Vitamin B15 is a nutrient that was isolated by doctors Ernest Krebs Sr. and Ernest Krebs Jr. from the kernels of the apricot fruit. The proper names for this nutrient are dimethylglycine and pangamic acid. It still is commonly called vitamin B15, but that technically is a former name for the substance, which no longer is classified as a vitamin because it does not fit the strict definition of the word. This is why it is not part of the family of B complex vitamins.
It is a water-soluble nutrient that, although it is not considered vital by some medical researchers and health care providers, has been proven to assist in vital functions involved in the maintenance of good health. Vitamin B15 helps the body lower cholesterol levels in the blood, synthesize protein and promote normal growth of tissues. Increased hair growth has been observed with an increase in the consumption of this nutrient. Brain activity also is affected by the levels of this vitamin in the body. Studies and observations reveal that the affect it has on the activity of the brain appears to be very beneficial.
Alzheimer's disease is just one of the health problems that might be hindered in its progression with increased intake of vitamin B15. Other mental disorders that might one day be treated with this nutrient include senility, memory loss and dementia. Some medical researchers and proponents of alternative medicine even state that autism should figure on the list. It is interesting to learn that a person's cravings for liquor can be minimized if they eat a diet supplying higher-than-average amounts of the vitamin. This could prove very beneficial in naturally assisting babies who were born addicted to alcohol.
Among the other health benefits of vitamin B15 is its ability to help oxygenate the blood and improve circulation, which in turn prevents and alleviates many other health conditions that arise because of poor circulation. The nutrient is associated with an increased protection against urban air pollution because of its anti-oxidant properties and ability to help extend the life of cells. An increase in the body's immune system response appears to be another health benefit of ingesting foods high in this substance.
The safest and most effective way to obtain vitamin B15 or any other nutrient is through one's diet. Foods offering significant amounts of the vitamin include brown rice; raw apricot seeds, which can be obtained from the woody pit of the raw fruit; sesame seeds; and the seeds of pumpkins. Whole grains also are good sources, but they should be heirloom grains such as spelt and kamut, because hybridized or genetically modified grains offer much lower amounts of nutrients than do the grains from antiquity.