March 18 2021
Vitamin B6 or pyroxidine is a group of compounds, which are similar chemically, and can be interconverted in biological systems. It is a water-soluble vitamin and is found naturally in many foods as well as added to supplements. It is widely known for the prevention of various diseases. Some very effective benefits have been shown by vitamin B6 supplementation in pregnancy-induced nausea. However, it is advised to only take it on the recommendation of a registered physician.
Vitamin B6 helps in the formation as well as the functioning of the protein sheath layer around nerve cells, also known as myelin. It also helps in regulating the production of Glycogen, which is the stored energy house in the liver and muscles.
Sources of vitamin B6
- Milk: vitamin B6 deficiency can affect the central nervous system, especially in children. Drinking one glass of milk daily or once in 2 to 3 days can help in keeping the blood levels of vitamin B6 high in the body. Skim milk and one percent milk are healthy and nutritious choices when it comes to the intake of vitamin B6. It contains around 5 percent of the daily dietary allowance for the same.
- Salmon: Salmon is one of the healthiest fishes and has a higher concentration of vitamin B6. It helps in maintaining the health of adrenal glands, which are responsible for the production of hormones such as adrenaline and aldosterone, which are of great significance. Salmon is nutritious and low in fat making it an excellent choice for protein sources while losing weight.
- Eggs: two eggs in a day provide 10 percent of the recommended dietary intake (daily) of vitamin B6. Eggs are a dose of nutrition. They’re a rich source of proteins, B6, sodium, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin A, C, and D, and many more nutrients.
- Carrots: carrots can be eaten raw or cooked, or even in the liquefied form. One piece of medium-sized carrot provides vitamin B6 as much as a glass of milk does. It is an active source of vitamin B6, fiber, and vitamin A. whether tossed in curry or vegetables or eaten as a salad; it is a good option to add to your nutritious diet.
- Spinach: spinach has high values of vitamin B6, in addition to vitamins A, C, Iron. Spinach is highly effective in preventing infections and diseases, as the vitamin B-6 content present in it helps in creating antibodies, hence enhancing immune functions.
- Bananas: packed with good values of vitamin B6, bananas are easily portable and delicious. Production of serotonin and epinephrine is facilitated by the vitamin B6 content of bananas (and also the other sources), which helps in the proper functioning of the brain.
- Chickpeas: Other than vitamin B6, these legumes are also high in fiber, protein, and Folate. They provide sufficient amounts of Vitamin B6 per serving. Chickpeas can be cooked with vegetables or in a curry, and can also be added to salads for a rich dose of Vitamin B6.
- Sweet potatoes: A rich source of Vitamin B6, Magnesium, vitamin A and fiber, sweet potatoes are not something to be guilty about. One medium-sized piece of sweet potato can give you 15 percent of the daily recommended dietary intake of Vitamin B6. It is recommended to have sweet potatoes once or twice a week for a B6 rich diet.
Benefits of vitamin B6
- Brain functions: Vitamin B6 can elevate brain functions and significantly reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease. It does so by reducing the levels (high) of homocysteine in the blood. A research study in which 156 adults were given high doses of Vitamin B6 and folate, decreased homocysteine levels and reduced wasting in some vulnerable parts of the brain was observed at the end. However, more research is needed to draw more conclusions about the prevention of Alzheimer’s as the reduction of homocysteine levels isn’t completely reliable.
- Aids hemoglobin production: Anemia can be cured by Vitamin B6 due to the significant role it plays in the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that facilitates the movement of oxygen through the blood to the cells. When the levels of the blood are low in your body, the oxygen isn’t transported properly to the cells, which results in Anemia. Anemia mostly has fatigue as a symptom.
- Heart health: Vitamin B6 can help in preventing risks of heart diseases and the clogging of arteries. People with low levels of Vitamin B6 in the blood are at a higher risk of heart diseases as compared to people with adequate vitamin B6 levels in the blood, research suggests. This beneficial effect is attributed to its ability to lower increased homocysteine levels in the body.
- Eye health: Due to the reduction of homocysteine levels by the action of Vitamin B6, it also plays a vital role in maintaining eye functions. It might also aid an eye disease known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD. This is a vision loss that occurs in older adults. Research has found out that taking B6 supplementation can actually reduce the risks of eye diseases and mainly AMD in older adults. However, more research is required to study the benefits of B6 alone on eye health.
Deficiency of Vitamin B-6
Deficiency of vitamin B6 is very, very rare. However, it may happen in some cases. Intake of anticonvulsants, estrogens, corticosteroids can sometimes induce B6 deficiency. Poor absorption in the intestine, long-term alcohol consumption, diabetes, and Hypothyroidism are some conditions in which vitamin B6 deficiency is seen (rarely).
Some signs of B6 deficiency:
- Mental confusion
- Weak immunity
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Tiredness or fatigue with low levels of energy
The severity of this deficiency can lead to pellagra like syndrome, symptoms of which are:
- Inflammation of tongue
- Inflammation or cracking of lips
- Seborrheic dermatitis
Many people of all age groups take supplementation of vitamin B6. Deficient people are mainly those who consume excessive alcohol, pregnant women, people with obesity, breastfeeding women. However, it is highly advised to take supplementation as recommended by a certified dietician or doctor.
One such supplement is Alvizia’s ZMA supplement. It consists of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6 and is available in a pack of 90 soft gelatin capsules. It functions as an aid for nighttime recovery, testosterone booster, and elevates the energy levels of the body.