Water Soluble Vitamin

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluable vitamin which comes in three forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine.

B-6 has a wide variety of metabolic functions in the body, especially in amino acid metabolism and in the central nervous system. Vitamin B6 is a factor in the conversion of amino acids to carbohydrate or fat, and in fat metabolism.

Adequate vitamin B6 plays an important role in regulating mental processes and mood by helping the nervous system and by converting tryptophan into niacin.

Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in many different aspects of the immune system. These include the quality and quantity of antibodies and the number of infection-fighting white blood cells and the formation of red blood cells.

Vitamin B6 is important in maintaining healthy hair and skin.

Vitamin B6 is effective in relieving some of the symptoms of PMS, including depression, breast tenderness and bloating.

Clinical signs of B6 deficiency are rarely seen in the United States; however, the signs are:

  • Convulsions
  • Skin disorders
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Anemia
  • Kidney stones

Vitamin B6 and Migraines

The brain uses vitamin B6 to increase serotonin levels. A good intake of B6 might help relieve migraines, even if you’re not deficient in it. The Daily Value for vitamin B6 is 1.3mg. After age 50 you should get 1.5mg per day. One medium potato or one banana contains 0.7mg of B6. A 3-ounce serving of baked or broiled swordfish has 0.3mg.

Vitamin B6 is found in poultry, pork, fish, eggs, soybeans, oats, whole grain cereals and breads, bananas, nuts, liver, spinach, meat and poultry, and seeds.

Too much vitamin B6 can result in nerve damage to the arms and legs. This neuropathy is usually related to high intake of vitamin B6 from supplements, and is reversible when supplementation is stopped. According to the Institute of Medicine, “Several reports show sensory neuropathy at doses lower than 500 mg per day”. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has established an upper tolerable intake level (UL) for vitamin B6 of 100 mg per day for all adults. “As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases.”

Folate and Vitamin B6 Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Researchers from the graduate school of medicine in Osaka, Japan used a food frequency questionnaire to conduct a prospective cohort study of 58,730 Japanese adults over 14 years. It was found that there was an inverse relationship between folate and vitamin B6 intake with mortality from heart failure for men and mortality from stroke, coronary heart disease and total cardiovascular disease for women. Source: Cui, R.; Iso, H.; Date, C.; Kikuchi, S.; Tamakoshi, A. Dietary Folate and Vitamin B6 and B12 Intake in Relation to Mortality From Cardiovascular Diseases. Japan Collaborative Cohort Study. Stroke, 2010

Reference: National Research Council. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th Edition. Washington: 1989.

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