Vitamin B-6 Facts
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) is a water soluble vitamin, meaning any excess is excreted and not stored in the body. There are three naturally occuring forms of Vitamin B-6, a group of substances called pyridoxine, pyridoxinal, and pyridoxamine. This important vitamin performs more than 100 functions over and over during a day's time, and must be present for the production of antibodies and red blood cells. According to government surveys, only one third of adults and half of all women get enough of this vitamin in their diet. Women taking oral contraceptives, adolescent girls, and pregnant women may especially have low levels of Vitamin B-6, making them prone to depression and other ailments.
How it Works
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) contains coenzymes that activate over sixty other enzymes involved in protein metabolism. Some of these enzymes convert the amino acid tryptophan to niacin (B-3) and convert the neurotransmitter serotonin. Overall, Vitamin B-6 has a broad influence on amino acids processing and protein metabolism. It helps form red blood cells, helps cells make proteins, manufactures brain chemicals, and releases stored forms of energy. It's believed that Vitamin B-6 plays an important role in prevention and treatment of many diseases.
Helps prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Assists in proper assimilation of protein and fat.
Helps convert tryptophan to niacin.
Clears excess estrogen from the body and can alleviate PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
Works as building block for brain neurotransmitters and may reduce epileptic seizures.
Helps prevent various nervous and skin disorders.
Alleviates nausea and morning sickness.
Treats carpal tunnel syndrome by alleviating nerve inflammation in the wrist.
Helps relieve asthma attacks.
May relieve depression, stress, and anxiety in those deficient of this vitamin.
Promotes proper synthesis of antiaging nucleic acids.
Reduces night muscle spasms, leg cramps, hand numbness, and some neuritis conditions.
Works as a natural diuretic.
RDA for Vitamin B-6 is 2 mg a day and is best balanced with Vitamins B-1 and B-2. High dosages of 2000 mgs a day or more may cause nerve damage and long term use of dosages of 200-300 mgs a day may do the same. This nerve damage is reversible upon discontinuation of the vitamin. Symptoms might include burning, shooting, and tingling pains in the arms or legs, clumsiness, and numbness. Symptoms of severe deficiencies of Vitamin B-6 might include skin disorders (dermatitis), mouth sores, acne, insomnia, depression, seizures and brain wave abnormalities.
Some Natural Sources
Liver, salmon, fish, chicken, ham, hamburger, veal, eggs, pork, beef, split peas, dried beans, banana, avocado, watermelon, turnip greens, brussel sprouts, potato, sweet potato, carrots, peas, chickpeas, brewer's yeast, wheat bran, wheat germ, kidney, heart, cantaloupe, cabbage, blackstrap molasses, and milk.
This information is based on reputable resources and scientific research but there is no guarantee that what we know today, will change with time. Readers should not use this information for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, but should always consult a medical professional regarding any medical problems and before undertaking any major dietary changes. This information is not meant to be substituted for medical advice.
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