Our body cannot produce vitamin B6 on its own, which is an essential vitamin that helps in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates. Another name for vitamin B6 is pyridoxine. This vitamin is essential for numerous functions in our body and we are required to consume it through our diet regularly. Apart from its significant role in metabolism, vitamin B6 is also responsible for the production of red blood cells in our bodies.
Vitamin B6 Benefits
Reduces The Risk of Heart Diseases
Research shows that vitamin B6 helps in preventing the risks of developing heart diseases.[r247] It is based on the claim that vitamin B6 reduces levels of homocysteine – which in turn helps prevent heart diseases. Also, vitamin B6 is known for preventing restriction in arteries, which is also a precursor of heart diseases. A deficiency of this vitamin is likely to increase the risk of developing heart disease as compared to the people who consume adequate amounts of vitamin B6.
Great For Brain Health
Concerning the effect of vitamin B6 on homocysteine levels, it is found that this vitamin is significant in decreasing the risk of mental decline. Findings of a study revealed that doses of vitamin B6 along with vitamin B12 (interlink with B12 content) and folate helped reduce the levels of homocysteine. In addition to that, the dose also acted positively on the regions of the brain that pose a risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.[r245] However, the beneficial impacts of vitamin B6 in preventing Alzheimer’s are still not definite. More scientific investigations are needed in this regard.
Improves Blood Efficiency
Vitamin B6 is an essential producer of hemoglobin in our bodies. Hemoglobin is the main protein that transports oxygen to all our body cells through the blood and is thus responsible for the production of energy in our cells—a deficiency of hemoglobin can result in extreme fatigue.
Research highlights the importance of vitamin B6 for preventing anemia – a deficiency of hemoglobin – in expecting and nursing mothers.[r246] The research included 56 pregnant women who previously showed no response to iron treatments for anemia. Results showed that as compared to consuming iron supplements during pregnancy, vitamin B6 is found to be more effective in decreasing risks of developing anemia symptoms.
Effective for Alleviating Symptoms of PMS
Due to its significance in uplifting mood and emotions during depression, vitamin B6 is also found to be effective in treating symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It helps deal with PMS as vitamin B6 is responsible for the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood.
Consuming vitamin B6 is found to be effective in decreasing signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, along with irritability and feelings of tiredness by 69%.[r248] Vitamin B6 along with doses of magnesium is also significantly effective in improving mood swings, anxiety, and irritability during the menstrual cycle.
May Help Reduce Depression
Vitamin B6 is crucial for producing neurotransmitters that control our mood and emotions, such as serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and dopamine. All of these neurotransmitters are found to have direct impacts on our mood and thus, are critical in alleviating depressive symptoms. Evidence indicates that the deficiency of vitamin B6 might also increase the risk of depression. [r243] Scientific investigations into the treatment of depression have highlighted a significant role of this vitamin. Vitamin B6 may also reduce the levels homocysteine in the body, an amino that is know to cause issues such as cerebrovascular disease, monoamine neurotransmitters, and depression of mood.[r244]
Daily Intake For Vitamin B6
Healthy Foods High In Vitamin B6
- All food nutrient profiles are based on a weight of 100 grams.
- * RDI values are based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day (Female, Age 19-30).
- All foods are vegetarian.