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The Importance of Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

By: Robert J Banach Baby Boomer Fitness Challenge | Robert J Banach | About | Sept. 2, 2013

What is Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine?

Cloves of GarlicPyridoxine is a water-soluble B complex vitamin, there are many forms of Vitamin B6, Pyridoxal Phosphate (PLP) being the active form. Pyridoxine is a non-protein that is bound to a protein, it is known as a ‘helper molecule’ and is required for the protein’s biological activity.

Vitamin B6 is a molecule(s) that is found in most every chemical aspect in our bodies and is important for over 100 enzymatic processes. Our protein building blocks (amino acids) require it for synthesis, as does our DNA for it’s creation and regeneration.

Some of our bodies basic requirements that need Vitamin B6 are for the processing of carbohydrates for energy, as a neurotransmitter for our nervous system, for hormonal balance, for elimination of toxic waste and to help prevent unwanted inflammation in our bodies.

Sources

Good sources of Vitamin B6 include meats, whole grain products, vegetables, nuts and bananas.

Most every type of processing decreases the availability of Vitamin B6, some up to 70%. Cooking and storage will, also, decrease the availability, so eating fresh and quick cooked foods are the best ways to get your Vitamin B6.

Recommended Daily Intake

  • 0-6 months: 100 micrograms
  • 6-12 months: 300 micrograms
  • 1-3 years: 500 micrograms
  • 4-8 years: 600 micrograms
  • Males 9-13 years: 1.0 milligram
  • Males 14-50 years: 1.3 milligrams
  • Males 51 years and older: 1.7 milligrams
  • Females 9-13 years: 1.0 milligram
  • Females 14-50: 1.2 milligrams
  • Females 51 years and older: 1.5 milligrams
  • Pregnant females of any age: 1.9 milligrams
  • Lactating females of any age: 2.0 milligrams

Supplements

Most people, with a relatively healthy diet, consume sufficient Vitamin B6 each day to meet their daily recommended intake. If you are taking any type of multi-vitamin you will be ingesting more than your daily recommended intake.

Deficiency

The primary sign of a Vitamin B6 deficiency is seborrhea (“seborrheic eczema”), an inflammatory skin disorder affecting the scalp, face, and torso. Typically, seborrheic dermatitis causes scaly, flaky, itchy, and red skin. Other deficiences in adults are effects to the peripheral nerves, skin, mucous membranes, and the circulatory (blood cell) system. In children, the central nervous system (CNS) may be effected. Deficiency can occur in people with uremia, alcoholism, cirrhosis, hyperthyroidism, malabsorption syndromes, and congestive heart failure (CHF), and in those taking certain medications.

Mild deficiency of vitamin B6 is common, primarily in underdeveloped countries.

Toxicity

There are no documented cases of Vitamin B6 toxicity for food ingestion. Whereas doses of pyridoxine in excess of the RDI over long periods of time result in painful and ultimately irreversible neurological problems.

Resources:

Office of Dietary Supplements (NIH) | Mayo Clinic | WHFoods.org | Wikipedia | Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State Univ. | USDA

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