Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) | Deficiencies, Excesses and Recommendations
Vitamin b-6 is necessary for protein metabolism. Vitamin b-6 helps convert food into energy and make red blood cells. B-6 also helps maintain normal blood levels of homocysteine, as excess homocysteine may cause heart disease.
Vitamin b-6 is known as pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. These forms can be converted to each other in the body.
Pyridoxine, pyridoxal, p-5-p and p-l-p are available as supplements. Pyridoxamine is no longer available as a supplement but only as a prescription drug unless ordered overseas. Pyridoxamine was not pulled from the market because of any safety concerns.
B-6 is necessary for the production of many neurotransmitters especially serotonin, dopamine and GABA.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Get Enough?
- Possible increased risk of cancer
- Possible increased risk of kidney stones
- Possible increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome
Vitamin B-6 deficiency is not always due to an inadequate intake of the vitamin from food. It can also be the result of other things that affect its absorption or utilization:
- Alcohol is known to interfere with vitamin b-6 metabolism and may lead to a deficiency.
- Systemic inflammation, a condition of many chronic diseases, may impair vitamin b-6 metabolism even when adequate amounts are consumed.
What Can Happen If I Get Too Much?
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Extreme sensitivity to sunlight
- Painful, unsightly skin patches
- Stomach issues such as nausea or heartburn
The upper tolerable limit for vitamin b-6 is 100mg. Neuropathy from taking too much b-6 could be permanent. Supplementing over 100mg of b-6 should be done only with medical supervision.
Make wild salmon, tuna, halibut, turkey or chicken part of your diet. Hazelnuts and walnuts, in sufficient quantities, are good plant sources of b-6.
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Potential Life Enhancements
- May provide additional comfort during PMS
- May help ease the sensation of nausea during pregnancy
- May prevent clogged arteries and reduce heart attack risk
- May reduce risk of anemia by aiding in hemoglobin production
- May reduce risk of late-life depression especially after a stroke
- May support a positive mood, especially when a deficiency exists
- May promote brain health and reduce the impact of aging on the brain