Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Excess B2 results in yellow-green urine. involved in energy production.

Deficiency Signs and Symptoms
Cracking lips, sores in corner of mouth, inflamed tongue, visual disturbances – sensitive to light, loss of visual acuity, cataracts, burning and itching eyes, lips, mouth, tongue. Disorders of mucous membranes. Anaemia and seborrhoeic dermatitis.
naturopathic Dose
Maintenance 5 – 10 mg daily
Main Uses

Migraine – prevention, based on theory thatmigraines are caused by reduced energy production within mitochondria of cerebral blood vessels.
Cataracts – reduced generation of glutathione enhances formation
Sickle cell anaemia – increases iron status and glutathione levels.

No toxicity.

Vitamin B3 – Niacin

Can be converted from the amino acid tryptophan. Involved in energy production, fat, cholesterol and carbohydrate metabolism and the manufacture of compounds such as sex and adrenal hormones.

Deficiency Signs and Symptoms
Pellagra – dermatitis, dementia, diarrhoea, death

Naturopathic Dose
Maintenance 100 mg taken with meals.

Main Uses

Energy production, regulates blood sugar, antioxidant, liver detox, reduces cholesterol.
Lowers blood lipids – niacin works better, in some instances, than cholesterol lowering pharmaceuticals.
Diabetes – used under supervision instead of autoimmune drugs (prednisone), safer and effectivAe.
Arthritis – rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, high dose have been proven useful.

Skin flushing 20 – 30 min after, irritating factor not dangerous.
Gastric irritation, nausea, liver damage – avoid time release tablets.
Caution in liver damage, or elevated liver enzymes, gout or peptic ulcer.
In diabetes use under supervision of a practitioner because of impaired glucose tolerance.
Liver function tests and cholesterol tests advised during high doses.

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid

In Greek 'pantos' means 'everywhere'. Utilised in the manufacture of coenzyme A (CoA) and acyl carrier protein (ACP), conversion of fats and CHO for energy production and the manufacture of adrenal hormones and red blood cells. (Murray 2001)

Deficiency Signs and Symptoms
Fatigue, burning foot syndrome, numbness or shooting pain.

Naturopathic Dosage Range
Will vary depending on what is being treated, adaquate maintenance dose is 100 mg per dose

Main Uses
Adrenal support – known as the anti stress vitamin.
Rheumatoid arthritis – often there are lower levels the worse the symptoms are, helps to alleviation of pain.
High cholesterol and triglycerides – reduces levels, and lipid lowering effect in diabetics.

No side effects reported

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

Necessary for more than 60 enzymes in the body. Multiplication of cells, so important during pregnancy, and for immune system, mucous membranes, skin, and red blood cells. Manufacture of amino acid neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, melatonin).

Deficiency Signs and Symptoms
Depression, convulsions (especially in children), anaemia, impaired nerve function, cracking of the lips and tongue, seborrhoea or eczema.
Antagonists: hydrazine dyes (FD&C yellow), oral contraceptives, alcohol, excessive protein intake.

Naturopathic Dosage Range
50 – 100 mg

Main Uses
PMS – reduces symptoms of breast tenderness, depression, bloating and irritability.
Carpal tunnel syndrome – commonly a deficiency.
Depression – shown to be low in depressed states, essential for neurotransmitter manufacture.
Morning sickness – reduces nausea and vomiting.
Autism – as supplement, not cure, helps brain chemistry, better if used with magnesium.
Atherosclerosis – deficiency shows increased homocysteine levels, inhibits platelet aggrigation.
Diabetes – to prevent complications.
Immune enhancement – low in AIDS even though consuming enough in diet, correlated to decreased immune function. 

Some toxicity in large doses for long periods. More than 2000 mg can result in nerve toxicity.
Safest at 50 mg per day.

Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin

Works closely with folic acid in the body for many processes including synthesis of DNA, red blood cells and the myelin sheath. The stomach secretes intrinsic factor (IF) to absorb the small amounts of B12 found in food.


Stored (even though water soluble), in liver kidney and body tissues. May take 5 – 6 years before deficiency signs show due to low diet intake, or lack of IF. Pernicious anaemia, impaired nerve function causing numbness, pins and needles or burning, depression in the elderly. Smooth, red tongue and diarrhoea. Common in vegans. (Murray 2001)

Vegetarians 100 mcg daily

Main Uses
AIDS – deficiency often present, in vitro B12 reduces HIV replication.
Impaired mental function – senility, Alzheimer’s, where there is deficiency.
Asthma – improvement in symptoms where related to sulphite sensitivity.
Depression – increase in deficiency especially in elderly. (Braun and Cohen 2005)
Low sperm count – because reduced cellular replication, also improves sperm motility.
Multiple sclerosis – usually low, demylination of nerve fibres.
Tinnitis – stabilises neural activity.

No side effects reported.

Para aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)

Also a B vitamin, part of the folic acid molecule. Readily available in food and made by bacteria in intestines. Aids in metabolism/utilisation of amino acids. Nourishes hair. (Haas 1999)

Food Sources
Liver, brewers yeast, wheat germ, whole grains, eggs, molasses.


Uncommon, possible with antibiotic use or drugs that alter function of intestinal bacteria. Fatigue, irritability, depression, nervousness, headache, constipation, digestive system problems.

Dosage Range

50 – 100 mg

Main Uses
Used with biotin, pantothenic acid and folic acid for hair. Used in sunscreen, to prevent and treat sunburn. Combined with vitamin E to burns. Vitiligo orally or topically.

High doses irritating to liver – nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fever, skin rash, vitiligo.