Water-soluble vitamins

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 01.06.2018

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Vitamin B6

There are three main forms of vitamin B6: pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. Active forms of coenzyme vitamin B6 pyridoxal 5-phosphate and pyridoxamine 5-phosphate. Vitamin B6 is involved in approximately 100 metabolic reactions, including gluconeogenesis, niacin synthesis and lipid metabolism.

Optimal intake of vitamin B6

Dietary consumption standards, adequate intake and / or recommended dietary requirements for vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B, are adopted by the Food and Nutrition Administration of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. The Annex contains the most modern standards for vitamin B6 consumption. Tables of adequate intake of recommended dietary norms for average estimated needs and upper limits of the level of tolerable consumption are placed under the general heading "Dietary consumption standards". Recommended dietary norms (RDN) are a dietary level of consumption adequate for about 98% of healthy people. Adequate consumption rates are recommendations derived from observed or experimental nutritional intake data by a group (or groups) of healthy individuals and are used when recommended dietary norms can not be determined. Average estimated needs are approximate values of nutritional requirements for half of healthy individuals in the group. The upper limits of the level of tolerable intake are the largest quantities of nutrients that most people can consume without the appearance of negative side effects.

Recommendations for physically active people

Some studies suggest that physical stress affects the metabolism of vitamin B6, and its deficiency worsens these indicators. Prolonged exercise probably leads to unstable changes in the vitamin B content, and its intensity may be related to the content of this vitamin. However, the differences in the concentrations of vitamin Bb in the plasma were not observed at different intensity of bicycle ergometry. Unstable effects of physical stress on changes in vitamin B6 content in plasma make it difficult to ascertain whether physically active individuals require more vitamin B6 in their diet than sedentary ones. To clarify this issue, 22 physically active men were given either high doses of vitamin-mineral supplements or a placebo.

The concentration of B vitamins in the blood increased significantly, but when the intake of supplements ceased, it decreased. The concentration of vitamins A and C, zinc, magnesium and calcium in the blood did not change, which suggests the increased demand for vitamins of group B of physically active individuals. The effect of additives on the indicators was not taken into account. Nevertheless, the results of the research show that physically active persons do not need large doses of vitamin B6, but if it is deficient, it must be filled up to the level of dietary consumption standards or higher. Since there is insufficient data on the relationship between vitamin B6 and the load, further study of this issue is required before more specific recommendations on B6 intake for physically active individuals are developed.

Vitamin B12 and phthalate

Vitamin B12, or cyanocobalamin, and folate (folic acid) are necessary for the synthesis of DNA and are interrelated in metabolism. They are necessary for the normal synthesis of red blood cells, and it is thanks to this function that these vitamins can affect the physical load.

Recommendations for physically active persons

Inadequate intake of vitamin B12 and folate can cause megaloblastic anemia. Since vitamin B12 slowly enters bile and then reabsorbs, healthy individuals need about 20 years to reveal signs of its deficiency. However, athletes with vegetarians are recommended supplements with vitamin B12. Adequate intake of vitamin B12 is a matter of special concern for vegetarians, since it is found exclusively in products of animal origin. In addition, athletes take supplements with vitamins and minerals with megadoses (500-1000 mg) of vitamin C, which can reduce the bioavailability of dietary vitamin B12 and lead to its deficiency. Athletes, whose rations contain sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 and folate, may not suffer from their deficiency. So, for 78 months, 82 men and women involved in various sports were given vitamin-mineral supplements or a placebo. All athletes were on a diet that met recommendations for daily intake of vitamins and minerals. And although vitamin-mineral supplements have not improved any measured index specific to a particular sport, however Telford et al. Recorded improved jumping and weight gain in female basketball players. They suggested that most of the weight gain is due to an increase in fat mass, and a smaller muscle mass, as the jumpiness of basketball players has improved. Of course, questions about the benefits of supplementation and the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals have not been adequately studied. Nevertheless, a deficiency of vitamin B12 and folate can lead to an increase in the serum homocysteine level, resulting in cardiovascular diseases. This suggests that physically active people should take care not only of nutrition, but also of health in general.


