It is also called Pyridoxine and is one of the eight vitamins of the B complex cohort. It plays crucial role in the body that include proper metabolism, the efficiency of the nervous and immune system to guide against infectious diseases. The intake of vitamin B6 needs to be encouraged for protection and avoidance of health challenges that can be traced to the lack of vitamin B6 in the body. If one is deficient in vitamin B12, then it is very likely that vitamin B6 is also lacking because they work hand in hand.
Pyridoxine is said to be involved in the chemical reactions of over 150 enzymes necessary for body metabolism. It, therefore, plays a major role in the prevention of extreme conditions like cancer and diseases of the heart. There are various food sources of vitamin B6 both natural and synthetic. The natural sources include nuts, grains, meat, fish, vegetables and fruits while organic gardening, protein-rich foods, high fibre foods are examples of synthetic foods that are rich in vitamin B6 which is necessary for the prevention of pyridoxine deficiency. Here is a list of vitamin B6 deficiency syndromes:
- Mood swing: Mood swings like depression, anxiety and irritability is associated with a shortfall in vitamin B6. Pyridoxine helps in the secretion of serotonin which is known to lift up human’s mood. Simply put, nerves that help control your mood need a constant supply of vitamin B6.
- Weak immune system: A Lack of vitamin B6 will weaken the white blood cell which leaves you open to attacks from germs and diseases will have a free ride at entering your body. Vitamin B6 is needed for the production of antibodies which keeps you safe.
- Seizures: it is a rare symptom of a deficiency in vitamin B6 which is well known to occur in infants but also in adults. The brain gets overstimulated when it lacks different vitamins including vitamin B6. This can lead to spasms and convulsions which deteriorate your mental health in general.
- Low energy: Red blood cells are the cells that transport oxygen to various parts of the body keeping up alive. We become short of breath when anything goes wrong with this process and a deficiency in vitamin B6 is a factor to be considered. You will lack melatonin and haemoglobin supply. Vitamin B6 keeps you energized.
- Skin rashes: Itchy skin means you are not consuming enough vitamin B6. Your skin can also become flaky and oily. Rashes might appear on your scalp, upper chest, face as well as on your neck in white patches. Vitamin B6 supplements will come to the
- Sore and cracky lips: In the case where cracks appear at the corner of your mouth, you are deficient of vitamin B6 and this can be restored by eating food rich in the vitamin or take its supplements.
What are the Health benefits of vitamin B6?
- Premenstrual syndrome: anxiety and mood swing related PMS are treated with vitamin B6 and research has proven its effectiveness.
- Blocked arteries: Vitamin B6 helps reduce the risk of heart diseases by lowering homocysteine which causes the narrowing of arteries to improve blood flow.
- Reduce depression: In older adults, deficiency in vitamin B6 is connected to depression. So, a regular intake of pyridoxine will boost you.
- Alzheimer: It is known to slow down the rate of decline of brain functions connected to Alzheimer. It generally contributes to the health of your brain.
- Anaemia: Issues related to anaemia can be traced to a lack of proper quantity of vitamin B6 in the system. Taking supplements is not such a bad idea.
Top 10 sources of Pyridoxine
- Fortified Tofu
- Lean chicken breast
- Lean pork chops
- Sweet potatoes
- Beans and legumes
The RDA recommends a Riboflavin intake of:
- Between 1.3-1.7mg daily for adult men and women,
- 9-2mg daily for pregnant and lactating women,
- 3mg for children and
- 7mg and 1.5mg for elderly men and women respectively
Natural sources of vitamin B6 are advisable because supplements usually results in overdose when not properly monitored which can damage the nervous system as well as the sensory organs. Have a chat with your doctor if you are feeling low on vitamin B6. The usefulness of vitamin B6 cannot be overemphasized.