Difference Between Vitamin B and Vitamin C

Vitamins B and C are water-soluble vitamins essential for the body. These cannot be made in the body and have to be supplemented by one’s diet. Vitamins are classified according to their biological function and activity and not their structure.

What is Vitamin B?

Vitamin B complex is a group of compounds that serve as precursors for enzymes and cofactors, hence acting as a catalyst in metabolic reactions.

  • Vitamin B complex includes eight water-soluble vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamins). Sources for Vitamin B include potatoes, bananas, lentils, and meats like turkey, liver, and tuna.

  • Vitamin B complex is Essential for promoting regular cell metabolism, including cell growth and cell division. It also plays a role in improving the body’s immune and nervous systems. Apart from that, it preserves healthy skin and muscle tone and, when taken regularly in a balanced diet, has also been shown to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

  • Daily requirement for Vitamin B varies for each complex as follows Vitamins B1: 1.1-1.5 mg, Vitamin B2: 1.3-1.7 mg, Vitamin B3: 15-19 mg, Vitamin B5: 4-7 mg, Vitamin B6: 1.6-2 mg, Vitamin B7: 100 mcg, Vitamin B9: 180-200 mcg, Vitamin B12: 2 mcg.

  • A deficiency of B vitamins can cause diseases like beriberi (disease of the nervous system), pellagra, anemia, ariboflavinosis, dermatitis, and other conditions.

  • In some cases, taking an overdose of vitamin B in the form of dietary supplements or injections can cause toxicity. This may lead to serious neurological damage or liver toxicity.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a group of compounds that function as antioxidants in the body. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid.

  • Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant in the body and also as a cofactor and coenzyme for various biochemical pathways.

  • Daily requirement for Vitamin C has been recommended to be 60-95 milligrams per day by the United States National Academy of sciences.

  • A deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy, a condition that is due to unstable collagen. Some of the symptoms include bleeding from gums and liver spots on the skin.

  • Excess vitamin C leads to indigestion and diarrhea. Other symptoms include rashes on the skin, headache, fatigue, and sleep disturbance.

Differences between Vitamin B and Vitamin C

The following table highlights the major differences between Vitamin B and Vitamin C −


Vitamin B

Vitamin C


The B vitamins are eight water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism

Historically, the B vitamins were once thought to be a single vitamin, referred to as vitamin B (much as people refer to vitamin C or vitamin D).

Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for humans in which it functions as a vitamin.

Ascorbate (an ion of ascorbic acid) is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions in all animals and plants.


Compounds involved in cell metabolism



Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)


Meats, potatoes, lentils, bananas

Fruits and vegetable

Diseases caused by a deficiency

Beriberi, pellagra, anemia, ariboflavinosis, dermatitis



Neurological damage



Vitamins are best when taken from natural food sources and not pills. Water-soluble vitamins are easily removed from the body when taken in excess. However, an overdose may also cause some harmful symptoms in the body.

Updated on: 31-Jan-2023


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