Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is a water soluble vitamin and is very essential for the proper functioning of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body (from breakdown to utilization of these macronutrients). It is also required for the proper growth and development of the brain, nerves, skin, and many other parts of the body.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin B6 for adults is 1.3 mg. Most people get enough B6 in their diet, but if one is deficient in other B complex vitamins, such as folate and B12, chances are that the person would also develop vitamin B6 deficiency as well.
Some studies, found that B6 has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it may help in preventing chronic conditions like heart diseases and cancer.
Sign & Symptoms of Vitamin B6 Deficiency:
General symptoms of any B group deficiency can be easily seen by naked eye & can easily be cured by diet modification, but Vitamin B6 deficiency cannot be easily cured and may lead to many other diseases & deficiencies.
Vitamin B6 deficiency is more common in people with liver, kidney, metabolic, gastro-intestinal (GI), or autoimmune diseases.
Itchy, redish, flaky rashes on skin is one common sign. Other symptoms can be sore, swollen, inflamed lips, tongue & corners of mouth.
As B6 helps in the production of neurotransmitters, it’s deficiency may sometimes contribute to moodiness, depression, anxiety, irritability.
Benefits of B6 supplementation:
Its supplementation is actually helpful in curing many life threatening diseases & conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, convulsions, Alzheimer disease, autism, eye disease and many other age-related diseases. It helps in boosting overall immune system.
Most people who eat a normal diet do not need extra vitamin B6. However, some conditions (such as alcoholism, liver disease, hypo-thyroid, heart failure) or certain medication can cause low levels of vitamin B6. It has been found that vitamin B6 supplementation soon after these conditions may be helpful. It is also used to overcome certain harmful side effects related to radiation treatment done for cancer patients.
Because of the usefulness of Vitamin B6 in all major body functioning, it is considered as a hard-working nutrient. It not just helpful in metabolism of various nutrients but also important for heart health, the digestive tract, muscular function, and a whole lot of other bodily processes.
Vit B6 or Pyridoxine is useful in many basic ailments like night leg cramp, migraine headache, infertility, asthma, dizziness, motion sickness, morning sickness (during pregnancy). It is very useful in reducing the symptoms of PMS, after, during & before the pregnancy.
Excess of everything is harmful, high doses of the B6 vitamin can harm. Too much B6 can cause oversensitivity to sunlight, which can lead to skin rashes and numbness, as well as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and increased liver functioning.
How to obtain Vitamin B6 from Food:
This extremely useful vitamin is not hard to find & is widely available in animal & plant foods. Fortunately, B6 deficiency is not generally easy to obtain, if one has healthy eating habits.
As it is water soluble vitamin, body does not store it, and so one has to consume it on daily basis in the diet. Excellent food sources that serve up the vitamin B6 include chickpeas, meat, poultry, and fish. Other foods that are high in B6 are whole grains, legumes, fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, beans, bananas, and potatoes.
Never take any medication & supplementation without doctor’s advice. Go for proper tests from certified laboratory.