B6

What is B6?

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is naturally present in many foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.

What does Vitamin B6 do?

Vitamin B6 is a necessary nutrient which is responsible for the proper function of many enzymes within our bodies. It helps our bodies make antibodies and maintain normal nerve function. It contributes in the manufacturing of serotonin and plays a key part in the cell and production of hemoglobin within the immune system. Vitamin B6 is involved in the procedure of carbohydrate breaking down, while processing it to be converted into energy for our daily activities. Vitamin B6 also aids in the regulation of progesterone and estrogen. B6 is crucially important for assisting in the breakdown of the consumed proteins and effective use of amino acids; and it will help keep your blood sugar levels in a steady, normal range, which is particularly helpful for those with circumstances relating to insulin levels, like hypoglycemia or diabetes. Lastly, B vitamins also work to prevent depression and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

When your caloric intake is low, B6 will also play a predominant role in helping you derive energy from the carbohydrates you do eat. So, to be certain you are not feeling excessively exhausted while dieting, make sure your B6 needs are being met.

Where is B6 found?

Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods. And the richest sources of B6 include organ meats, beef liver, and fish, as well as chickpeas, potatoes, tofu, yellow fin tuna, rice, chicken breast, ground beef, fortified cereals, raisins, bananas, waffles, bulgur, cottage cheese, watermelon, winter squash, nuts, salmon, onions, turkey, spinach, and marinara sauce. Almost every person on the planet can gain this vitamin through the foods we eat.

What happens when someone is deficient in B6?

Studies show that a Vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with eczema, impaired nerves, morning sickness in pregnant woman, carpal tunnel syndrome, and convulsions in children. Other symptoms of a B6 deficiency include; arthritis, depression, a greater number of stillborn births from women who were chronically deficient, irritability, confusion, anemia, and cracked lips. However, taking this nutrient in large amounts for long periods can cause neurologic problems, numbness, toxicity, coordination difficulty, and sensory changes.

Helpful food sources, supplements and additional benefits of B6

B6 is available in supplements and is one of the most recommended of the B vitamins. As earlier stated, some natural sources of B6 are; avocado, bananas, navy beans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, wheat germ, chicken breast, and liver.
Women who experience severe PMS can profit from taking B6 on a regular basis, because this nutrient acts by managing the levels of estrogen. B6 has several benefits that can assist in supporting the healing process in the body. Vitamin B6 is naturally a diuretic because it can aid in helping the body lose weight, when it is accompanied by a sensible diet and exercise. As with anything, consult your physician.

 

AIs (Adequate Intakes)

Infants
0-6 months
7-12 months
Milligrams per Day
0.1
0.3

RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children
1-3 years
4-8 years
Milligrams per Day
0.5
0.6
Males
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

1.0
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.7
1.7
Females
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

1.0
1.2
1.3
1.3
1.5
1.5
Pregnancy
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

1.9
1.9
1.9
Lactation
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

2.0
2.0
2.0

 

Source: USDA Dietary Reference Intakes