Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 is a micronutrient that performs different functions in the body, because it acts in different reactions of the metabolism, mainly in the amino acids and enzymes, which are proteins that help regulate the body’s chemical processes.
Furthermore, it also regulates reactions both in the development and in the functioning of the nervous system, protecting neurons and producing neurotransmitters, important substances that transmit information between neurons.
This vitamin is present in most foods and is also synthesized by the bacterial flora of the intestine, including its main sources of bananas, fish such as salmon, fish, shrimp and hazelnuts, for example. However, it is also available in the form of a supplement, and can be recommended by the doctor or nutritionist in case of a deficiency of this vitamin. See a list of foods rich in vitamin B6.
what is it for
The consumption of foods with vitamin B6 serves to:
1. Participate in energy production
Vitamin B6 acts as a coenzyme in several metabolic reactions in the body, participating in the production of energy by acting in the metabolism of amino acids, fats and proteins. In addition, it also participates in the production of neurotransmitters, substances that are important for the good functioning of the nervous system.
2. Could help prevent PMS symptoms
Some studies indicate that vitamin B6 intake could reduce the occurrence and severity of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as changes in temperament, irritability, lack of concentration and anxiety, for example.
PMS could develop due to the interaction of hormones produced by the ovaries with brain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and GABA. The vitamins of the B complex, including vitamin B6, is involved in the metabolism of neurotransmitters, being a coenzyme that acts in the production of serotonin. However, more studies are needed to understand with more details which would be the possible benefits of consuming this vitamin in the PMS.
3. Could prevent heart disease
Some studies indicate that the intake of certain vitamins of the B complex, including B6, could reduce the risk of suffering heart diseases, due to which it reduces inflammation, homocysteine levels and inhibits the production of free radicals. In addition, other studies indicate that a pyridoxine deficiency could cause hyperhomocysteinemia, a condition that can damage the walls of the arteries. Vitamin B6 acts as an enzymatic cofactor in the degradation of homocysteine in the body, this is a substance that when it is elevated in the blood can cause cardiovascular problems.
However, more studies are needed to investigate this association between vitamin B6 and cardiovascular risk, as the results have been inconsistent.
4. Improve the immune system
Vitamin B6 has been involved in regulating the response of the immune system associated with a wide range of diseases, including inflammation and various types of cancer, as it could mediate the signs of the immune system, increasing the body’s defenses.
5. Improve nausea and vomiting during embarassment
Vitamin B6 intake during embarrassment could help to improve nausea, morning sickness and vomiting during embarrassment. For this reason, women should preferably include foods rich in this vitamin and only take a supplement if recommended by the doctor.
6. It could prevent depression
Because vitamin B6 is related to the production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, some studies indicate that the intake of this vitamin reduces the risk of depression and anxiety. In addition, other studies also link the deficiency of B vitamins with high levels of homocysteine, a substance that could increase the risk of depression and dementia.
7. Could relieve rheumatoid arthritis
Vitamin B6 intake could help to reduce inflammation in cases of rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, relieving symptoms, as it acts as a mediator of the body’s inflammatory response.
Recommended daily dose of Vitamin B6
The recommended amount of pyridoxine varies according to age and gender, as shown in the table below:
|age||Quantity of Vitamin B6 per day|
|0 to 6 months||0.1 mg|
|7 to 12 months||0.3 mg|
|1 to 3 years||0.5 mg|
|4 to 8 years||0.6 mg|
|9 to 13 years||1 mg|
|Men between 14 to 50 years old||1.3 mg|
|Men over 51 years old||1.7 mg|
|Girls between 14 to 18 years old||1.2 mg|
|Women between 19 and 50 years old||1.3 mg|
|Women over 51 years old||1.5 mg|
|Embarrassed women||1.9 mg|
|Women in the period of lactation||2.0 mg|
A healthy and varied diet provides adequate amounts of this vitamin to maintain the proper functioning of the organism. Its supplementation is only recommended in cases where a deficiency of this vitamin is diagnosed, it should be used under the indications of a doctor or nutritionist.
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