Is b complex vegan?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is b complex vegan?” and will discuss how to use the b-complex supplements.

Is b complex vegan?

Yes, b complex vegan. All the b complex supplements are produced from leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, and mushrooms. No animal products are being used in their processing so they are vegan. However, if the b-complex is sold in capsules, the capsule composition must be evaluated. Capsules may be made of many polymers, including vegan-based, such as cellulose; or animal-based, such as gelatin (1).

Capsules are usually loaded with active ingredients, such as drugs, cosmetics, food supplements, fragrances, agricultural substances, and chemical reagents. Capsules are made of polymeric materials and vary depending on the delivered drug and its target – stomach, intestine. Materials used to fabricate capsules are soybean protein isolate, gum arabic, gelatin, sodium lauryl sulfonate, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, poly(lactic acid), polyethylene glycol and others (1).

Several B vitamins, including B6, B9 (folate), and B12 interact with homocysteine and methionine in this complex one-carbon metabolism pathway, and disruption of this process may promote carcinogenesis. Results from previous studies of an association of B vitamins with lung cancer risk are inconsistent. Randomized trials were limited to short supplementation periods and small numbers of incident lung cancer. However, one recent study reported a 21% elevated cancer incidence associated with the use of B12 and B9; the effect was driven almost exclusively by increases in lung cancer incidence (4).

Uses of b-complex

Use this product to treat or prevent vitamin insufficiency caused by a lack of vitamins in the diet, certain diseases, drunkenness, or pregnancy, as well as other conditions. Vitamins are necessary for optimum health since they serve as the body’s building blocks.

Vitamins are essential for normal growth, metabolism and reproduction. However, their therapeutic value is limited to supplementation during states of deficiency since they have no additional benefits in the presence of an adequate dietary intake. In general, their active supplementation should only be used to correct deficiencies, after which a well-balanced diet should be able to provide all of the necessary nutrients (2).

Thiamine, riboflavin, niacinamide, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are some of the B vitamins. Vitamin C, vitamin E, biotin, and zinc may also be included in certain brands of B vitamins. If you’re unsure about any of the substances in your brand, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. 

The functions of each vitamin in the B-complex are (2):

Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is essential for glucose metabolism in the body. It functions as a coenzyme in the metabolism of carbohydrates and branched-chain amino acids.  

Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin functions as a coenzyme in several oxidation and reduction reactions in the body. It is essential for the release of energy from food and the conversion of the amino acid, tryptophan, into niacin.

Vitamin B3 or Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid, niacin is a vitamin that is mainly involved in energy production, normal enzyme functioning, digestion, and the promotion of a normal appetite, healthy skin and nerves.

Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid is important for the production of energy, hormone synthesis and the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine, also known as pyridoxal phosphate or pyridoxamine, is required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters, serotonin and noradrenaline, and for myelin formation. It functions as a coenzyme, as pyridoxal phosphate, in the metabolism of amino acid, glycogen and sphingoid bases. 

Vitamin B7 or Biotin is required for the release of energy from carbohydrates and for the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Vitamin B7 functions as a coenzyme in bicarbonate-dependent carboxylation reactions.

Vitamin B8 or inositol is not a true vitamin because it is biosynthesised in the body. It is involved in cell membrane synthesis, the maintenance of healthy hair, the control of estrogen levels and in cholesterol metabolism.

Vitamin B9 or Folic acid, also known as folate or folacin, is a vitamin that assists with protein metabolism, the promotion of red blood cell formation and maturation (folic acid is a haematinic, together with iron, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, ascorbic acid and epoetin), and the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines.

Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin is another vital haematinic agent. It is also important in nucleic acid metabolism and methyl transfer, as well as myelin synthesis and repair.

How to use B Complex Capsules?

Be sure to swish this drug around in your mouth before swallowing it down. Ensure that you’ve followed all the instructions on the product’s packaging. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any queries.

By mouth with a full glass of water (eight ounces/240 milliliters) is the best way to take vitamin C supplements, unless your doctor tells you differently.

Before ingesting chewable pills, chew the tablet completely.

