B vitamins, such as folic acid (folate), cyanocobalamin ([B.sub.12]), pyridoxine ([B.sub.6]), pantothenate ([B.sub.5]), niacin ([B.sub.3]), riboflavin ([B.sub.2]) and thiamin ([B.sub.1]) serve a variety of important functions in the body.
B vitamins aren't stored in the body, as with fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.
The evidence is inconclusive, but it makes sense B vitamins would be required for athletic performance because of their role in energy production and tissue repair.
Active, natural-food consumers want all-natural products that offer hydration solutions and nutrition like B vitamins."
B vitamins are, to a varying degree, sensitive to heat, oxidation and humidity and can be easily destroyed.
What unifies the B vitamins? All help produce energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the food we eat, as well as help produce DNA and new cells (especially red blood cells).
Scientists are now taking a closer look at how B vitamins' ability to lower homocysteine can improve health.
"Our goal is to find out if lowering homocysteine with B vitamins will help."
Most B vitamins are found in animal products like meat, turkey, milk, cheese and eggs, but if you're not a big carnivore, not to worry; plenty of B's--though, notably, not B12--are found in legumes, whole grains and even some fresh fruits and vegetables.
The B vitamins and their role in preventing decline in brainpower are also being newly explored through human nutrition studies conducted by university researchers and ARS nutrition scientist Lindsay H.
The research "is needed," Allen says, "because many studies of B vitamins and brain function have given inconsistent or conflicting results." Allen directs the ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California, just outside Sacramento.
This isn't the first study to find a link between B vitamins and cancer in postmenopausal women.
Despite the promising findings, it's premature to start pumping up your intake of B vitamins. True, the doses used in the study were far above what you could get in your diet and even more than what's normally found in a multivitamin.
The findings do suggest, however, eating plenty of foods rich in B vitamins, such as lean beef, low-fat milk, orange juice, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, lentils and beans.
Lower blood levels of the amine acid homocysteine, linked to clogged arteries.