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Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in numerous biochemical processes, including amino acid metabolism, enzyme function, and neurotransmitter production. This versatile vitamin contributes to the health of the nervous system, immune system, and skin. Additionally, it is involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods, making it accessible through a balanced diet and also available in supplement form when needed. Here’s let’s check out all about the Vitamin. (Source)

What Is Vitamin B6 Aka Pyridoxine? What Are The Functions Of Vitamin B6 Aka Pyridoxine?

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is one of the eight B-complex vitamins essential for various bodily functions. It is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is not stored in the body and must be obtained through the diet regularly. Vitamin B6 serves several crucial functions in the body:

  1. Amino Acid Metabolism: Vitamin B6 is essential for the metabolism of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. It helps convert amino acids into other compounds and plays a key role in the synthesis of new proteins.
  2. Enzyme Function: It acts as a coenzyme, working in collaboration with various
  3. s enzymes involved in a wide range of biochemical reactions, such as those responsible for energy production, neurotransmitter synthesis, and hormone regulation.
  4. Neurotransmitter Production: Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of several important neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These neurotransmitters are critical for mood regulation and cognitive function.
  5. Hemoglobin Synthesis: It plays a role in the synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. Adequate vitamin B6 is necessary for maintaining healthy blood and preventing anemia.
  6. Immune System Support: Vitamin B6 is crucial for the proper functioning of the immune system. It helps produce antibodies and white blood cells, which are essential for defending the body against infections and diseases.
  7. Skin Health: Vitamin B6 is involved in maintaining healthy skin by aiding in the formation of collagen, a structural protein that supports skin elasticity.
  8. Hormone Regulation: It plays a role in the synthesis and regulation of various hormones, including those involved in stress response and the sleep-wake cycle.

Also Read: Health Benefits Of Yogurt: Nutrition, Healthy Facts & Side Effects

How Much Vitamin Do I Need? What Are The Recommended Amounts?

The amount of vitamin B6 required by adults (19 to 64) is approximate:

  • 1.4mg a day for guys
  • 1.2 mg daily for females

RDA: The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for men is 1.3 mg per day for those aged 14 to 50 and 1.7 mg for those aged 51 and over. (Source)

For women, the RDA is 1.2 mg for those aged 14 to 18, 1.3 mg for those aged 19 to 50, and 1.5 mg for those aged 51 and above.

During pregnancy and lactation, the recommended intake increases to 1.9 mg and 2.0 mg, respectively.

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UL: The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) represents the highest daily dose that is not expected to cause adverse effects in most individuals. For adults, the UL is set at 100 mg per day, with slightly lower limits for children and teenagers. This upper limit pertains to supplement usage. In some medical cases, higher doses of vitamin B6 supplements may be prescribed, but only under the supervision of a healthcare professional, as excessive intake can pose risks to health.

What Happens If There Is Excess Of B6 Aka Pyridoxine?

It’s of utmost importance to approach the use of supplements with responsibility and moderation. Ingesting 200 mg or more of vitamin B6 daily can lead to a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, characterized by a loss of sensation in the arms and legs (Source).

In many cases, this condition tends to improve once supplementation is discontinued. However, in a limited number of instances, particularly when individuals have been taking high doses of vitamin B6 for an extended period, the effects can persist. The impact of B6 at dosages ranging from 10 to 200 mg remains unclear, and the duration of safe use based on available research is not well-defined. Therefore, caution is advised when considering supplementation in these dosage ranges.

What are the Food Sources Of Vitamin B6 Aka Pyridoxine?

  • Poultry: Chicken and turkey
  • Fish: Certain fish, such as salmon, tuna, and trout
  • Meat: Lean cuts of beef and pork
  • Legumes: Beans and lentils, including chickpeas and split peas
  • Whole Grains: Whole grains like brown rice, oats, and wheat bran.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Nuts, such as pistachios and sunflower seeds
  • Fortified Cereals: Some breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamins
  • Potatoes: Potatoes, particularly when eaten with the skin.
  • Bananas:
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Fortified Milk and Dairy

Also Read: Health Benefits of Ash Gourd: Nutritional Facts, Values & Uses

 Deficiency Of Vitamin B6 Aka Pyridoxine

A deficiency in vitamin B6 is often linked to insufficient levels of other B vitamins, particularly folic acid and vitamin B12 (Source). In cases of a mild deficiency, no noticeable symptoms may appear, but a more severe or prolonged deficiency can manifest with the following signs and symptoms (Source)

  • Microcytic anemia
  • Skin conditions
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Lowered immunity

Certain situations can increase the risk of developing a vitamin B6 deficiency by hindering its absorption:

  • Kidney disease
  • intestine autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune inflammatory diseases
  • Alcoholism

Toxicity Of Vitamin B6 Aka Pyridoxine

It is highly unlikely for an individual to ingest a harmful amount of vitamin B6. Since this vitamin is water-soluble, any excess is excreted through urine and eliminated from the body. However, prolonged intake of extremely high doses, exceeding 1,000 mg per day, can reach hazardous levels. Symptoms generally subside upon discontinuation of excessive supplementation. These symptoms may include:

  • Foot and hand neuropathy
  • Ataxia (loss of control of body movements)
  • Nausea

To know more about other vitamins and minerals, check our exclusive section Food Nutrients.