If you are taking extended-release capsules, take them all at once and spit them out. Extended-release capsules and tablets should not be crushed or chewed. As a result, the medication may be released in a more concentrated form, raising the likelihood of unwanted consequences. Also, unless your doctor or pharmacist directs you to, do not divide extended-release pills unless there is a score line on the packaging. Do not crush or chew the pill before swallowing it whole or in half.

Lifelong parenteral supplementation is required in patients who develop pernicious anemia, secondary to a deficiency in intrinsic factor, and therefore also a deficiency in vitamin B12. Lastly, vitamin B6 prophylaxis is recommended in high-risk patients, i.e. those at high risk of the development of neurotoxicity, who need to take isoniazid to treat tuberculosis. Such patients include those who are malnourished, alcoholics, pregnant women or those who suffer from diabetes mellitus or human immunodeficiency virus infection. A dose of 10-25 mg per day is sufficient in these patients. However, higher dosages should be considered in those who already have an established neuropathy (2).

Side effects of b-complex

Flushing or a little upset stomach may occur. Aside from the fact that these effects are typically transient, your body will acclimatize to this substance. Contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately if any of these side effects continue or worsen.

Remember that if your doctor has prescribed this drug, he or she believes that the benefit to you outweighs the risk of adverse effects. A large number of individuals who use this medicine experience no major negative effects.

The risk of a severe allergic response to this medication is quite low. However, if you detect any signs of severe allergic response, such as a rash, itching/swelling (particularly on the face, tongue, or neck), extreme dizziness, or difficulties breathing, you should seek emergency medical assistance.

The B vitamins are water soluble and are excreted by the urine. Excessive intake of these vitamins may cause adverse effects attributed to headache or allergic reactions, which include sensation of heat, urticaria, pruritus, angioedema, diaphoresis, cyanosis, and anaphylaxis (3).

In the majority of cases, the use of vitamin B causes no negative effects, because these vitamins are excreted in the urine and are not stored in the body in any significant quantities. Therefore, hypervitaminosis is quite rare (2)..

A comprehensive list of probable adverse effects is not included in this document. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any side effects that aren’t mentioned here.


It is important to notify your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies before using this medicine. Inactive substances may cause allergic reactions or other difficulties with this product. Please consult with your pharmacist for additional information about this.

The following health conditions should be discussed with your physician or pharmacist before using this product: Vitamin B12 deficiency, diabetes, and liver disease (pernicious anemia).

Aspartame may be included in chewable pills or liquids. Phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other medical condition that restricts aspartame (or phenylalanine) consumption should be discussed with the doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication.

Sugar and/or alcohol may be included in liquid versions of this product. If you have diabetes, alcoholism, or liver problems, you should use caution. Using this medicine safely should be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist.

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you’re planning to get pregnant. This product is safe to use while pregnant as long as you follow the directions on the label. Folic acid supplementation throughout pregnancy may help avoid certain spinal cord birth abnormalities. For further information, speak with your physician or pharmacist.

Breast milk contains this substance. Even though no damage has been done to nursing babies, it is always best to check with your doctor before beginning the practice.

B-complex interaction with other drugs

Medications may interact with one another, which might alter the way they function or raise your chance of experiencing unwanted side effects. 

Make a list of everything you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and over-the-the-counter supplements, and provide it to your doctor and pharmacist. Before taking any medication for the first time or altering the dose of any medication, consult your doctor.

Certain antibiotics (e.g. chloramphenicol), anti-seizure medications (e.g. phenytoin), levodopa, and vitamin/nutritional supplements (e.g. altretamine, cisplatin) and others may interact with this medication.

Certain lab tests (such as urobilinogen and intrinsic factor antibodies) may be impacted by this substance, leading to erroneous findings. If you use this product, make sure your physicians and lab staff know about it.

Finally, there are a number of medicines that contribute to B-vitamin depletion. For example, methotrexate and trimethoprim, as well as cholestyramine, may cause a folic acid deficiency. Knowledge of the B-complex vitamins contributes to an understanding of their role, individual functions, deficiency states and the judicious use of their supplementation (2).


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is b complex vegan?” and how to use the b-complex supplements.

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Schellack, Gustav, Pamela Harirari, and Natalie Schellack. B-complex vitamin deficiency and supplementation. SA Pharmaceut J, 2016,l 83, 14-19.


Drake, V.J. Pregnancy and Lactation. 2011. Oregon State University.