Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that was first discovered in the 1930's. There are actually six forms of vitamin B-6: pyridoxal (PL), pyridoxine (PN), pyridoxamine (PM), and their phosphate derivatives: pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), pyridoxine 5'-phosphate (PNP), and pridoxamine 5'-phospate (PNP). PLP is the active coenzyme form, and has the most importance in human metabolism. However, Pyridoxine (PN) is the most common form of vitamin B6.
With just under 2 mg a day of vitamin B6 Pyridoxine, your body is able to make more than 60 different enzymes that help your immune system stay in top gear, keep your red blood cells red, and help the rest of your body functioning properly. All that, and we haven't even gotten to what a little extra pyridoxine could do for you.
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Health Benefits
The human body is a sophisicated machine, the food you eat may not be the right fuel if they are not processed right. You need Pyridoxine to turn the proteins from the food you eat into the proteins your body can use, and you need it to convert carbohydrates from the form you store them in into the form you can use for energy.
What kind of proteins does your body need? First of all, hemoglobin - the stuff that carries oxygen in your red blood cells. Pyridoxine is needed to make lots of other proteins including hormones, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. You also need it to make prostaglandins, hormone - substances that regulate functions like your blood pressure. Pyridoxine is crucial for converting the foods you eat into carbohydrates or fat your body can store - and for turning the stored forms into forms you can use when you need extra energy.
Normal amounts of pyridoxine keeps your body working normally. What can extra amounts of pyridoxine do? A lot, especially for your heart and immune system, and for asthma and diabetes. When pyridoxine teams up with folic acid and cobalamin, your risk of heart disease drops. you don't need a lot of extra pyridoxine to get the benefit. Just doubling your pyridoxine intake - to just 3.6 milligrams - could make a big difference. Not only will your heart be healthier, you might also help some other health problems. People with asthma and diabetes often benefit from pyridoxine, and it may also help high blood pressure and PMS.
Similar to Pantothenic Acid, deficiency in Pyridoxine is rare in today's society. The natural food sources rich in Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine include:
Beef Liver, Chicken, Ground Beef, Hazelnuts, Lentiles, Salmon, Shrimp, Soybeans and Sunflower Seeds
Alcoholics are thought to be most at risk of vitamin B-6 deficiency, due to a low intake and impaired metabolism of the vitamin. Besides people who abuse alcohol and drugs, the following people should be careful with their Pyridoxine level as well:
Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding
People with inadequate caloric or nutritional dietary intake
People with increased nutritional requirements (e.g. under work / study stress, athletes in training period)
People with a chronic wasting illness, such as malignancies, pancreatic insufficiency, cirrhosis of the liver, spruce etc...
People with hyperhyroidism
Women taking oral contraceptives or estrogen
People with elevated homocysteine levels
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Deficiency Symptoms
In the early 1950's seizures were observed in infants as a result of severe vitamin B-6 deficiency due to an error in the manufacturing of infant formula. Abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns have been noted in some studies of vitamin B-6 deficiency. Other neurological symptoms noted in severe vitamin B-6 deficiency include: