About Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is responsible for supporting a healthy immune system. B6 is made up of three compounds: pyridoxine, pyridoxinal and pyridoxamine. It’s a water soluble vitamin that’s needed for the body to absorb Vitamin B12 and for many types of enzymes to function in the body.
It’s also necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acid and protein and is responsible for the production of red blood cells, antibodies, magnesium and hydrochloric acid. It also helps the release of glycogen from the liver and muscles and is important in converting tryptophan into niacin.
What it does
Vitamin B6 ensures that the levels of sodium and potassium are in balance. People who are deficient in Vitamin B6 can suffer from anemia and disorders of the skin and nervous system. Other side effects are low blood sugar and low glucose tolerance, leg and arm cramps and an increase in urination. It’s extremely important for pregnant women to get their daily allowance of Vitamin B6, for a deficiency can cause edema and even stillbirth.
Vitamin B6 is also shown to provide relief for women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome and from people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Nutritional experts recommend that people who do have carpal tunnel syndrome or diabetes increase their intake of Vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 is also used to treat a type of anemia where the red blood cell are abnormally small and has been used to treat diarrhea, hemorrhoids, pancreatitis, ulcers, muscle weakness, some types of kidney stones, acne and tooth decay. Vitamin B6 has also been taken to ease stress and to treat eczema.
It’s also been shown to lower elevated levels of “bad” cholesterol. However, very large dosages of B6 have resulted, ironically, in nerve damage. Large doses have also reduced the effectiveness of levodopa, a drug that treats Parkinson’s disease.
Vitamin B6 can easily be found in capsule form in the drugstore or the vitamin section of a supermarket. It’s naturally found in bananas, baked potatoes, chick peas, whole grains, desiccated liver, brewer’s yeast, roasted chicken breast and cooked, fresh tuna.
The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin B6 is 1.6 mg for women and 2 mg for men. Women who are pregnant should have an additional .6 mg, and women who are nursing should take an additional .5 mg. Since Vitamin B6 is water soluble, any that the body doesn’t use is excreted in the urine within eight hours of ingestion.
Looking for your B6 fix? Try this simple, gluten-free pan pizza! The crust is loaded with B6 [recipe here].
How do you get our B6 kicks? Share in the comments below!