Vitamin B Deficiency

Dr. Anurag Shahi (AIIMS)MBBS,MD

January 14, 2019

March 06, 2020

Vitamin B Deficiency
Vitamin B Deficiency

What is vitamin B deficiency?

Vitamin B (B complex) is a group of vitamins that include the following:

  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6 (pyridoxine)
  • B7 (biotin)
  • B9 (folic acid)
  • B12 (cobalamine)

These all are crucial for cell functioning, brain functioning and cellular metabolism. Deficiency of vitamin B complex can lead to complex disorders.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency widely vary due to deficiency of several components. Yet, there are certain general symptoms of B complex deficiency, which include:

What are the main causes?

Vitamin B deficiency can be caused due to poor intake food articles that are rich in vitamin B complex, which is referred to as a primary deficiency. Certain diseases like celiac disease, chronic diarrhoea, pancreatic insufficiency, liver cirrhosis, giardiasis, ascariasis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, etc. can lead to vitamin B complex deficiency.

How are they diagnosed and treated?

A thorough medical examination along with clinical history helps in determining the diagnosis. Along with that, a therapeutic trail (of giving vitamin B complex supplement for symptoms) can help in establishing the diagnosis of vitamin B deficiency. Apart from these certain blood investigations like serum vitamin B1, B2, B6, B9, B12 levels, homocysteine levels along with other routine blood investigations like complete blood count (CBC) can help in confirming the diagnosis of vitamin B deficiency.

Treatment of vitamin B deficiency lies in fulfilling the demands of vitamin B levels either by increasing the diet that is rich in vitamin B complex or by taking oral or injectable supplements of vitamin B complex.

  • Food for Vitamin B – eggs, fish, liver etc. are non-vegetarian sources of vitamin B; while milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables (like spinach, fenugreek, kale etc.), fruits (like oranges, banana, watermelon, strawberries etc.), beans, nuts, beet and avocados are vegetarian sources.
  • Supplements: Oral or injectable vitamin B complex supplements can help in correcting the deficiency.


  1. healthdirect Australia. B12 deficiencies. Australian government: Department of Health
  2. National Institutes of Health; Office of Dietary Supplements. [Internet]. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Vitamin B12.
  3. Fiona O’Leary, Samir Samman. Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease . Nutrients. 2010 Mar; 2(3): 299–316. PMID: 22254022
  4. National Health Portal [Internet] India; Vitamin B12 Deficiency
  5. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Vitamin B

Doctors for Vitamin B Deficiency

Dr. Narayanan N K Dr. Narayanan N K Endocrinology
16 Years of Experience
Dr. Tanmay Bharani Dr. Tanmay Bharani Endocrinology
15 Years of Experience
Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra Endocrinology
23 Years of Experience
Dr. Parjeet Kaur Dr. Parjeet Kaur Endocrinology
19 Years of Experience
Consult a Doctor

Medicines for Vitamin B Deficiency

Medicines listed below are available for Vitamin B Deficiency. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.