processed diets (and makes for a very easy addition). There are 7 vitamins classified as B vitamins:
- Thiamin (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Pantothenic Acid (B5)
- Pyridoxine (B6)
- Folate (B9)
- Cobalamin (b12)
Choline is often lumped together with the B vitamins, but the function of choline is quite a bit different. However, we will still cover choline in this section so that we will be through the water soluble and fat soluble vitamins.
I will chunk these into smaller posts and at the end will include a video or audio recording to summarize the main points and make practical guidelines.
We will also touch on Biotin in this section.
Introduction to the B Vitamins
The B vitamins are used heavily in energy metabolism and nutrient metabolism. Because almost everything requires energy, B vitamins are intertwined with many processed in the body. While energy metabolism is certainly a primary role, the B vitamins often have unique, individual functions.
These nutrients are easily met in a homemade cooked or raw diet, with the exception of Thiamin. It should also be noted that home-cooked diets often require B vitamin supplementation because cooking can reduce their levels significantly.
Unlike fat soluble vitamins, the B vitamins are best provided daily because they are not stored the same way that fat soluble vitamins are. However, some of the B vitamins are “recycled” and the body’s ability to do this requires that all essential nutrients are present in the diet.
While B vitamins do not have toxic levels like the fat soluble vitamins do, it is still a good idea to not over supplement beyond what is needed (unless there is a disturbance to digestion). It is often said that excess water soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine and so high doses are not of concern. While it is true that they are excreted in the urine, their intake still must go to the gut and the liver. High intake of certain B vitamins can cause liver and nerve damage. There is also research (for humans) that indicates very high levels of intake can cause disturbances to gene expression.
Thiamin & Riboflavin
-Foods that may hurt thiamin status
-Ways to preserve Riboflavin in homemade food
-Adding to kibble