Thiamine participates in reactions that produce energy in part in the form of thiamine diphosphate (also known as thiamine pyrophosphate), in the citric acid cycle, branched-chain catabolism and pentose-phosphate cycle. Thiamin is necessary for the conversion of pyruvate to acetylCoA in the oxidation of carbohydrates. This conversion is essential for the aerobic oxidation of glucose, and its absence worsens athletic performance and health. Thus, athletes need to consume a sufficient amount of thiamine and carbohydrates.

Recommendations for physically active persons

Obviously, there is a strong correlation between the consumption of high-carbohydrate diets, motor activity and the need for thiamine. This is the subject of caring athletes, because they need carbohydrates in food in large quantities. However, some researchers note that physically active persons require thiamine more than sedentary, so it would be reasonable to recommend athletes to receive at least standard doses of thiamine in order to avoid its depletion. In some literary sources it is said that doses of thiamine 2 times higher than the recommended dietary norms will be safe and will satisfy the needs of physically active persons. It has been established that multivitamin-mineral supplements consumed within 3 months did not significantly increase the level of thiamine in the blood serum of athletes, however these researchers did not measure any parameters after the use of additives. Further studies are needed to clearly determine whether the demand for thiamine is higher among active individuals, in those who train several times a day compared to those with milder loads.


Riboflavin is involved in a number of key metabolic reactions that are important for physical activity: glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain. It is a precursor of the synthesis of flavin coenzymes of flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), which are involved in oxidatively reducing reactions, acting as 1 and 2 electron carriers.

Recommendations for physically active persons

The content of riboflavin can change in people who start playing sports. However, physically active persons who consume adequate amounts of riboflavin with food, the lack of it is not threatened, so they should not exceed the level of dietary standards. Investigated within 3 months the effect of vitamin-mineral supplements in 30 athletes. A significant increase in the concentration of vitamins and minerals in the blood was not observed. Exceptions were pyridoxine and riboflavin. Weight et al. Came to the conclusion that these supplements are not necessary for those involved in sports, if in their food the amount of vitamins and minerals is adequate. Nevertheless, it is necessary to study and evaluate the longer-term effect of physical stress on the content of riboflavin.


Niacin, nicotinic acid, or nicotinamide. Coenzyme forms of nicotinamide nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). Both are involved in glycolysis, the pentose cycle, the citric acid cycle, the synthesis of lipids and the electron transport chain.

Recommendations for physically active persons

Nicotinic acid is often used in pharmacological doses to lower serum cholesterol levels. Probably, pharmacological doses of nicotinic acid can extend the use of carbohydrates in the form of a substrate at the time of loading, while reducing the presence of free amino acids. Despite this connection with the load, there is no reliable data proving the need to increase the amount of niacin supplements for physically active individuals.

Given the role of niacin in vasodilatation, some researchers have studied the effect of niacin supplements on thermoregulation and have received different results. Nevertheless, it is important that sports people consume niacin adequate to dietary standards in order to discourage energy utilization, which can worsen the performance.

Sources of niacin

Food sources of pantothenic acid are sunflower seeds, mushrooms, peanuts, brewer's yeast and broccoli.

Pantothenic acid

Biologically active forms of pantothenic acid coenzyme A (CoA) and protein are the carrier of acyl. Pantothenic acid is involved in the transfer of acyl groups. Coenzymes of pantothenic acid are also involved in the synthesis of lipids, the oxidation of pyruvate and alfaketoglutarate. Acetyl CoA is an important intermediate in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

Recommendations for physically active persons

The effect of additives of pantothenic acid on the performance of exercises has been studied insufficiently. Thus, Nice et al. For 2 weeks, additives were given to 18 trained men of pantothenic acid (one group) or placebo (another group). When running to exhaustion, the results of differences between groups in time, pulse rate and biochemical blood index were insignificant. Studies conducted on trained mice with pantothenate deficiency showed that they had reduced body weight and glycogen content in the liver and muscles, and reduced run time to exhaustion compared to trained mice receiving the pantothenate supplement. However, these results are difficult to extrapolate to humans. Studies show that increased intake of pantothenic acid does not benefit physically active individuals if they have adequate pantothenic acid.


