Why Your Blood Needs Vitamin B6 (Find Out Here)
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Our bodies depend on vitamin B6 to produce red blood cells. Vitamin B6 is also needed for the normal functioning of the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles.
It is a vital nutrient that helps prevent many chronic health problems including anemia, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and even diabetes.
Did you know that vitamin B6 is critical to helping your body produce energy, make DNA and other cell components, and keep your nervous system running smoothly?.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the reasons why your blood might depend on getting enough of this vital nutrient.
What is vitamin B6 and what does it do?
Vitamin B6, usually referred to as pyridoxine, is required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, and for myelin formation.
Pyridoxine deficiency in adults principally affects the peripheral nerves, skin, mucous membranes, and the blood cell system.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. There are three different natural forms of vitamin B6:
pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxal, all of which are normally present in foods.
Pyridoxine is a form of vitamin B6 dietary supplement that is used to treat pyridoxine deficiency and sideroblastic anemia.
A dietary intake of vitamin B6
- Protein and glycogen metabolism
- Normal function of the nervous system
- Red blood cell formation
- Immune function
- The regulation of hormonal activity
- Homocysteine metabolism
- Energy-yielding metabolism
- Cysteine synthesis
- Psychological functions
Is vitamin B6 good for your blood?
Yes. Sufficient intakes of foods and dietary supplements containing vitamin B6 is good for your body. Here are the reasons why your blood needs vitamin B6.
Several observations have suggested that low dietary intake of vitamin B6 leads to higher risk of heart disease.
In addition, vitamin B6 has been shown to play a role in lowering blood levels of homocysteine; high levels of this amino acid appears to be linked with heart disease, but it is not clear whether lowering levels of homocysteine will reduce the risk of heart disease.
Studies indicate that an adequate vitamin B6 intake is especially important in the elderly, as this
group often suffers from impaired immune function.
The amount of vitamin B6 required to improve the immune system has been shown to be higher than the current recommended intake.
Because of mixed study findings, it is presently unclear whether supplementation with vitamin B6
and other B vitamins might lessen age-related cognitive decline.
Some study findings suggest that increased intake of vitamin B6 might decrease the risk of developing kidney stones, while other trials have not shown such relationship.
What foods provide vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 is found naturally in many foods and is added to other processed foods. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin B6 by eating:
- Cereal grains
Are vitamin B6 dietary supplements available?
Vitamin B6 is available in dietary supplements, usually in the form of pyridoxine.
Dietary supplements that contain only vitamin B6, or vitamin B6 with other B vitamins, are also available.
Are you getting enough vitamin B6 in your blood?
Most people have no problem getting vitamin B6 from the diet, however, some individuals are at risk of deficiency, and these are people with:
- Alcohol dependence
- Kidney dialysis
- Autoimmune disorders
- Malabsorption syndromes
- Congestive heart failure
What happens if you don’t get enough vitamin B6 in your blood?
Vitamin B6 deficiency is rare. People who don’t get enough of this vitamin can have a range of symptoms including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Attention deficit disorder
Other symptoms of very low vitamin B6 levels are depression, confusion, and weak immune system.
Infants who do not get enough vitamin B6 can develop extreme sensitive hearing.
How much vitamin B6 do you need?
The amount of vitamin B6 required by the body varies from persons to persons, it depends on factors such as age, gender, absorptivity and bioavailability.
The average daily recommended amounts of vitamin B6 are listed below in milligrams.
- Birth to 6 months: 0.1 mg
- Infants 7–12 months: 0.3 mg
- Children 1–3 years: 0.5 mg
- Children 4–8 years: 0.6 mg
- Children 9–13 years: 1.0 mg
- Teens 14–18 years: 1.2 mg
- Adults 19–50 years 1.3 mg
- Adults 51+ years: 1.5 mg
- Pregnant women: 1.9 mg
- Breastfeeding women: 2.0 mg
Does vitamin B6 interact with any medications?
Yes, vitamin B6 supplements can interfere with medicines that you take. Here are several examples:
- Epilepsy drugs
All these drugs can reduce vitamin B6 levels and cause seizures.
Is vitamin B6 harmful to your blood?
People never get too much vitamin B6 from food. But taking high levels of vitamin B6 supplements can cause severe nerve damage. The symptoms usually stop when you stop taking the supplements.
Other symptoms of too much vitamin B6 include skin patches, extreme sensitivity to sunlight, nausea, and heartburn.
The daily upper limits for vitamin B6 are listed below. These levels do not apply to people who are taking vitamin B6 for medical reasons under the care of a doctor.
- Children 1–3 years: 30 mg
- Children 4–8 years: 40 mg
- Children 9–18 years: 60 mg
- Teens 14–18 years: 80 mg
- Adults: 100 mg
Vitamin B6 helps in making DNA, red blood cells, keeps the immune system functioning and is necessary for kidney function.
Eating foods containing vitamin B6 is not sufficient enough to provide adequate amounts of this vitamin.
However, taking vitamin B6 dietary supplement daily can prevent deficiencies and other health complications including heart related diseases, poor immunity and
Be sure to follow the recommended daily allowance for vitamin B6 supplement to prevent any side effects.
Always share your health concerns with a health care provider before buying any vitamin B6 dietary supplement.
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