All You Need To Know About Vitamin B6

b6Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a part of the B complex family of water soluble vitamins.

Excess of a  water soluble vitamin cannot be stored in the body and is excreted through the urine.

Vitamin B6 is needed to help the various functions of the body.  It may aid the functions of the nervous system, the muscular system, the cardiovascular system and the digestive and immune systems.  Vitamin B6 helps raise the serotonin and dopamine levels and this may help conditions of the nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, seizures and depression.  It may also help to reduce the risks of stroke and macular degeneration.

For most people eating a healthy diet may provide enough vitamin B6.   Sometimes older adults are prone not to prepare meals and they may be low in B6.  The recommended daily amount of B6 for adults up to age 50 is 1.3 mg.  Over age 50 the daily recommended amount is 1.5 mg for women and 1.7 mg for men   Foods which are good sources of the vitamin are:  fish. liver, pistachios, bran, sunflower and sesame seeds, chicken breasts. whey powder, bananas, oatmeal, walnuts, tomato juice, lima beans, lean beef, molasses and peanut butter.

Indications that you may be lacking in vitamin B6 are irritability, a sore tongue, convulsions, anemia, depression, arthritis or anemia.  Morning sickness may be a problem for pregnant women and in severe cases of vitamin B6 deficiency pregnancy result in a stillbirth.

An excess of vitamin B6 may cause nausea, vomiting, acne, abnormal heart rhythm, heartburn, abdominal discomfort,  and headaches.  It may increase bleeding, affect blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure.

Vitamin B6 is usually included in multi-vitamin supplements.  It is also available as a single supplement.  Before taking a B6 supplement you should seek the advise of your health care professional to determine if it is safe for  you and, if so, the proper dosage.