Vitamin B6 is one of the eight B vitamins essential for the body’s metabolism, supporting the immune system, cardiovascular health, and many other health benefits.
You need to take vitamin B6 every day because they are water soluble, not fat soluble, so they are systematically eliminated from the body.
Here are the health benefits of vitamin B6 and how to add them to your diet.
1. Vitamin B6 helps transform food into energy
Vitamin B6 helps the body convert food into energy along with other B vitamins. Vitamin B6 helps convert carbohydrates and works with enzymes that break down protein into amino acids – compounds that help our bodies grow and grow. operate normally.
2. Vitamin B6 supports heart health
“Vitamin B6 works with two other B vitamins, B12 and folic acid (B9), to lower homocysteine levels,” says nutritionist Megan Wong at AlgaeCal.
High levels of homocysteine can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis (a disease that causes plaque to build up in the arteries).
According to a 2015 report published in the Journal of Nutrition, a vitamin B6 deficiency increases phosphorus levels in the blood. However, if B6 is properly supplemented with B12 and B9, homocysteine levels can drop by up to a third. It is important to note that despite a decrease in homocysteine, there is no effect on the cardiovascular outcomes of patients. It is therefore believed that B vitamins play a preventive role in cardiovascular health care.
3. Vitamin B6 promotes healthy brain function
According to nutritionist Megan Wong, increased levels of homocysteine can also accelerate cognitive decline. This increase will lead to an increased risk of neurological diseases, such as dementia. In addition to regulating homocysteine levels, B6 also plays a role in the synthesis of important neurotransmitters – chemical messengers used by the brain and nervous system.
Some of the B6 neurotransmitters that help in synthesis are:
Dopamine: Responsible for motivation and movement.
Serotonin: stabilizes mood, creates feelings of well-being and happiness.
Melatonin: plays an important role in regulating circadian rhythms and the ability to fall asleep.
Norepinephrine: Causes the “fight or flight” reaction in the body when we perceive danger.
4. Vitamin B6 can help reduce morning sickness
During pregnancy, pregnant women are often prescribed a combination of doxylamine (an antihistamine) and vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce nausea, while doxylamine can reduce vomiting.
5. Vitamin B6 can treat seizures in babies
Children diagnosed with pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy (PDE) need 15 to 500 mg of vitamin B6 per day for the rest of their lives. PDE is a rare inherited condition that occurs a few days after a baby is born. The notable feature of this condition is difficult seizures to control. But vitamin B6 can help control the disease.
PDE disease is very rare (with 200 reported cases occurring within days of birth). This disease is caused by a mutation in the ALDH7A1 gene. When treated intravenously with 50-100 mg of vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine), seizures go away within minutes.
Children diagnosed with PDE need 15 to 30 mg of vitamin B6 per day for the rest of their life, but sometimes up to 500 mg may be needed. People with these seizures depend on vitamin B6 because traditional anticonvulsants do not work.
6. Vitamin B6 supports a healthy immune system
The body needs vitamin B6 to maintain a healthy immune system. “B6 enhances the communication of ‘messenger’ chemokine cells,” Wong said. These cells carry white blood cells to the area of infection or injury. Vitamin B6 deficiency can interfere with the growth and production of important immune organs such as lymphocytes and antibodies.
There are two types of lymphocytes that change without B6:
T Cells: Helps the body destroy cancer cells by activating other cells in the system and controlling immune responses to foreign substances. T cells destroy cells that have been attacked by viruses or become cancerous.
B Cells: Each B cell, along with the immune system, will create a certain protein antibody to fight against foreign substances entering the body (antigens). Each antibody corresponds to an antigen and is marked for destruction.
A 2006 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin B6 improves the immune response in critically ill patients. The study divided 51 participants into 3 groups: one group received an injection of 50 mg of B6 per day, one received an injection of 100 mg and the other not. After 14 days, people who received 50-100 mg of B6 saw improvements in markers of important immune responses such as total T cells.
7. Vitamin B6 helps prevent anemia
“Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of hemoglobin – a protein that supplies cells with oxygen” – said Lina Velikova, MD, PhD, clinical immunologist and medical advisor at Supplements101.
A lower than normal hemoglobin level is one of the causes of anemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, so without enough red blood cells you will feel weak and tired. Maintaining adequate amounts of vitamin B6 is a simple way to help prevent anemia.
The daily intake of B6 per person depends on age and gender. For each demographic group, the recommended daily doses of vitamin B6 are:
Recommended age (mg)
0-6 months 0.1
7-12 months 0.3
1-3 years 0.5
4-8 years 0.6
9-13 years 1.0
Female 14-18 years old 1,2
Male 14-50 1.3
Female 19-50 1.3
Male 50 and over 1.7
Woman 50 and over 1.5
Pregnant women 1.9
Breastfeeding Women 2.0
Vitamin B6 is available in foods and supplements. “The best way to make sure that your body is getting all of these vitamins is to eat a diet rich in vitamin B6,” says Lina Velikova.
Foods high in B6 include: peanuts, chicken, soybeans, oats, spinach, oranges.
If you are taking supplements, be careful not to exceed 1.4 mg per day for women over 18 and 1.7 mg per day for men over 18. You should consult your doctor before taking it for advice on the correct dosage.