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                                    Vitamin B6


Vitamin B6 is also called pyridoxine.


Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water so the body cannot store them. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a regular supply of these vitamins in your diet.

Vitamin B6 refers to a group of chemically similar compounds which can be interconverted in biological systems. Vitamin B6 is part of the vitamin B group of essential nutrients. Its active form, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, serves as a coenzyme in some 100 enzyme reactions in amino acid, glucose, and lipid metabolism.

It is the generic name for six compounds (vitamers) with vitamin B6 activity: pyridoxine, an alcohol; pyridoxal, an aldehyde; and pyridoxamine, which contains an amino group; and their respective 5’-phosphate esters. Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate (PLP) and pyridoxamine 5’ phosphate (PMP) are the active coenzyme forms of vitamin B6 [1,2]. Substantial proportions of the naturally occurring pyridoxine in fruits, vegetables, and grains exist in glycosylated forms that exhibit reduced bioavailability

It is involved in the process of making serotonin and norepinephrine, which are chemicals that transmit signals in the brain. Vitamin B6 is also involved in the formation of myelin, a protein layer that forms around nerve cells.


Deficiency:

Vitamin B6 deficiency in adults may cause health problems affecting the nerves, skin, mucous membranes, and circulatory system. In children, the central nervous system is also affected. Deficiency can occur in people with kidney failure complications, alcoholism, liver scarring, overactive thyroid, problems with absorbing nutrients, and heart failure, as well as those taking certain medications. Mild deficiency of vitamin B6 is common.

Major sources of vitamin B6 include cereal grains, legumes, vegetables (carrots, spinach, peas, and potatoes), milk, cheese, eggs, fish, liver, meat, and flour. Vitamin B6 is often used with other B vitamins in vitamin B complex formulas.

High blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine may be a risk factor for heart disease. Taking vitamin B6 supplements with other B vitamins (folic acid and vitamin B12) has been shown to be effective for lowering homocysteine levels.


Function

Vitamin B6 helps the body to:

Make antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases.

Maintain normal nerve function.

Make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the red blood cells to the tissues. A vitamin B6 deficiency can cause a form of anemia.

Break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.

Keep blood sugar (glucose) in normal ranges.


Cautions:

Pyridoxine is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used appropriately.

Pyridoxine is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts greater than the recommended dietary allowance. In some people, pyridoxine might cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, headache, tingling, sleepiness, and other side effects.

Long-term use of high doses is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It might cause certain brain and nerve problems.

Amiodarone (Cordarone) interacts with PYRIDOXINE (VITAMIN B6)

Amiodarone (Cordarone) might increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with amiodarone (Cordarone) might increase the chances of sunburn, blistering, or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.

Phenobarbital (Luminal) interacts with PYRIDOXINE (VITAMIN B6)

The body breaks down phenobarbital (Luminal) to get rid of it. Pyridoxine might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenobarbital (Luminal). This could decrease the effectiveness of phenobarbital (Luminal).

Phenytoin (Dilantin) interacts with PYRIDOXINE (VITAMIN B6)

The body breaks down phenytoin (Dilantin) to get rid of it. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenytoin. Taking pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and taking phenytoin (Dilantin) might decrease the effectiveness of phenytoin (Dilantin) and increase the possibility of seizures. Do not take large doses of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) if you are taking phenytoin (Dilantin).

Minor Interaction Be watchful with this combination

Levodopa interacts with PYRIDOXINE (VITAMIN B6)

The body breaks down levodopa to get rid of it. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can increase how quickly the body breaks down and gets rid of levodopa. But this is only a problem if you are taking levodopa alone. Most people take levodopa along with carbidopa (Sinemet). Carbidopa prevents this interaction from occurring. If you are taking levodopa without carbidopa do not take vitamin B6.


Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Pyridoxine is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant women when taken under the supervision of their healthcare provider. It is sometimes used in pregnancy to control morning sickness. High doses are UNSAFE. High doses can cause newborns to have seizures.

Pyridoxine is LIKELY SAFE for breast-feeding women when used in amounts not larger than 2 mg per day (the recommended dietary allowance). Avoid using higher amounts. Not enough is known about the safety of pyridoxine at higher doses in breast-feeding women.