Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps the body create chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry signals from one cell to another cell. It also assists the body in creating hormones responsible for an individuals mood. These hormones are serotonin and norepinephrine.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) benefits

In addition to the role it plays in the transmission of cellular signals and mood regulation, other benefits vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) offer are the controlling of homocysteine (an amino acid associated with heart disease), it allows the body to absorb vitamin B12 then create red blood cells as well as creating hemoglobin to carry oxygen in the red blood cells to the appropriate destination tissues. It also helps the body create antibodies allow the body to properly fight disease.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) assists in the breaking down of protein and in maintaining proper blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Sources of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Enriched breads and flour products (like cereal) are primary sources for many people to receive adequate amounts of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Other sources include avocados, bananas, carrots, legumes, meats, nuts, spinach, and whole grains.

Recommended amounts

Set forth by the National Academy of Sciences, the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) are below (some individuals may be placed on a plan that requires higher than normal amounts to manage a specific issue they may be experiencing).

Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)1
Age Amount
0-6 0.1mg/day (adequate intake)
7-12 0.3mg/day (adequate intake)
1-3 years 0.5mg/day
4-8 years 0.6mg/day
9-13 years 1mg/day
Males 14-18 years 1.3mg/day
Females 14-18 years 1.2mg/day
19-50 years 1.3mg/day
Males 51+ years 1.7mg/day
Females 51+ years 1.5mg/day
Pregnant females 1.9mg/day
Nursing females 2.0mg/day

Large amounts of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), more than 200mg per day, may cause neurological disorders where feeling in the legs is lost and a sense of imbalance may occur.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency

A vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency is uncommon in adults but children and the elderly are more prone to being mildly deficient. Initial symptoms of a large-scale deficiency are weakness, mouth and tongue sores, nervousness/anxiety, irritability, depression, trouble with focusing, and short-term memory loss.

Other long term conditions associated with low levels of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency may include heart disease, nausea and vomiting (mainly during pregnancy), age-related macular degeneration (an eye disease that can lead to vision loss), and a difficulty in managing rheumatoid arthritis due to increase inflammation from low vitamin levels.

Sources:
1Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) - http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b6-000337.htm

Vitamin B6 - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002402.htm

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