Function of Vitamin B6:
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).
Deficiency of Vitamin B6:
There are several potential causes of vitamin B6 deficiency including malnutrition,
alcoholism, oral contraceptives, and other medications containing
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.
Toxicity (Vitamin B6 Overdose):
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 health care 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.
Vitamin B6 Food Chart (List of Foods High in Vitamin B6):
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)
American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS
Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH
University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu
Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
vitamin B6 can help prevent
conditions such as impaired
immune function, congnitive
decline, dementia, and kidney
stones. Foods high in vitamin B6
include: salmon, chicken, turkey,
potato with skin, bananas,
spinach, and hazelnuts.
What is Vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 is one of eight
water-soluble B vitamins.
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