B6 is a cofactor to making precursors for glutathione, The Kreb Cycle, and methylation - meaning it impacts your ability to detox, produce energy, and modify the function of your genes (also known as epigenetics)! It does some other nifty things as well - like helps you sleep! Read more about this important water-soluble vitamin!
What is it and what is it good for?
- Co-factor for more than 100 enzymes
- Also called Pyridoxal phosphate
- Involved with serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, & GABA synthesis (meaning it impacts your mood and brain function)
- Converts tryptophan to niacin
- Boosts melatonin biosynthesis - meaning it helps you sleep!
- Controls homocysteine levels with the help of other B vitamins - meaning it assist in controlling inflammation
- Involved with B12 absorption
- Takes part in myelin formation - meaning it impacts the speed of nerve impulses
- Helps with glycogen breakdown
- Supports gluconeogenesis (the pathway that converts protein and sometimes fat into sugar)
The green dots are where B6 works as a co-factor as part of the Folate Cycle and Methionine Cycle - important for DNA/RNA synthesis, modifying the function of genes, and more. B6 works as a co-factor with end products of the Methionine Cycle, producing precursors for The Kreb Cycle and glutathione - important for the production of energy and antioxidants. Lastly, B6 works as a cofactor to producing neurotransmitters. Whew! This vitamin is clearly important for many basic functions!
Tuna, spinach, cabbage, bok choy, bell peppers, turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, sunflower seeds, torula yeast, brewer’s yeast, walnuts, lentils, lima beans, buckwheat flour, black-eyed peas, navy beans, brown rice, hazelnuts, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, bananas, avocados, chestnuts, kale, rye flour, potatoes, prunes, raisins, brussels sprouts, barley, and sweet potatoes
Signs of Deficiency
- muscle weakness
- Trouble with concentrating
- Short-term memory loss
- PMS symptoms may increase
Causes of Depletion
- Congestive heart failure
- Medications (antibiotics, corticosteroids, diuretics, estrogen, hydralazine, oral contraceptives, vasodilators)
- Increases metabolism of Levodopa
- May increase effects of blood pressure, diabetes medications, and antidepressants
- Adults: 1.3 mg (to age 50)
- 1.7 mg (men's age < 50)
- 1.5 mg (women's age < 50)
- 1.9 mg - 2 mg for people who are pregnant and breastfeeding
- P5P (PLP) is the preferred supplemental form
- Supplementation can help with morning sickness, carpal tunnel, PMS (along with magnesium, vitamin E and essential fatty acids), cardiovascular health, muscle pain due its help in magnesium metabolism, depression, diabetic neuropathy, and infant seizures
- Recommended therapeutic dose of B6 is between 50-100 mg
- Supplementation becomes toxic at more than 2 grams/day.
Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, Lara. (2005). The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods. New York, New York: Atria Books. Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, Lara. The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods.
Bauman College (2014) NC106.5 Lecture - Micronutrients, Lecture 5 - The Water - Soluble Vitamins - Vitamin C Family & B-complex. Retrieved from http://dashboard.baumancollege.org/pluginfile.php/10259/mod_resource/content/5/FON_Materials/106/Lecture/pdf/106_5_Handout_WaterSolVitBC_021414_LS.pdf
Smith, A.D. Refsum, H. (2016, July 17). Homocysteine, B Vitamins, and Cognitive Impairment. Annu Rev Nutr. 36:211-39. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071715-050947
Kennedy, D. O. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020068
Eisinger, J. Dagorn, J. (1986). Vitamin B6 and Magnesium, 5(1): 27-32. PMID: 3959594
Palmery, M. Saraceno, A. Vaiarelli, A. Carlomagno, G. (2013). Oral Contraceptives and Changes in Nutritional Requirements, 17(13): 1804-13. PMID: 23852908
Wikimedia Commons (2016) File:Pyridoxal-phosphate.svg. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pyridoxal-phosphate.svg