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10 powerful health benefits of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 belongs to the B Vitamin group. These vitamins are essential for healthy cell activity. They support proper cell growth, production of blood cells, and metabolism. They also support the effective functioning of the central nervous system. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin and is also known as pyridoxine which means it dissolves in water. Your body cannot store Vitamin B6 and any excess is excreted in the urine. Since the body does not produce Vitamin B6 either, it is essential to get adequate Vitamin B6 through diet or supplements every day.

The health benefits of Vitamin B6 are discussed in detail in this article.

What are the health benefits of Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6 is required for over 100 enzyme functions in the body. A key role of vitamin B6 is in helping the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to generate energy. The health benefits of vitamin B6 are impressive. Some of the benefits are given below:

#1. Reduces The Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Promotes Cognitive Health

Homocysteine levels are linked to Alzheimer’s and memory problems. Vitamin B6 taken along with vitamin B12 and B9 help in lowering homocysteine levels and preventing the development of Alzheimer’s and memory problems but little is known if lower homocysteine levels help in enhancing brain function or slowing down the rate of cognitive impairment. More research is needed to confirm the effect of vitamin B6 on homocysteine levels and brain function.

#2. Manages Symptoms of Depression and Enhances Mood

The health benefits of vitamin B6 in enhancing mood are supported by the fact that the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid that regulate mood depends on vitamin B6. But research has not shown that vitamin B6 is effective in treating mood disorders.

Depression is associated with high levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Intake of vitamin B6 may help in reducing homocysteine levels to manage the symptoms of depression and other psychiatric conditions. Studies have shown that inadequate intake of vitamin B6 and reduced blood levels are linked to symptoms of depression, especially in elderly persons who are prone to vitamin B deficiency.

#3. Promotes haemoglobin production

Vitamin B6 plays a pivotal role in the formation of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein that is responsible for transporting oxygen to your cells. Your cells do not receive adequate oxygen if the haemoglobin level is low. You become anaemic and will feel tired and weak. Vitamin B6 deficiency, especially in pregnant women and lactating mothers, is linked to anaemia.

Vitamin B6 is uncommon in the majority of healthy persons and so there is little study on utilising vitamin B6 to treat anaemia in persons other than the ones likely to have vitamin B6 deficiency like pregnant women and lactating mothers.

#4. May Help In Treating Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

Vitamin B6 has been an effective treatment for morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy for decades. The role of vitamin B6 in a healthy pregnancy is manifold but researchers are unsure as to how it helps in treating morning sickness. A study conducted on the effect of vitamin B6 combined with ginger showed a significant decrease in nausea by 31% after just four days.

#5. Reduces The Risk of Heart Disease

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in reducing homocysteine levels which is linked to several health conditions including heart disease. High homocysteine levels lead to the clogging of arteries and by reducing the homocysteine levels vitamin B6 prevents the clogging of arteries and reduces the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin B6 are more susceptible to heart disease.

#6. May Prevent Cancer

Adequate vitamin B6 levels may help reduce your risk of getting some cancers. Researchers speculate that the capacity of vitamin B6 to combat inflammation, which may lead to cancer and other chronic illnesses, may be the reason why it may help prevent cancer.

#7. Promotes Eye Health and Prevents Age-related Macular Degeneration

High homocysteine levels in the blood have been associated with an elevated risk of age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin B6, by reducing levels of homocysteine in the blood may prevent eye conditions and minimise the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

#8. May Reduce Symptoms of Arthritis

B6 levels in the blood may be decreased by inflammation brought on by rheumatoid arthritis.

High doses of B6 supplements may be used to treat deficiencies and lessen inflammation, but more research is required to validate these outcomes.

#9. May Reduce Symptoms of PMS

Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS include mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Vitamin B6 may reduce symptoms of PMS owing to its role in creating neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. It was also established that taking 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 200 mg of magnesium daily dramatically reduced the symptoms of PMS.

#10. Protects Against Harmful Effects of Pollution

According to a 2017 study, vitamin B6 may help shield people from the negative effect of air pollution by lowering the pollution's effect on the epigenome.

Conclusion

Vitamin B6, the water-soluble vitamin, has to be obtained from vitamin B6-rich foods or supplements as they are not produced by your body. The body does not store Vitamin B6 and anything in excess is flushed out through urine. For an adequate level and to reap optimum health benefits of Vitamin B6, the consumption of foods rich in Vitamin B6 or supplements every day is crucial.

Vitamin B6 is essential for several bodily functions such as the production of neurotransmitters and the control of homocysteine levels. High doses of vitamin B6 have been used to prevent or cure a number of medical disorders, such as PMS, AMD, and morning sickness during pregnancy.

To maintain robust health, getting adequate levels of vitamin B6 either from food sources or supplements is highly essential.

FAQs

What are the symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency?

Adults who have vitamin B6 deficiency may develop a rash that is red, oily, and scaly as well as skin inflammation (dermatitis). The hands and feet may experience pins and needles-like prickling and numbness. Cracks may appear in the mouth's corners, and the tongue may get red and sore.

What is the recommended dosage of Vitamin B6?

The daily recommended intake of Vitamin B6 depends on the age group. Between 19 to 50 years the requirement is 1.3 mg, men above 51 years require 1.7 mg and women above 50 years require 1.5 mg. Pregnant teens and women require 1.9 mg.

Is it safe to take Vitamin B6 supplements every day?

The consumption of 100 mg of vitamin B6 every day is considered safe. Dosages between 101 to 200 mg are construed safe. Vitamin B6 may cause side effects like nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, headaches, etc., in some people.

How long does it take for Vitamin B6 to start working?

Since vitamin B6 is water-soluble it gets absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly. Consume vitamin B6 supplements consistently for 1 week and you will start noticing the difference.

Does vitamin B6 support hair growth?

Vitamin B6 plays a pivotal role in protein metabolism and promotes healthy hair development. Vitamin B6 helps hair cells to gain access to the amino acids, the building blocks of protein, required to create hair protein.

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