Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine Foods, Benefits and Deficiency Symptoms

Like all the other B vitamins that you take in through your daily diet, this water soluble vitamin is yet another that is going to play a number of roles in the body and is required on an everyday basis.

Unlike fat soluble vitamins that can easily be stored in the body fat for future use, vitamin B6 will be excreted each day if an abundance is taken in, meaning that you must make sure you’re getting enough of this nutrient regularly.

The B vitamins are well known for all their energy boosting effects, but it’s important to understand the individual roles that vitamin B6 plays in the body especially so you can see the importance of getting it in.

Let’s have a look at what vitamin B6 is and what it will do for you.

A List of Vitamin B6 Foods

Walnuts are high in vitamin b6

Walnuts are high in vitamin b6

Here are some top foods that are rich in vitamin B6:

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Carrots
  • Chicken
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs – Especially the yolk
  • Fish
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Organ meats
  • Peas
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole grains

How To Consume More Vitamin B6

To help boost your intake of vitamin B6, consider making some easy additions to your daily diet.

Start sprinkling on some chopped walnuts on your morning bowl of oatmeal, add in some wheat germ to any protein shakes or fruit smoothies you happen to be making, start swapping fish into your evening meal rather than beef a few nights a week, and make sure that you’re not forget about peas as a starchy carbohydrate source.

Since eggs also make a great source of vitamin B6, consider these as a fast and nutritious meal when you’re on the go. If you focus on these small additions or swaps, you’l have no trouble meeting your vitamin B6 requirements.

What Does Vitamin B6 Do?

Vitamin B6, which is also sometimes referred to as Pyridoxine, is an important nutrient for helping to balance hormonal changes that take place regularly inside a woman’s body. Each month women go through various changes from a hormonal point of view with their regular monthly cycle and this nutrient will be important for regulating this process.

In addition to that, vitamin B6 also plays an important role in supporting a healthy immune system as it’s required to assist with the maintenance of this system and the growth of new cells.

Another role that vitamin B6 will have in the body is with the digestion of proteins, fats, as well as carbohydrates so you’re able to get all the nutrients and energy that each of these macronutrients provides.

Those who are not getting vitamin B6 may experience deficiencies in other nutrients if the foods they’re eating are not being broken down properly, so this really is something that’s very essential to consider.

Moving along, yet another important function of vitamin B6 in your body is to help regulate your mood states, improving your everyday feelings of wellness. Behavior is also regulated through the intake of vitamin B6 and for this reason, children who are suffering from learning difficulties are often prescribed this vitamin as part of their treatment protocol.

Vitamin B6 will come in with the balancing the important electrolytes in the body, sodium and potassium, which is important for proper nervous system function.

Your red blood cells depend on vitamin B6 for regular production as well, which is essential for keeping the blood oxygenated and being sent to the working muscles of the body.

Parts of the Body Affected By Vitamin B6

  • CNS – Central Nervous System – The Brain
  • Skin
  • Thymus
  • Immune cells

The Health Benefits of Vitamin B6

When you are sure to get enough vitamin B6 in your diet or are using supplementation to help you meet your requirements, you’ll help to boost your immune system function, therefore prevent the common cold and flu virus from developing.

In addition to this, you can also help to fight the formation of homocysteine, which is a substance that is very harmful to the human heart, so you’ll boost your heart health by adding this vitamin to your daily diet.

Women who very often combat intense PMS symptoms such as bloating, cramps, mood swings, or other associated pains will definitely benefit from adding more vitamin B6 to their diet as it will lessen the severity of these symptoms and in some cases, it may even alleviate them.

Vitamin B6 Recommended Daily Amount

The recommended daily intake for vitamin B6 is set at:

  • 0-6 months: 0.1 mg
  • 7-12 months: 0.3 mg
  • 1-3 years: 0.5 mg
  • 4-8 years: 0.6 mg
  • 9-13 years: 1.0 mg
  • 14-18 years (males): 1.3 mg
  • 14-18 years (females): 1.7 mg
  • 19 years and older (males): 1.2 mg
  • 19 years and older (females): 1.3 mg
  • Pregnant females: 1.3 mg
  • Breastfeeding females: 1.5 mg

It should be noted that if you’re taking antidepressants or contraceptive pills your requirement for vitamin B6 may be slightly higher than the average individual, so talk with your doctor to see if you should increase your daily intake.

Vitamin B6 Deficiency Symptoms

If you aren’t taking in enough vitamin B6 on a daily basis, there are a number of deficiency symptoms that could occur.

First, you may find that you become extremely irritable and have a high degree of nervousness. In addition to that, you may also start to experience insomnia if the deficiency is let to go on long enough.

Other common deficiency signs that are often noted include a feeling of general weakness in the body, changes in the skin illustrating dermatitis or acne, and allergies may flair up as well more often when vitamin B6 isn’t being consumed in adequate amounts.

Finally, kidney stones could come about without proper vitamin B6 intake and your nails may start to show signs of ridge formation across their beds.

So there you have all the facts to note about vitamin B6. It’s a very important nutrient for a wide variety of different body functions so have a good look over your current diet and make sure that you’re getting enough to meet your daily requirements.

One comment

  • Lucy

    Hi I have been reading quite a lot about the B vitamins recently. I kept reading about how effective B6 is for fighting anxiety. However when you look into it further it appears that B3 and B6 are both helpful for reducing nerves. B6 deficiency symptoms from the text book I am reading include: hyperactivity, fatigue, nervousness, depression, apprehension and disturb sleep which can result in insomnia.

    The best form of B3 to take is (b6) Niacinamide as this can enter into the brain more easily than niacin. Some people have a far greater requirement for this essential vitamin than others. Niacinamide is not stored in the body long-term so a daily does is needed. I get conflicting reports of the best daily dose for anxiety but I have found that a daily does of 2g is working wonders for me.

    So if you suffer from anxiety problems I would suggest looking into or getting hold of some high quality Niacinamide as it may help reduce your nerves quite a lot, also it works real fast, I noticed a difference within 3 days!

    Lucy 😉

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