Vitamin B6 Benefits: Overview
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is one of the B complex vitamins. These are some of the most important vitamins out there. They’re involved in metabolism and the production of energy. Deficiency can lead to a host of debilitating conditions, while supplementing with pyridoxine can confer many health benefits.
Vitamin B6 Benefits: Enzymatic Reactions
Vitamin B6 is best known for its impact on enzymes; it’s involved in over a hundred different such reactions. This is hugely important because enzymes are involved in countless reactions throughout your body, including, among other things, digestion.
Vitamin B6 Benefits: Processing Carbohydrates
Carbs have gotten a lot of bad press lately, especially on the diet front. And with good reason: it’s excess carbohydrates, moreso than excess fat, that causes us to gain weight. Well, our bodies couldn’t process carbs without vitamin B6. Not only that, but vitamin B6 also facilitates the breakdown of glycogen from our muscles. This makes vitamin B6 important not just for weight loss, but also for athletic performance.
Vitamin B6 Benefits: Mental Functioning
Vitamin B6 is also vital for brain functioning. Your brain needs it to produce certain types of neurotransmitters. Long-term deficiency in this vitamin could leave you with an increased risk for dementia of the Alzheimer type.
Vitamin B6 Benefits: More Benefits
Here are some more benefits I’ll mention briefly:
- Strengthens your immune system
- Promotes healthy skin
- Needed to make new cells and produce red blood cells
- Helps maintain stable blood sugar levels
Do I Need More?
You might be deficient in vitamin B6 if you have some of these symptoms:
- Irritability or depression
- Acne, seborrheic dermatitis, or eczema
- Yeast infections
- Water retention
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cracked lips
Benefits of Supplementation
In a perfect world, we’d get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our diets. But that’s a pipe dream. For one thing, modern farming techniques have decreased the nutrient content of many foods, including fruits and vegetables. And on top of that, there’s the fact that processing vitamin B6 (freezing, canning, or cooking) can strips away 40-80% of it. With this in mind, supplementing with a high-quality, highly bioavailable vitamin B6 product can help you get what your body needs. I’ve read reports that as many as 30% of us are deficient in this vitamin!
You can get too much of a good thing, even something as healthy as vitamin B6. Talk to your doctor if you plan on taking a high dose, and don’t go above 50 grams per day. It can also help to take pyridoxine along with other B vitamins and magnesium.
Thanks for reading about the benefits of vitamin B6. To learn more about some B complex vitamins, check out niacin benefits, foods with vitamin B, B12 overdose, and symptoms of deficiency of vitamin B12.