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Vitamin B6 Benefits & Uses

What is Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine and Pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (P5P), is a water-soluble vitamin that is derived naturally from many foods. It is also synthetically produced for use in supplements and fortified foods. According to a source on pyridoxal phosphate, vitamin B6 enzymes are found in four independent evolutionary lines, including the aspartate aminotransferase, serine dehydratase, D-alanine aminotransferase, and alanine racemase families.

 

Benefits & Uses of Vitamin B6

Here are some of the benefits of Vitamin B6:

  1. Brain Function: Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in the development and function of the brain. It helps in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are responsible for regulating mood, sleep, and appetite.
  2. Helps in Reducing Inflammation: Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help with conditions like arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  3. Supports a Healthy Immune System: Vitamin B6 is important for the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases.
  4. Promotes Heart Health: Vitamin B6 helps in the regulation of homocysteine, an amino acid that can contribute to heart disease if levels are too high.
  5. Reduces PMS Symptoms: Vitamin B6 has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women. It can help with mood swings, irritability, and bloating.
  6. Helps Manage Diabetes: Vitamin B6 plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for those with diabetes.
  7. Supports Healthy Skin and Hair: Vitamin B6 is important for maintaining healthy skin and hair. It helps in the production of collagen, which is a protein that forms the structure of skin and hair.
  8. Boosts Energy: Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of energy in the body. It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is used by the body for energy.
  9. May Reduce the Risk of Certain Cancers: Some studies have shown that vitamin B6 may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon and breast cancer.
  10. May Help with Nausea and Vomiting: Vitamin B6 has been shown to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting, particularly during pregnancy.

Vitamin B6 is essential for alcohol metabolism. It’s also vital for the health of your nervous system and immune system, as well as for maintaining the health of your skin and hair.

Vitamin B6 also helps you maintain a healthy balance of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that’s been linked to heart disease when levels are too high. It also helps keep cholesterol levels under control by helping convert homocysteine into other compounds (homocysteine can’t be converted into these compounds if there isn’t enough vitamin B6).

Overall, Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions. It is important to ensure that you are getting enough of this vitamin through your diet or supplements to reap these benefits.

 

How does Vitamin B6 help with Hangovers

Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient that’s involved in many bodily functions, including helping the body make new cells and break down protein.

In addition to helping with the symptoms of a hangover, vitamin B6 can also help reduce the risk of developing alcoholism. This is because it helps you feel more relaxed and less anxious. If you’re prone to drinking too much or becoming dependent on alcohol, then taking a supplement like this may be a good idea so that you don’t end up abusing your body with harmful substances like alcohol or drugs.

 

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA)

Adults 19 years and older: 1.3 mg per day for men and 1.2 mg per day for women.

Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: 1.9 mg per day.

Infants: 0.1-0.3 mg per day.

Children: 0.5-1 mg per day.

 

Interactions with Other Medications

  • Drugs that interact with Vitamin B6
    Vitamin B6 can interact with certain medications, so it’s important to tell your doctor if you’re taking any of the following:

    • Antacids (e.g., Tagamet) and magnesium-containing antacids such as milk of magnesia or Epsom salt baths
    • Blood pressure medications, including angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) like losartan potassium and valsartan; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) such as captopril, enalapril maleate; calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem hydrochloride; beta-blockers such as propranolol hydrochloride; clonidine hydrochloride; diuretics (“water pills”) like furosemide/lasix

 

Factors that Cause Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Vitamin B6 deficiency is rare, but it can be caused by a number of factors. These include:

  • Malnutrition or dietary insufficiency
  • Celiac disease, which damages the small intestine and prevents proper absorption of nutrients from food
  • Alcoholism, which causes malabsorption of vitamins and minerals due to liver damage from alcohol use
  • Medications such as anticonvulsants (used to treat epilepsy), oral contraceptives (birth control pills), and some antibiotics that inhibit vitamin B6 absorption

 

Diagnosis of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

There are several ways to diagnose a vitamin B6 deficiency. Blood tests can be used to determine your levels of pyridoxal phosphate (PLP), the active form of vitamin B6 in your body. Urine tests can also be used to measure PLP levels, but they’re not as accurate as blood tests because urine doesn’t contain all the metabolites that are produced when PLP is converted into inactive forms or excreted from the body. Neurologic exams may reveal symptoms like weakness or numbness if you have a severe deficiency and need immediate treatment

 

Treatment of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Organic (Natural Dietary Control) methods:

One of the easiest ways to treat vitamin B6 deficiency naturally is to increase your intake of foods that are rich in this vitamin. Foods like poultry, fish, beans, nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals are all good sources.

  1. Consume more organic foods: Eating organic foods can help ensure that you are getting high-quality nutrients, including vitamin B6. Organic fruits, vegetables, and meats are generally free from contaminants that can interfere with nutrient absorption.
  2. Incorporate more probiotics into your diet: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help support gut health. Good gut health is essential for proper nutrient absorption, including vitamin B6. Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are all excellent sources of probiotics.
  3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine can interfere with nutrient absorption, including vitamin B6. Reducing or eliminating your intake of these substances can help improve nutrient absorption and prevent deficiency.
  4. Get enough sunlight: Vitamin B6 is synthesized in the body with the help of sunlight. Spending time outdoors can help increase your vitamin B6 levels naturally.
  5. Consider herbal remedies: Some herbal remedies may help increase vitamin B6 levels in the body. Herbs like stinging nettle, burdock root, and dandelion root are all believed to be beneficial for improving nutrient absorption and reducing the risk of deficiency.

 

Non-Organic (Supplements) methods:

Vitamin B6 deficiency can be treated with oral supplements, injectable forms, and intramuscular injections such as:

  1. Vitamin B6 Supplements: Supplements are the most common method of treating vitamin B6 deficiency. These supplements come in the form of tablets, capsules, and liquid. They are available over the counter and can be taken as directed by a healthcare provider.
  2. Intravenous (IV) vitamin B6 therapy: In severe cases of vitamin B6 deficiency, IV therapy may be required. This involves receiving high doses of vitamin B6 through an IV.
  3. Injection of vitamin B6: Injections of vitamin B6 may also be used to treat deficiency. These injections are typically given by a healthcare provider.
  4. Combination supplements: Vitamin B6 is often combined with other B vitamins in supplements. This can help improve absorption and effectiveness.
  5. Prescription-strength supplements: Prescription-strength supplements may be recommended for those with severe vitamin B6 deficiency. These supplements contain higher doses of vitamin B6 than over-the-counter options.

In short, Oral supplements are the most common way to treat vitamin B6 deficiency. They’re available in many forms, including tablets, capsules, and liquids that you mix into drinks or food.

If your body isn’t able to absorb enough vitamin B6 through your intestines (for example if they have been damaged by surgery), then an injectable form may be used instead–but only under supervision from a doctor who has experience administering these types of treatments!

 

References:

Gaby, A. R. (2011). Vitamin B6. In A. L. Gaby (Ed.), Nutritional medicine (pp. 157-166). Fritz Perlberg Publishing.

 

National Institutes of Health. (2020). Vitamin B6: Fact sheet for health professionals. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/

 

National Institutes of Health. (2020). Vitamin B6: Fact sheet for consumers. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/

 

Pfeiffer, C. C., & Braverman, E. R. (2003). Zinc, the brain and behavior. Biological psychiatry, 53(5), 477-488.

 

Sarris, J., & Wardle, J. (2014). Clinical naturopathy: An evidence-based guide to practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.

 

Smith, A. D., Kim, Y. I., & Refsum, H. (2008). Is folic acid good for everyone?. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(3), 517-533.

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