Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Function And Benefits

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Function And Benefits


What Is Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)?

Vitamin B6 is the generic name for six compounds (vitamers). It is a water-soluble vitamin, known as Pyridoxine, which is one of the eight essential B vitamins (B vitamins complex).

The absorption of Vitamin B6 occurs in the small intestine jejunum and metabolizes to the active forms in the liver.

Your body cannot produce Vitamin B6 on its own and, therefore, it must come from your diet.

Vitamin B6, similar to all the other B Vitamins, is mainly involved in the conversion of food (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) into energy.

Pyridoxine also has many other health benefits that we will discuss below.

Please Note

Supplemental forms of Vitamin B6 can be purchased online and do not require any prescription. However, we highly recommend that you seek advice from your doctor before buying any supplements.

Always seek advice from a qualified health professional if you are in doubt.

This article has been written for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a replacement for professional advice.



Quick facts about Vitamin B6:
  • Recommended Daily Intake:
    • 1.7 mg | For adults and children over 4 years old.
    • 0.5 mg | For children between 1 and 3 years old.
    • 0.3 mg | For infants up to 12 months old.
    • 2 mg | For pregnant women and lactating women.
  • Is 1 of the 8 essential B Vitamins:
    Your body cannot produce vitamin B6 on its own and, therefore, it must be obtained from your diet.

  • Food sources:
    Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) occurs naturally in foods such as meat, fish, nuts, beans, grains, fruits and vegetables.







1. Supports Metabolism

All the B Vitamins including Vitamin B6 play a role in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates and fats.




2. Can Treat High Homocysteine Levels In The Blood

High levels of homocysteine in the blood have been linked to dementia, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis.

Studies have suggested that Vitamin B6, in combination with Folate and Vitamin B12, can be effective in lowering homocysteine levels.

Summary

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) combined with Folate and Vitamin B12 can be effective in treating high homocysteine levels.




3. Can Treat Anemia (Sideroblastic Anemia)

Vitamin B6 plays a role in the regulation of hemoglobin production and therefore may prevent and treat anemia caused by a deficiency.

Studies have linked anemia with low levels of Vitamin B6, especially during pregnancy. For instance, a case study in a 57-year-old woman with anemia caused by a deficiency of Vitamin B6 found that treatment with a daily supplementation of Vitamin B6 improved symptoms.

Another study suggested that a deficiency in Iron is the most common cause of anemia during pregnancy, however women who were unresponsive to the treatment of Iron also had a vitamin B6 deficiency and were successfully treated with supplementation of Vitamin B6.

Summary

A deficiency of Vitamin B6 can reduce hemoglobin levels and lead to the development of anemia. Supplementation of Vitamin B6 has shown effectiveness in preventing and treating anemia.




4. May Prevent And Treat Age-related Vision Loss (Macular Degeneration)

Consuming Vitamin B6, in combination with Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid, has shown effectiveness in reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

A 7-year-old study in 5,442 female health professionals aged 40 years or older concluded that taking a daily supplement of Vitamin B6 combined with Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 significantly reduced the risk of developing AMD by up to 35–40%.

Summary

Daily Supplementation of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) combined with Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 can significantly the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by up to 35–40%.




5. May Improve Symptoms Of Nausea And Vomiting During Pregnancy.

A study in 342 women during their early stages of pregnancy (up to 17 weeks) concluded that daily supplementation of 30 mg of Vitamin B6 significantly reduced feelings of nausea after five consecutive days on treatment.

Another study suggested that consuming a supplementation of Vitamin B6 in combination with ginger is more effective in treating symptoms of nausea. However, minor side effects from ginger were reported such as sedation, heartburn, and arrhythmia.

Summary

Daily Supplementation of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) can significantly reduce feelings of nausea after five consecutive days on treatment.




6. May Improve Symptoms Of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)..

A three-month trial in 63 premenopausal women was conducted to study the effects of Vitamin B6 at a dose of 50 mg per day on the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).

The study concluded that daily supplementation of Vitamin B6 (50 mg) significantly improved the emotional type symptoms of PMS by 69% and somatic type by 52%.

Summary

Daily Supplementation of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) at a dose of 50 mg can significantly reduce symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).




7. Toxicity

Overdosing on Vitamin B6 through food sources is highly unlikely. However, overdosing on supplemental forms of Vitamin B6 can have negative side effects.

Toxicity of Vitamin B6 can occur on doses higher than 100 mg per day.

Toxicity symptoms include:

  • Severe nerve damage

  • Numbness in the hands and feet

  • Pain

  • Unsightly skin patches

  • Nausea

  • Heartburn




8. Deficiency

A deficiency can occur depending on the following factors:

  • Poor diet

  • Consumption of alcohol

  • Liver, kidney, digestive or autoimmune diseases

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Pregnancy

Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Anemia

  • Itchy rashes

  • Scaly skin on the lips

  • Cracks at the corners of the mouth

  • Swollen tongue

  • Depression

  • Confusion

  • Weak immune system




9. Conclusion

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is part of the essential B vitamins complex. It supports metabolism, and maintaining homocysteine levels.

A deficiency of Vitamin B6 is very rare in developed countries. However, factors such as a poor diet, alcohol consumption, Liver, kidney, digestive or autoimmune diseases, obesity, smoking, and pregnancy can increase the risk of developing a deficiency.

If you are concerned about your Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) levels, we highly recommend that you seek advice from your healthcare provider.