Eating foods that are high in vitamin B6 can help prevent conditions such as impaired immune function, cognitive decline, dementia, and kidney stones. Foods high in vitamin B6 include: salmon, chicken, turkey, potato with skin, bananas, spinach, and hazelnuts.
Vitamin B6 is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins.
The B vitamins work together to convert carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), which is then “burned” to produce energy. B vitamins are often referred to as B-complex vitamins and are essential in the metabolism of fats and protein. They are necessary for maintaining muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and promoting the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.
Vitamin B6 plays a major role in normal brain development and function. It participates in the process of making important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. It is also essential for maintaining healthy nerve and muscle cells, and for the production of DNA and RNA (the body’s genetic material). Vitamin B6 is also needed for proper absorption of vitamin B12, and for the production of red blood cells and cells of the immune system. Studies show that it may help to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
There are several potential causes of vitamin B6 deficiency including malnutrition, alcoholism, oral contraceptives, and other medications containing estro-progestational hormones.
Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency include nervousness, muscle weakness, irritability, depression, difficulty in concentrating, short-term memory loss, insomnia, loss of libido, water retention, and inability to process glucose (weight loss/gain).
Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.
Taking very high doses of vitamin B6 can cause neurological disorders, such as loss of sensation in legs and imbalance.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in vitamin B6 is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider before starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children’s reach.
Potato, Russet, baked, with skin, 1 medium – (0.70 mg)
Chicken, light meat, without skin, cooked, 3 ounces – (0.51 mg)
Salmon, wild, cooked, 3 ounces – (0.48 mg)
Spinach, cooked, 1 cup – (0.44 mg)
Banana 1 medium – (0.43 mg)
Turkey, without skin, cooked, 3 ounces – (0.39 mg)
Vegetable juice cocktail 6 ounces – (0.26 mg)
Hazelnuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce – (0.18 mg)