What is Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B complex group. It was discovered in the 1930s during nutrition studies on rats. In 1934, Paul György, a Hungarian physician, discovered a substance that was able to cure a skin disease in rats. He then named it vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 was named pyridoxine to indicate its structural homology to pyridine. It is one of the best studied vitamins and has the greatest variety of chemical forms.
The vitamin was not originally given this name, however, but was referred to as "antidermatitis factor." This term was given in relation to the skin (dermis) because skin inflammation (dermatitis) seemed to increase when foods with Vitamin B6 benefits were removed from the diet.
Benefits of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps the body in performing a number of functions. TheVitamin B6 benefitsinclude the following:
- It supports a wide range of activities in your nervous system-neurotransmitter synthesis.
- Helps to promote proper breakdown of sugars and starches
- Helps in preventing homocysteine build-up in your blood
- It makes antibodies. They help in fighting many diseases.
- Maintain normal nerve function
- It helps in making hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the red blood cells to the tissues. A vitamin B6 deficiency can cause a form of anemia.
- It breaks down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.
- Keep blood sugar (glucose) in normal ranges
Vitamin B6 is also required for:
- The balancing of hormonal changes in women.
- Assisting the immune system and the growth of new cells.
- It is also used in the processing and metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
- Controls your mood as well as your behavior.
- It also Vitamin B6 benefits children with learning difficulties, as well as assisting in the prevention of dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.
Dietary Sources of Vitamin B6
Good sources, which help in obtaining vitamin B6, are listed below:
- Brewer's yeast
- Fish-Cod and Tuna
- Wheat germ
- Sunflower Seeds
- Legumes (dried beans)
- Whole grains
Supplements are available in drug stores for hair and nail growth and in other vitamin capsule forms.
Deficiency of Vitamin B6:
A deficiency of vitamin B6 may cause irritability, nervousness and insomnia as well as general weakness. Dermatitis and acne, as well asthma and allergies, might develop when there is a deficiency of vitamin B6. Symptoms may include nails that are ridged, an inflamed tongue as well as changes to your bones - which can lead to osteoporosis and arthritis. Kidney stones may also appear.
Excess of Vitamin B6:
An excess of vitamin B6 may cause some difficulty in coordinating movement, numbness in the body and some sensory changes. Consuming B6 late at night may cause some people to experience very vivid dreams.