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Vitamin B6. Why do we need it?

It is well-known that vitamins are very important for our health. But do we know why they are so crucial and how much vitamin do we really need? Today’s blog post is about the B6, one of the main vitamins from the B complex family.

Vitamin B6 benefits

The Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine, has numerous functions which are extremely important for our health.

Because it is involved in so many enzymatic reactions, adequate levels are key for promoting and maintaining a healthy body. In today’s post, you will learn several benefits of vitamin B6. Did you know that our genes are a key-factor determining our requirement for vitamin B6?

  • Vitamin B6 is crucial for red blood cell metabolism – Hemoglobin, the protein in blood that carries oxygen throughout our body, needs vitamin B6 to be produced and to properly carry the oxygen.
  • Vitamin B6 acts as a coenzyme with more than 100 enzymes involved in the metabolism of proteins.
  • Vitamin B6 can also impact our mood, our sleep and our sensitivity to pain. It also helps us control stress. Why is that? Because vitamin B6 is required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (which regulates mood), melatonin (to regulate our internal clock and our sleep), norepinephrine (helps us control stress) and dopamine (for normal nerve cell communication).
  • Vitamin B6 is good for our brain – Children need vitamin B6 to properly develop their brain. Adults need it to make the brain work properly.
  • Because low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, vitamin B6 might help reduce its symptoms – some scientists believe.
  • Vitamin B6 is important for the immune system – It is known that vitamin B6 helps to create antibodies to protect us from various types of infections. It also contributes to maintaining the health of lymphoid organs (thymus, spleen and lymph nodes) that make our white blood cells.
  • Vitamin B6 is beneficial for inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin B6 can be used to manage the condition because it lowers the levels of the inflammatory markers such as IL-6 and TNF-alpha.
  • Vitamin B6 for normal blood glucose (sugar) – When caloric intake is low, our body needs vitamin B6 which help the body to metabolize fats and carbs and break down glycogen, the storage form of glucose and therefore maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Deficiencies of B6 are common in those with type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin B6 during the pregnancy

Vitamin B6 during the pregnancy

Are you pregnant? So, be sure to eat foods that are rich in vitamin B6! Several studies show that getting vitamin B6 every day helps to reduce the symptoms of morning sickness like nausea and vomiting.

Pregnant and lactating women are also advised to consume a diet rich in vitamin B-6 because of the development of the central nervous system of the child.

Vitamin B6 for PMS

If you suffer before getting your period, vitamin B6 also can help you. Other studies indicate that this vitamin provides relief from the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Vitamin B6 benefits for skin

Our beauty also depends on vitamin B – it helps us to maintain a flawless skin! Vitamin B6 is one of the best natural ways to slow down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, preventing premature ageing signs. Vitamin B6 helps your skin and body heal quickly and smoothly by aiding in the synthesis of RNA and DNA.

Vitamin B6 can help to relieve various skin conditions like dry skin, eczema and acne. Not only that: this type of vitamin also treats a few serious skin disorders such as psoriasis and melanoma.

Insufficient amounts of B6 can result in dry, cracking skin with reduced elasticity.

Vitamin B6 for weight loss?

There is some evidence (though not scientifically proven yet) showing that vitamin B6 would help us to lose weight!

The explanation would be based on the fact that weight loss can be achieved by taking in fewer calories, by burning more calories or by the combination of those two things. In the case of vitamin B6, it could help burn up more calories.

The benefits of vitamin B6 start with a process called gluconeogenesis that turns glycogen into glucose. By promoting the conversion of glycogen to glucose, vitamin B6 would increase the energy level of our body without the need to ingest more carbs! In this way, vitamin B6 would reduce our calorie intake and, at the same time, burn up what we have stored.

By increasing our carbohydrate metabolism, vitamin B6 would prevent the accumulation of fat that directly affects our body’s weight.

But how much Vitamin B6 do we need?

The human body cannot make vitamins B, with exception of vitamin B3, so it is important to include foods rich in vitamin B6 as a part of your healthy diet.

What is more, our body is not capable of storing water-soluble vitamins, so we need to consume it every day! The amount of vitamin B6 that we need depends on so many factors… Depends on our gender, age, if a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding and many others.

Our daily requirements of Vitamin B6 are also determined by our DNA! Depending on our genetic predispositions, we will have more or less need for vitamins and minerals.

Some people are genetically prone to having a lower level of vitamin B6 in their body, which also, among other things, depends on the variant of a gene named ALPL. A study showed that people with an unfavorable copy of the ALPL gene had an approximately 20% lower level of vitamin B6. People with two unfavorable copies of the gene ALPL gene had, in comparison to people with two copies of favorable genes, up to a 40% lower level of vitamin B6. The reason for such differences is a less effective absorption of vitamin B6 in people with an unfavorable variant of the ALPL gene. As a result, they have a higher requirement of vitamin B6.

Good sources of vitamin B6

We can find Vitamin B6 in so many foods… Whole grains, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, seeds, fish (especially tuna, salmon and herring), pork, beef, poultry, eggs, yeast extract, brown rice and soya beans.

Foods high in vitamin B6 are also: asparagus, avocado, bananas, beans, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collard greens, kale, peas, spinach and turnip greens.


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