Biotin is an indispensable cofactor of mitochondrial carboxylases (one carboxylase in mitochondria and in the cytosol). These carboxylase-dependent reactions are involved in energy metabolism, so biotin deficiency can potentially lead to poor results.

Recommendations for physically active persons

To date, the effect of biotin on the performance of exercise and the need for biotin for physically active persons have not been investigated.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]

Sources of biotin

Good nutritional sources of biotin are peanut butter, boiled eggs, sprouted wheat, egg noodles, Swiss cheese and cauliflower. It is assumed that biotin is synthesized by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals, but there are no publications on this topic.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, ascorbate, or ascorbate monoanion is used to prevent colds. Although vitamin C supplements do not prevent colds, some studies show that their use significantly weakens it and shortens the course of the disease. However, the megadoses of one vitamin and / or mineral can worsen the function of other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is involved in the maintenance of collagen synthesis, the oxidation of fatty acids and the formation of neurotransmitters, and is also an antioxidant.

Optimal consumption

There are no new RDNs, no standards or adequate norms for vitamin C, so the RDN of 1989 is in force for this vitamin. These norms can be changed by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Recommendations for physically active persons

Experiments on animals showed that physical activity reduces the content of vitamin C in various tissues of the body. Some studies suggest an ergogenic effect of vitamin C supplementation on indicators, others did not. Probably, if the body has received the necessary amount of vitamin C, then vitamin supplements do not improve the indices of physical activity. However, individuals who train can consume up to 100 mg of vitamin C per day in order to maintain its normal status and protect the body from damage caused by oxidants caused by physical exertion. Athletes participating in competitions in sports that require super-endurance can consume up to 500 mg or more of vitamin C per day. Peter et al. Studied the effect of vitamin C at a dose of 600 mg per day compared with placebo in the event of an upper respiratory tract infection in athletes participating in the supermarathon. The researchers found that in marathoners who took vitamin C, the propensity to infections was significantly weaker than those who took a placebo. Some researchers found concentrations of vitamin C below normal in athletes, others reported normal values. Therefore, one should be careful in cases when the values of vitamin C in the blood are used in studies as evaluation parameters.

trusted-source[9], [10], [11], [12], [13]


Choline (vitamin B4) is a vitamin-like compound that participates in the synthesis of the characteristic constituents of all cell membranes: phosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylcholine, cholinplasmogen and sphingomyelin, as well as methionine, carnitine and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol. There is no information about the apparent deficiency of choline in people.  

Optimal consumption

Prior to the dietary recommendations of 1998 there were no norms of choline consumption. The app contains the most up-to-date standards for choline.

Recommendations for physically active persons

Since choline is a precursor of acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine, it is assumed that it is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses, increases strength and protects against obesity. There is evidence that the concentration of choline in blood plasma is significantly reduced after swimming and running for long distances, as well as triathlon. However, not all researchers observed this decrease. Reduction in the concentration of choline in the blood plasma can be observed only after running for long distances and exercises that require endurance. Moreover, there is no evidence that choline supplements improve results, increase or decrease the amount of fat in the body.

Sources of choline

Beef liver, peanut butter, lettuce, cauliflower and wheat bread are the richest sources of choline (ranging from 5831 mmol-kg) for beef liver to 968 mmol-kg for wheat bread). Potatoes, grape juice, tomatoes, bananas and cucumbers are also good sources of choline.


To simplify the perception of information, this instruction for use of the drug "Water-soluble vitamins" translated and presented in a special form on the basis of the official instructions for medical use of the drug. Before use read the annotation that came directly to medicines.

Description provided for informational purposes and is not a guide to self-healing. The need for this drug, the purpose of the treatment regimen, methods and dose of the drug is determined solely by the attending physician. Self-medication is dangerous for your health.

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.