Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is found both in our body and various forms of food. It is fundamentally a vitamin that is water soluble. It refers to a group of compounds that are analogous chemically and can be inter-converted in biological systems. As clear by its terminology, it is part of the vitamin B group. Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) is its active form that happens to be the cofactor in many reactions of enzymes in lipid metabolism, glucose, and amino acid. Pyridoxine (PN), and pyridoxine-5'-phosphate (PNP), pyridoxal (PL), pyridoxamine (PM), pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate (PMP) are other forms of Vitamin B6. However, PLP remains the most active form of the vitamin in the human body.

Food Items In Which We Find Vitamin B6:

  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Banana
  • Potatoes
  • Beef
  • Spinach
  • Salmon
  • Sweet Potato
  • Sunflower Seeds

Tuna and turkey are the richest sources of carbohydrates.

How Does It Support Health

Carbohydrates Metabolism

Vitamin B6 is required in the working of the enzyme that is involved in the process of pulling out the molecule glycogen that is a form of carbohydrate from the storage cell. It is a known fact that intake of carbohydrates is necessary for engagement in physical activities. Thus, for the efficient breakdown of these carbohydrates in our cells it is thus also important for us to eat food reach in Vitamin B6 as well.

Red Blood Cells [RBC] Production

We all are aware that our blood has hemoglobin that carries oxygen throughout our body. Hemoglobin is a complex protein that is present in our red blood cells. The hemoglobin molecule consists of a key ingredient known as the heme. Heme, in its initial stages of production, requires Vitamin B6. This exemplifies the fact that Vitamin B6 is of utmost importance for human survival.

Detoxification Of Liver

All the unwanted chemicals present in our blood stream are removed in the liver and kidney. This is carried out in two broad steps. Firstly, for the binding and removal of these chemicals, they are made more water soluble. For this process, Vitamin B6 is also required, among other nutrients.

The Nervous System and Brain

Neurotransmitters, which are messaging molecules in our brain and nervous system, require Vitamin B6 for their production among other vitamins that fall in the B category. GABA, serotonin, and dopamine are three important neurotransmitters which require Vitamin B6 for their production purposes.  This is why Geniux contains Vitamin B6 as an ingredient.

Pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy is a kind of genetic disorder where Vitamin B6 cannot function properly due to a genetic mutation. Because of this brain fails to develop properly and during infancy, the person goes through epileptic seizures.

There have been many types of research undergone in biology that have started yielding results stated as follows:

  • People with lower intake of Vitamin B6 are more prone to depression in comparison with the regular population.
  • Dietary folic acid is a nutrient that works intimately with the nervous system. Deficiency in it also leads to greater depression.
  • The development of attention deficit disorder (ADHD) can now also be linked to the lack of Vitamin B6 in the diet.

Roles in Other Health Related Areas

  • Both the risk and the presence of inflammation-related chronic diseases have its roots in the deficiency of Vitamin B6 in the human body.
  • Vitamin B6 is required to build and maintain a robust immune system.
  • It is also required in the metabolism process of a chemical compound known as amino acid tryptophan.
  • Vitamin B6 is also required in protein related and regular amino acid metabolism.

How Vitamin B6 Intact In Food Is Lost

  • Vitamin B6 in its pyridoxine form in food stuff is known to be generally stable for storage purposes. It takes approximately a year for food material to lose one-fourth of its Vitamin B6 content.
  • This vitamin will also be lost if it is kept in conditions where it has to bear heat for a prolonged period of time. This is especially in the cases of animal meats.
  • About 10-20 percent of Vitamin B6 will be lost if food containing it is steamed or boiled.
  • To keep Vitamin B6 intact in food material, lower pH levels are required. This stability can be provided by tomato and vinegar.

Some Reasons for Low Levels of Vitamin B6 in the Body

  • Can be a product of biochemical reactions initiated by taking drugs like- Oral Contraceptive Pills [OCP], Antibiotics, Steroids, medication prescribed to treat Parkinson’s Disease
  • Because of factors like increased breakdowns, slower absorption and problems in activating Vitamin B6 to its active form are reasons why people falling in the age group of 65+ suffer from lack of Vitamin B6 even though they follow adequate dietary plans.

Other Facts about Vitamin B6

  • Magnesium is used as a mineral co-factor in every reaction in the body concerning Vitamin B6.
  • Depletion or deficiency in Vitamin B6 levels can also be because of following diets that have a high protein intake.

The Upper Limit

If Vitamin B6 intake crosses 100mg per day, then this may lead to a loss in hand and feet sensation. However, it is highly unlikely that any person would intake that amount of Vitamin B6 albeit this may be the case in over-dosing on this vitamin supplement.

Diseases Caused Due to Lack of Vitamin B6 in the Body

The following is a list of the various diseases that spring out as a result of lack of Vitamin B6 in the body or also in connection to low levels of Vitamin B6 intake:

  • Anemia
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease
  • Morning Sickness
  • Asthma
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis
  • ADHD
  • High Homocysteine
  • Epilepsy

Though vitamins are required in small amounts in our body, it is easy to see now that their deficiency can be a serious hindrance to leading a healthy and comfortable life. It is thus important to carefully regulate the intake of vitamins like Vitamin B6 that people have in their diet.