Our body needs nutrition in order to sustain itself and lead a healthy life. For obtaining suitable nutrition, one has to consume foods that offer an optimal quantity of nutrients necessary for the body. Out of all the known macronutrients, one of the most well recognised and crucial ones are vitamins.
Vitamins are organic molecules which are categorised as essential macronutrients. This implies that it is not naturally produced by the human body and should be served to the body by means of foods and vitamin supplements. There are numerous forms of vitamins but one of the most crucial vitamins is Vitamin B6.
Also known as pyridoxine, it is a water soluble vitamin that is required for a wide variety of important bodily functions such as metabolic reactions and the growth and development of cellular and neural components.
While vitamin B6 can easily be included in the diet, there are several people from all over the world who face a deficiency of vitamins in general. Research has shown that the consumption of adequate amounts of vitamin B6 is linked to the maintenance of good overall health and the prevention of several diseases. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to have an adequate dosage of vitamin B6 in your daily life.
Over the years, vitamin B6 has been the subject of various studies and research. As such, there are several health benefits that one can derive out of the intake of this essential macronutrient. This article presents an in-depth coverage of the various health benefits that have been backed by the scientific community. We will also cover the various sources of vitamin B6 and see why it is crucial for one’s health. With that being said, let us check out why vitamin B6 is one of the most crucial vitamins in the first place.
Sources of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 can be found in several foods that include bananas, fatty fish, meat, beans and potatoes.
Dosage of Vitamin B6
The recommended dosage of vitamin B6 through diet is up to 1.7mg with a minimal amount of 1.3mg. This is the recommended daily amount (RDA).
This can be obtained by including the foods mentioned above into your diet.
It should be noted that most studies on the health benefits of vitamin B6 are mostly on supplements.
For vitamin B6 supplements, the dosage should be between 30mg to 250mg per day.
It is easy to understand that the supplements are essentially meant for people with a deficiency of vitamin B6 and therefore, the concentration of vitamin B6 in the supplements is significantly higher than the RDA.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B6
Promotes good mood
It has been established by studies that vitamin B6 helps in improving mood and reducing anxiety.
Studies have shown that vitamin B6 aids in the generation of neurotransmitters that are linked to emotions and feelings. Further research has displayed the ability of vitamin B6 to trigger the functionality of hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
Vitamin B6 has been established to inhibit the functionality of homocysteine, an amino acid that has been linked to depression.
Several experimental studies have demonstrated that for people above the age of 40, the symptoms of depression are associated with a low consumption of vitamin B6. Further experiments have displayed that the signs of depression correspond with low blood levels of vitamin B6.
Another study has shown that the deficiency of vitamin B6 bears a close relationship with the signs of depression.
A study on older man indicated that those who had a regular intake of vitamin B6 in their diet were less likely to develop signs of depression in later stages when compared to those who do not consume enough of vitamin B6.
Promotes brain functioning and health
Studies have displayed that the homocysteine lowering functionality of vitamin B6 helps in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Further studies have proven that the consumption of vitamin B6 helps in maintaining the proper functioning of the brain as one ages.
Helps in the synthesis of haemoglobin
Vitamin B6 helps in the product of haemoglobin. As such, vitamin B6 can potentially help in the treatment of anaemia and other such blood deficiency conditions.
In fact, an experimental trial on an old woman of 72 years of age suffering from anaemia due to vitamin B6 deficiency clearly showed that with the intake of bioavailable vitamin B6, her health vastly improved.
Helps to deal with PMS
We are aware of the fact that vitamin B6 helps in the triggering of neurotransmitters associated with emotions and hormones. Accordingly, the consumption of vitamin B6 by women going through premenstrual syndrome (PMS) leads to an improvement in typical PMS symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, anxiety etc.
A study conducted over 12 weeks on a large number of women with PMS displayed improvement in their symptoms by nearly 69%
Treats nausea during pregnancy
Nausea is a very common occurrence among pregnant women. While extensive research has shown that the intake of vitamin B6 helps to relieve nausea during pregnancy, there isn’t any concrete evidence regarding how exactly it happens.
A study in a certain number of pregnant women for 4 months demonstrated that those who consumed vitamin B6 showed a significant reduction in the feelings of nausea in less than a week.
Promotes cardiovascular health
Research has directly shown that subjects who have lower blood levels of vitamin B6 had higher chances of developing cardiovascular issues such as heart disease.
Research has particularly suggested that the functionality of vitamin B6 in promoting good cardiovascular health is due to its ability to inhibit homocysteine levels. It should be noted that high homocysteine levels is linked to heart disease and similar issues.
Several animal studies have confirmed that a deficiency in vitamin B6 leads to higher cholesterol levels and the risk of clogged arteries when compared to a diet rich in vitamin B6.
Anti-inflammatory action for rheumatoid arthritis
Studies have linked the inflammation during rheumatoid arthritis to vitamin B6 deficiency.
Experiments have shown that subjects with rheumatoid arthritis inflammation experienced a decrease in symptoms on consumption of vitamin B6.
Vitamin B is undoubtedly one of the most important vitamins and B6 in particular serves as a macronutrient with several health benefits. Vitamin B6 supplements are an excellent means to compensate for a deficiency in this vitamin. It is worth noting that these supplements, when taken medical supervision, is also great for pregnant women. Including sources of food rich in vitamin B6 and taking vitamin B6 supplements are a welcome choice for good overall health.