Nutrition Made Simple


August 24 2021



Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine and it has a major role to play in a wide range of activities that are taking place in the body such as amino acid metabolism, metabolizing carbohydrates, lipids as well as one-carbon units. The unique quality of vitamin B6 is that it is a water-soluble vitamin and the excess of this vitamin is excreted in the form of urine from the body. We cannot synthesize vitamin B6 on our own, hence it is essential to supplement the required amount of vitamin B6 from food sources or as supplements otherwise it causes a deficiency of this vitamin which in turn leads to various health conditions.

The symptoms that usually indicate the presence of deficiency of vitamin B6 in the body include difficulty in concentrating, short term memory loss, weakness of the muscles, swollen tongue, weakening of the immune system, ulcers in the mouth, and cracking of lips. Individuals who have the following conditions are more prone to develop the deficiency of vitamin B6:

  • Alcohol addiction - Since alcohol consumption increases the production of acetaldehyde, it causes a decreased absorption of pyridoxine in the body.
  • Autoimmune disease - In individuals having various autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, they are usually found to have reduced levels of vitamin B6 in the body as such conditions decrease the count of plasma pyridoxine concentration. 
  • Malnutrition - In children who are malnourished and in elderly individuals suffering from eating disorders, the associated immune system compromise triggers lowering of vitamin B6 levels. 
  • Impaired renal function - Those suffering from impaired renal function and those who are undergoing dialysis and transplant recipients have an underlying deficiency of vitamin B6. 

The health benefits of vitamin B6 are

Relieves depression

Studies show that the deficiency of vitamin B6 is often associated with the symptoms of depression which is more prone in women than men. By adequate consumption of foods that are rich in vitamin B6, the depressive symptoms can be reversed and they also help in elevating the energy levels of women further contributing to reducing depression.

Reduces anxiety 

Deficiency of vitamin B6 has been often found to be associated with feelings of anxiety which is more apparent in individuals who are suffering from panic attacks or hyperventilation attacks which mainly occur as a result of decreased serotonin levels in the body. Since vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of serotonin in the body, supplementing with foods rich in vitamin B6 automatically has the desired effect in decreasing the incidence of attacks of panic or hyperventilation. Supplements of vitamin B6 have also been found to be beneficial in reducing anxiety in individuals having obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism.

Improves cognitive function 

Research shows that increased levels of homocysteine along with decreased levels of vitamin B6 have a major contributory role in causing cognitive impairment and decline which may, in turn, lead to progressive brain damage and other neurological disorders. By reducing the serum homocysteine levels, supplements of vitamin B6 have a beneficial effect on the cognitive health of the individual. 

Improves the sleep cycles 

It has been found that depleted levels of vitamin B6 in the body have the harmful effects of disrupting sleep patterns. Thus supplementing with vitamin B6 using Alvizia ZMA capsules contributes to the overall improvement of mental health thereby improves the sleep quality and also promotes sleep recall during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. 

Promotes skin health 

The lower levels of vitamin B6 in the body are associated with the impairment in the maturation of collagen which in turn is responsible for causing various skin issues such as lesions. By using supplements of vitamin B6, the collagen can be rendered more soluble which in turn promotes the elasticity of the skin and improves the skin tone. The other mechanism of action of vitamin B6 is that it helps in the production of testosterone which helps in regulating the hormonal imbalance in the body thereby reducing hormone-induced acne. 

Histamine response 

Vitamin B6 is essential in the synthesis of histamine from the amino acid histidine which is its constituent. Vitamin B6 is also necessary for the proper functioning of the enzyme that causes the breakdown of histamine known as diamine oxidase (DAO). The presence of excessive amounts of histamine in the body is a trigger factor for causing headaches. Hence supplementing with vitamin B6 stimulates diamine oxidase which causes the breakdown of histamine thereby causing relief from headache. 

Supports healthy weight loss 

Along with the intake of a diet restricted in calories, the consumption of vitamin B6 rich cereal grains helps in maintaining the muscle mass in the body which in turn helps in losing weight. Reduces the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. 

Premenstrual syndrome is a combination of various physical as well as emotional signs such as fatigue, mood swings, irritability, and feeling of bloating which can be prevented effectively by the consumption of foods rich in vitamin B6. Since vitamin B6 is essential for the process of biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, its supplements have a major effect on reducing the symptoms of mood swings and anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome. 

Improved digestive health 

Individuals who are suffering from digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome generally are found to have low levels of pyridoxine in the body. The presence of adequate amounts of vitamin B6 acts as a regulatory factor in the maintenance of overall gastrointestinal health and it is found to be beneficial in relieving the symptoms of nausea, bloating, and water retention. 

Balances the blood glucose levels 

Studies show that individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes usually have lower levels of vitamin B6 in the body. Supplementing with vitamin B6 in such cases has been found to decrease the levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) thereby controlling the blood glucose levels. In women who have gestational diabetes also showed marked improvement in blood glucose levels when given supplements of vitamin B6. 

Prevention of anemia 

Deficiency of vitamin B6 is often associated with low folate and hemoglobin levels which may lead to different types of anemia. Supplementing with vitamin B6 helps in decreasing the symptoms associated with anemia such as fatigue and depression. 

This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

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