Extraordinary Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, all B vitamins help the body to convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy allows the body to use and store energy and is essential for haemoglobin in the blood. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the body, it helps make several neurotransmitters*, chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another.
It is needed for normal brain development and function. It facilitates in the regulation of hormonal activity by helping the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin.
Vitamin B6 benefits which have been supported
- Contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system
- Contributes to normal psychological function
- Contributes to normal red blood cell formation
- Contributes to the normal function of the immune system
- Contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity
- Contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
Studies suggest that vitamin B6 lengthens the luteal phase due to the regulation of hormones, it can raise levels of progesterone, a key hormone in preparing the body for pregnancy. Taking a high dose of vitamin B6 is most helpful in women who go off the Pill and decide to try to get pregnant.
Pregnant women can become deficient in Vitamin B6 due to the increase in blood volume. Some studies have shown that vitamin B6 supplements might help with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, however, these should always be taken under medical supervision.
Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency
- scaly rashes
- swollen tongue
- difficulty in walking
A Vitamin B6 supplement can benefit people who do have an actual deficiency.
People with alcohol dependency, kidney problems including dialysis or auto immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, are more likely to have low levels of vitamin B6.
Sources of vitamin B6 are:
- Meat (pork, poultry)
- Whole grains (oatmeal, rice)
- Fresh fruit except citrus
- Fortified cereals and breads
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes
- Legumes like peanuts, soya beans
- Men and women, 19 to 50 years: 1.3 mg (RDA)
- Men, 51 years and older: 1.7 mg (RDA)
- Women, 51 years and older: 1.5 mg (RDA)
- Pregnant women: 1.9 mg (RDA)
- Breastfeeding women: 2.0 mg (RDA)
High doses of vitamin B6 can, over time, be toxic, and may result in nerve damage or numbness and tingling in the extremities.
*Neurotransmitters are crucial chemical in our body, the brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate with the bodies organs, it tells the heart to beat, the lungs to breathe, and the stomach to digest. However, they can also affect sleep, mood, concentration, weight, and can cause adverse symptoms when they are out of balance.