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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 B6s 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 Parkinsons disease
patients being treated with L-dopa should not take vitamin
B6 as it can diminish the effects of L-dopa in the brain.