Vitamin B6 Benefits, Food Sources, Dietary Allowance & Deficiency

Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxamine, is one of the vitamins included in the vitamin B complex family. The nutrients from this essential vitamin family are necessary for vital functions throughout your body. These functions include reducing stress as well as maintaining overall good health. Pyridoxine is what is known as a water-soluble vitamin. In other words, it dissolves in water. Our bodies are unable to store it; much of the leftover B6 in our system eventually leaves through our urine. Furthermore, we cannot synthesize it on our own. Because of this, it is important that we maintain a good supply of it from outside sources. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this essential vitamin.

Health Benefits Of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxamine)

1. Improves Cognitive Function

It has been suggested that elevated concentrations of homocysteine and, in turn, low levels of B6 can contribute to cognitive impairment and decline. This can lead to brain damage and other debilitating diseases. It is a factor that has been largely observed in middle-aged and elderly patients. Because of this, testing was done on this age group to determine whether or not an increase in the vitamin could aid in improving cognitive health.

In the research test groups, it was shown that Vitamin B6 benefits cognitive health in such a way that it can significantly reduce serum total homocysteine (tHcy) levels. This process is especially helpful when B6 is taken in supplement form; even then, it can better aid cognitive health when used alongside additional vitamins such as B12.

2. Helps Treat Anemia

Vitamin B6 is needed to create hemoglobin in the blood, which is transported by red blood cells throughout the body to help bring oxygen to cells and to mobilize iron. Anemia results when someone doesn’t make enough red blood cells, resulting in symptoms like fatigue, aches and pains, and more. Studies show that consuming plenty of vitamin B6 can help lower symptoms of anemia and prevent it from occurring in some instances.

3. Strengthens Immune System

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in refurbishing the immune system of the human body to the required functional level. This helps the body to withstand a number of infections, which can easily victimize the body in the absence of this important vitamin.

4. Guarantees a Healthier Skin

One of the most remarkable benefits of vitamin B6 is that it helps to maintain flawless skin. If you want to prevent premature aging signs, then vitamin B6 is one of the best natural ways to slow down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also helpful in relieving many skin conditions including dry skin, eczema, and acne. It also treats a few serious skin disorders such as melanoma and psoriasis.

5. Depression Benefits

Getting enough vitamin B6 may help ward off depression. Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, lists depression as symptom of vitamin B6 deficiency. In a study of 140 Danish people published in the Nov-Dec 2004 issue of “Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics,” low levels of pyridoxal phosphate, a form of vitamin B6, were associated with depressive symptoms. A more recent study in the February 2012 issue of the “Canadian Journal of Psychiatry” found an association between mood disorders and low levels of vitamin B6 and other nutrients.

6. Helps Regulate Sleep Cycles

Vitamin B6 helps the body to make melatonin, which is an important hormone that helps us to fall asleep. Melatonin is responsible for allowing us to regulate our own internal clock, so we know when it’s time to wake up and have energy, and also when it’s time to wind down and fall asleep for the night.

7. Boosts Metabolism

Vitamin B6 is admired for its capability of metabolizing a number of nutrients to extract energy. Hence, one may look upon this vitamin for the metabolism of fats, vitamins, carbohydrates and other important components like amino acids.

The Following Foods Are Good Sources of B6

Chickpeas: one cup contains 1.1 milligrams or 55 percent of the recommended daily value (DV)
Beef liver: 3 ounces contains 0.9 mg or 45 percent of the DV
Yellowfin tuna: 3 ounces contains 0.9 mg or 45 percent of the DV
Roasted chicken breast: 3 ounces contains 0.5 mg or 25 percent of DV
One medium banana: contains 0.4 mg or 20 percent of DV
Tofu: half a cup contains 0.1 mg or 5 percent of DV

Other sources include:

Avocados
Brown rice
Carrots
Fish
Fortified cereal
Hazelnuts
Milk
Pork
Potato
Seeds
Soybeans
Spinach
Turkey
Vegetable juice cocktail
Whole grains

Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin B6

The recommended dietary allowance or RDA of vitamin B6 varies by age and gender

Age

Males (mg/day) Females (mg/day)

1-3 years

0.5 mg 0.5 mg

4-8 years

0.6 mg

0.6 mg

9-13 years 1.0 mg

1.0 mg

14-18 years

1.3 mg 1.2 mg
19-50 years 1.3 mg

1.3 mg

51+ years 1.7 mg

1.5 mg

Symptoms of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

A lack of vitamin B6 can present as many symptoms, including anemia, itchy rashes, scaly skin on the lips, cracks at the corners of the mouth and a swollen tongue. Other symptoms of very low vitamin B6 levels include depression, confusion, and a weak immune system. Infants who do not get enough vitamin B6 can become irritable or develop extremely sensitive hearing or seizures.

Side Effects

High intakes of vitamin B6 from food sources have not been reported to cause adverse effects. However, taking 1-6 grams of B6 per day for more than a year can lead to severe neuropathy with loss of movement control. The tolerable upper intake level set for adults is 100 mg per day. Fortunately, symptoms usually go away after supplementation has been stopped. Other symptoms of excessive vitamin B6 supplementation includes painful skin lesions, light sensitivity, and symptoms of digestive upset, such as nausea and heartburn.

Sources & References:
www.well-beingsecrets.com
draxe.com
www.organicfacts.net
www.naturalfoodseries.com
healthyeating.sfgate.com
www.dietspotlight.com
www.selfhacked.com
www.seven-seas.com

Healthy Food MasterVitamins and Mineralsanemia,B vitamins,cognitive function,depression,immune system,metabolism,sleep,vitamin B6
Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxamine, is one of the vitamins included in the vitamin B complex family. The nutrients from this essential vitamin family are necessary for vital functions throughout your body. These functions include reducing stress as well as maintaining overall good health. Pyridoxine...
Sharing is caring!