Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6

vitamin B6
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Vitamin B6, like other B Vitamins,  plays an important role in metabolism (breaking down and transforming the foods we eat into energy and basic materials used for rebuilding tissues in the body). It is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is not stored in large amounts in the body, so it must be obtained regularly through the diet.

There are 7 versions of this vitamin. The 3 most commonly occurring versions are pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine.

B6 is needed for the proper functioning of the central nervous system. It is important for brain development in the course of pregnancy and infancy. This B vitamin also helps the body to create neurotransmitters which are involved in the regulation of mood and sleep patterns. There is a theory that pyridoxine increases dream vividness (due to its effect on serotonin production). This nutrient may also help with cognitive functioning, especially in regard to memory. It has been shown in some studies that B6 (with magnesium) can relieve hyperactivity and improve the ability to concentrate.

B6 is necessary for the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the cells. This vitamin also helps increase the effectiveness of the functioning of the immune system by helping in the formation of antibodies to help fight foreign invaders in the body. The health of the skin, hair, and eyes is also affected by this vitamin.

B6 benefits also include regulation of blood sugar levels, reduction of heart disease risk, regulation of proper levels of steroid hormones in the body.

nutshell In a nutshell
nutshell  B6 is involved in more than 100 chemical processes of metabolism in the body.
nutshell This nutrient is needed for the proper functioning of the central nervous system.
nutshell There is a theory that B6 increase dreams vividness.
nutshell B6 plays an important role in hemoglobin production and functioning of the immune system.
nutshell It has been shown in some studies that B6 can relieve hyperactivity and improve the ability to concentrate.

Vitamin B6 deficiency

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It is rare to have a large deficiency of this vitamin, though low-level deficiencies may occur. Deficiencies may be caused by certain diseases so those with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, and alcoholism may wish to discuss the matter with their physician to be sure they get enough of this nutrient. Without enough of this vitamin in the diet, there is a risk of developing certain health conditions:
• Heart disease;
• Rheumatoid arthritis;
• Age-related macular degeneration;
• Inflammatory skin conditions, especially seborrhoeic dermatitis;
• Damage of the central nervous system and peripheral nerves.
• Depression;
• Fatigue;
• Certain types of anemia;
• Muscle weakness;
• Seizures;
• Sores and ulcers in and around the mouth.

Vitamin B6 overdose

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B6 overdose. When obtaining this nutrient from food sources, there has been no risk associated with overdose. However, getting too much B6 through supplements can have negative effects on health. Severe progressive nerve damage has been associated with the long-term use of high amounts of this vitamin. This typically results in pain and tingling in the extremities and may limit the ability to walk. Other symptoms include the development of painful skin lesions and increased sensitivity to light as well as gastrointestinal disturbances. The upper intake level ranges from 30 mg a day for young children to 100 mg per day for adults. Those taking B6 supplements for health problems should be monitored carefully by their physician.

Daily Recommended Intake

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Daily Recommended Intake is very specific for individuals and depends on age:
• Babies and infants:0.1 – 0.3 mg/day;
• Ages 1 – 8: 0.5 – 0.6 mg/day;
• Ages 9- 18: 1.0 – 1.3 mg/day;
• Ages 18 – 50: 1.3 mg/day;
• Ages 50+: 1.5 – 1.6 mg/day.

The following foods have high amounts of  B6:
• Rice bran (100g) – 4.1 mg;
• Spearmint (dried) (100g) -2.6 mg;
• Paprika (dried), chili (dried) (100g) -2.1 mg;
• Bay leaf (dried), rosemary (dried) (100g) -1.7 mg;
• Pistachio nuts (raw) (100g) – 1.7 mg;
• Wheat bran, wheat germ (100g) – 1.3 mg;
• Garlic (raw), safflower seed (dried), marjoram (dried) (100g) – 1.2 mg;
• Chicken breast (cooked, grilled)(100g) -1.16 mg;
• Tuna, salmon (cooked) (100g) – 0.9 mg;
• Turkey liver (cooked) (100g) – 0.9 mg;
• Pork (cooked) (100g) – 0.8 mg.

Other important sources of B6:
• Potatoes, avocado, spinach, broccoli;
• Dates, apples, red grapefruit, bananas, melons;
• Cheese, yogurt.

B6 was discovered in 1934

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Hungarian physicist Paul Gyorgy discovered this vitamin in 1934. He found that this nutrient was able to cure a certain type of skin disease in rats. He named this substance as Vitamin B6. This vitamin was isolated in 1938 with its structure first being determined in 1939. There are 7 versions of this vitamin. The 3 most commonly occurring versions are pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine.