Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in various biological functions in the human body. It is essential for the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are important for mood regulation.
Additionally, it contributes to the formation of red blood cells and helps maintain the health of the nervous and immune systems. Good dietary sources of vitamin B6 include poultry, fish, potatoes, bananas, and fortified cereals. A deficiency in vitamin B6 can lead to symptoms such as anemia, dermatitis, and neurological problems.
Functions of Vitamin B6:
- Metabolism of Amino Acids:
- Vitamin B6 is involved in the metabolism of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It helps convert one amino acid into another and plays a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
- Glycogen Breakdown:
- It is important for the breakdown of glycogen, the stored form of glucose in the body, into usable glucose.
- Hemoglobin Production:
- Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
- Immune System Function:
- It contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system.
- Nervous System Health:
- Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of myelin, a protective covering of nerves, and helps maintain the health of the nervous system.
Foods rich in vitamin B6 are:
Common vitamin B6 deficiency symptoms
It’s pretty well-known that if you have low vitamin B6, you may experience symptoms, including:
Rashes around the nose
Cracks or rashes around the mouth
Numbness in the hands and feet
Surprising symptoms of a vitamin B6 deficiency:
1. Inflammation (especially gut inflammation)
2. Inability to control polyunsaturated fatty acids
3. Deficiencies in neurotransmitters
4. Inability to convert ALA to DHA
5. Poor selenium function 6. Inability to convert tryptophan to niacin
7. Alopecia 8. Seizures
9. High homocysteine levels
10. Increased risk of autism
11. Increased risk of gut pathogens
Causes of vitamin B6 deficiency:
Blood pressure medications
Birth control pills
Pregnancy or lactation