”Vitamin B6 is one of the eight B-vitamins that benefit your central nervous system and metabolism. It converts food into energy and creates neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin”
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin that your body needs to perform various functions. It is essential for the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin B6 is vital for optimal health and can even prevent and treat chronic diseases.
This article discusses the health benefits of pyridoxine, health benefits, along your daily vitamin B6 needs. It also looks at deficiency and supplementation.
How Does Vitamin B6 Work?
Pyridoxine is necessary for the proper functioning of fats, sugars, and proteins in the body.
It is required for the proper growth and development of the nerves, brain, skin, and many other parts of your body. In addition, producing red blood cells and neurotransmitters.
11 Health Benefits of Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Here are 11 health benefits of pyridoxine that are based on science.
1. Vitamin B6 can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression
It plays a significant role in regulating mood. It is partly because this vitamin is needed to create neurotransmitters that regulate emotions, such as dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid.
A study of older people found that a lack of vitamin B6 in the blood doubled the risk of depression.
2. Pyridoxine can promote brain health and its functions
Vitamin B6 helps produce neurotransmitters, which are necessary chemical messengers in the brain. It also helps in regulating energy use in the brain. Research suggests that a vitamin B6 deficiency may be linked to cognitive decline and dementia.
According to the Office-of-Dietary-Supplements, studies have indicated that older adults with “higher blood levels of vitamin B6 have a better memory.”
3. Pyridoxine May reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Pyridoxine may play a vital role in improving brain function and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
According to research, B6 can prevent the deterioration of brain function by reducing homocysteine levels associated with memory impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. However, the study is conflicting.
4. It prevents and treats anemia by supporting the hemoglobin production
Due to its role in hemoglobin production, B6 may help prevent and treat anemia caused by the deficiency.
Hemoglobin is a protein that supplies oxygen to the cells. If you have low levels of hemoglobin, your cells will not get enough oxygen. As a result, you may become anemic and feel weak or tired. Studies have linked low levels of vitamin B6 to anemia, especially in women of childbearing age and pregnant women.
5. Vitamin B6 may help treat PMS symptoms and depression
Pyridoxine has been used to treat premenstrual syndrome symptoms (PMS), including depression, anxiety, and irritability. Researchers believe that vitamin B6 helps treat emotional symptoms related to PMS due to its role in forming neurotransmitters that regulate mood.
A study found that taking 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily improved PMS symptoms of fatigue, depression, and irritability by 69%.
6. Pyridoxine can also help treat nausea during pregnancy
A study review reported that taking pyridoxine may help treat mild symptoms of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, compared to a placebo.
The American-Congress-of-Obstetricians-&-Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends vitamin B6 supplements as a safe over-the-counter treatment for nausea during pregnancy.
7. It prevents arterial blockages and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Vitamin B6 can prevent clogged arteries and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Research shows that people with low levels of vitamin B6 in their blood have nearly twice the risk of heart problems than people with higher levels of vitamin B6.
8. Vitamin B6 can help prevent some cancer types
Getting enough vitamin B6 can reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Researchers believe it might be due to its ability to fight inflammation that can contribute to cancer and other chronic conditions.
A review of different studies found that both adequate dietary intake and blood levels of B6 can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. People with the highest B6 levels in the blood were nearly 50% less likely to develop this type of cancer.
Research on vitamin B6 and breast cancer also shows a link between adequate blood levels of vitamin B6 and a reduced risk of disease, especially in postmenopausal women.
9. It can support eye health while preventing eye diseases
This vitamin might play a role in preventing eye disease, particularly a type of vision loss that affects “older adults” called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Studies have linked high circulating homocysteine levels to an increased risk of AMD. Because vitamin B6 helps reduce high levels of homocysteine in the blood, getting enough vitamin B6 can reduce your risk of developing AMD.
10. Inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can be treated
Vitamin B6 may help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. A lack of vitamin B-6 is linked to a high level of inflammation in the body caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
One study found that those who received vitamin B6 had significantly lower “pro-inflammatory molecules” after 12 weeks.
11. Pyridoxine may also help protect against air pollution
Studies reported that vitamin B6 could help protect people from air pollution by reducing the effects of pollution on their epigenomes. Their findings could be used as a basis for developing new measures to prevent epigenetic changes due to air pollution.
The World Health Organization reported that 91% of the world’s population live in places where official air quality guidelines are not met.
How Much Vitamin B6 Should You Get Each Day?
Several factors influence a person’s daily vitamin B6 needs, as they affect “various aspects of a person’s metabolism.”
According to the ODS, the recommended daily allowances (RDA) of vitamin B6 are:
- 0-6 months: 0.1 mg
- 7-12 months: 0.3 mg
- 1-3 years: 0.5 mg
- 4-8 years: 0.6 mg
- 9-13 years: 1.0 mg
- 14-18 years: 1.3 mg
- 19-50 years: 1.3 mg
- 51+ years: 1.7 mg
- During pregnancy: 1.9 mg
- During lactation: 2.0 mg
‘What Are The Possible Side Effects of Taking Too Much Vitamin B6
Taking too much vitamin B6 from supplements can damage nerves and limbs over time. If you are interested in taking a B6 supplement, talk to your healthcare provider about safety and dosage.
Vitamin B6 Food Sources & Supplements
Vitamin B6 is found in many foods. Those who consume a well-balanced diet do not tend to develop deficiencies. Deficits can result from medical conditions and certain medications.
The following are good food sources of vitamin B6:
- Beef liver
- Yellowfin tuna
- Ground beef
- Grilled chicken breast
- Fortified foods
- Breakfast cereals
- Marinara sauce
What Is Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Deficiency?
B6 deficiencies are rare in the ”United States” but can occur if a person has poor intestinal absorption or takes corticosteroids, estrogens, anticonvulsants, or other drugs.
Different types of pyridoxine deficiencies are:
- Dietary vitamin B6 deficiency – although rare but could develop because intensive processing “can deplete vitamin B6 from food.”
- Linked to other B vitamins deficiency – many cases of vitamin B6 deficiency are associated with low levels of other B-vitamins, such as vitamin B-12 and folate.
- Secondary vitamin B6 deficiency – is usually the result of:
- Protein-energy deficiency
- Use of pyridoxine inhibitors
- Excessive loss during dialysis
What Are The Signs & Symptoms of Vitamin B6 Deficiency?
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Weak immune system
Vitamin B6 Supplement
Most people of all ages in the United States get enough vitamin B6 from food and do not need supplementation.
Between 28 – 36% of people in the U.S. take vitamin supplements that contain vitamin B6. These supplements are available in capsule or tablet form.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that most nutrients come from food. They encourage a balanced diet with nutritious foods and plenty of dietary fiber.
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) – Takeaway
Vitamin B6 is essential for many bodily processes, including the nervous system and metabolism. In addition to supporting many bodily processes, vitamin B6 plays a role in the nervous system and metabolism.
This vitamin can’t be stored in the body, so you must consume it every day through your diet. Getting enough vitamin B6 through your diet or supplements is critical to staying healthy and can have “other wonderful health benefits.”
Most Americans get enough vitamin B6 from their diet. Otherwise, your doctor may recommend changing your diet or taking a vitamin B6 supplement.