Vitamin B6

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Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine, is an essential vitamin to aid in the formation of healthy red blood cells and supports more vital bodily functions than any other vitamin. A water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin B6 is needed to release energy from the food we eat. Since it cannot be stored in the body, it must be obtained daily from either food or supplements. So how do you get Vitamin B6? You can find it in natural food sources such as potatoes, bread, meat, fish, eggs, beans, bananas, nuts, and seed like sunflower seeds.

Vitamin B6’s role as a coenzyme involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is what makes it important for dieters. Vitamin B6 is also responsible for the manufacture of hormones, red blood cells, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and prostaglandins. Vitamin B6 is required for the production of seratonin, a brain neurotransmitter that controls mood, appetite, sleep patterns, and sensitivity to pain. A vitamin B6 deficiency can eventually lead to insomnia and malfunctioning of the central nervous system.

Among its many benefits, vitamin B6 is recognized for helping to maintain healthy immune system functions, for protecting the heart from cholesterol deposits, and for preventing kidney stone formation. Vitamin B6 is also effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, night leg cramps, allergies, asthma, and arthritis. Supplemental B6 is a commonly used as a treatment for nausea, morning sickness, and depression. Persons on high protein diets require extra vitamin B6, as do those taking antidepressants, amphetamines, oral contraceptives, and estrogen.

For weight loss, dieters should include vitamin B6 to increase their metabolism while rounding out a healthy diet.

Foods highest in vitamin B6 include brewers yeast, carrots, chicken, eggs, fish, avocados, bananas, brown rice, and whole grains. The RDA for vitamin B6 is 2 mg per day. Most B-complex formulas contain between 10 to 75 mg of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is one of the few vitamins that can be toxic. Doses up to 500 mg per day are uncommon but safe. However, doses above 2 grams per day can lead to irreversible neurological damage unless under the treatment of a physician. It is extremely important to note that Parkinson’s disease patients being treated with L-dopa should not take vitamin B6 as it can diminish the effects of L-dopa in the brain.

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