Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. It contributes to the crucial functions of brain growth and development, keeping the immune system healthy, and forming hemoglobin so the blood can carry oxygen. The body needs this vitamin to function properly. Not getting enough of Vitamin B6 can have dangerous and deadly results.
What Does Vitamin B6 Do
Vitamin B6 is key for properly functioning body. Biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, hemoglobin formation, a proper immune response are all systems that need Vitamin B6. It also helps sugar, fat, and protein function in the body and plays a role in the growth of the brain, nerves, and skin. It would be hard to find a part of the body that is not impacted by Vitamin B6 in some way.
With all the processes that rely on Vitamin B6, it can be easy to assume that it can cure everything. From cancer to PMS, many problems have been studied with Vitamin B6 as a potential treatment or preventative measure. For cardiovascular disease, Vitamin B6 and other B vitamins lower the levels of homocysteine in the body. High homocysteine levels in the body have been shown to be a contributing factor in cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. However, Vitamin B6 and other B vitamins do not necessarily decrease the risk of cardiovascular events. The same can be said of cancer. Some people first diagnosed with cancer have low levels of Vitamin B6 in their plasma. This combined with lowering homocysteine levels had researchers hopeful that a supplement containing Vitamin B6 would prevent cancer. Research studies have been mixed, with some results showing that a supplement containing Vitamin B6 helps to prevent cancer and other studies showing no correlation between the two.
Treating PMS with Vitamin B6 is not a new concept and it has been shown to be effective. The symptoms that many women experience each month, such as irritability, moodiness, forgetfulness, anxiety, and bloating have been shown to improve when Vitamin B6 is taken. How Vitamin B6 contributes to neurotransmitters is thought to play a role in easing the mental and emotional symptoms of PMS. Vitamin B6 is also connected with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that Vitamin B6 be taken during pregnancy to help alleviate the nausea and vomiting that many women experience. If the treatment does not work, they recommend adding doxylamine, and antihistamine. This has been shown effective in managing nausea and vomiting for many pregnant women. However, it is important to stay within the guidelines. It is not known if too much Vitamin B6 can harm the fetus.
How to Get Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is available in many foods. Some of the most common sources are poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, bananas, beans, meat, liver, and eggs. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement and can be found in fortified foods such as cereal.
Vitamin B6 and the Population
Most people, including children and adolescents, in the United States consume sufficient Vitamin B6 in their diets through fortified cereals, beef and poultry, and starch vegetables. There are groups that are at risk for not meeting the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA. People with malabsorption disorders, those suffering from alcohol abuse, obese people, and pregnant women may not be getting enough of this vitamin. There are also certain genetic disorders and epilepsy medications that can cause deficiencies. Vitamin B6 deficiencies are often connected with other B vitamin deficiencies. The symptoms include anemia, confusion, depression, a weakened immune system, swollen tongue, and scaling on the lips. Infants may suffer with irritability, abnormally acute hearing, and convulsive seizures.
Too much of a good thing is still too much. This is the case with Vitamin B6. Upper limits have been established for the safety of the public. Too much Vitamin B6 is possible with fortified foods and additional supplements. The symptoms include loss of muscle control, skin lesions, gastrointestinal issues, sensitivity to light, numbness, and reduced ability to sense temperature or pain.
Pregnant and nursing women require more Vitamin B6 but must be careful not to exceed the upper limits if Vitamin B6 is taken for nausea or vomiting as it may cause birth defects in their baby. Vitamin B6 can also interact with some medications and levels should be kept within the safe bounds.
How to Get More Vitamin B6
Willard’s Water facilitates Vitamin B6 permeability into the cells, providing better protection to the cellular genes and allowing the body to fight off intruders. Willard’s Water not only allows Vitamin B6 to better protect the cells, but also aids in the breakdown of some of the intruders, like antigens and chemical toxins, that may be trying to invade. Better protect your body and use more Vitamin B6 by adding Willard’s Water to your daily diet.