Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

You are what you eat- and no one can deny that. A true aphorism which applies to all people from different walks of life. Whatever it is we eat directs the path of life which we are going to take and the health status that we are going to have in a few years time. Today, the effects of the unhealthy foods we eat may not be obvious yet, but in the next years to come, there is a greater chance for us to experience health problems which would probably make us regret our previously unhealthy lifestyle.

In maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is already a well-known fact that vitamins play an important role in many functions happening inside our body. Vitamins come in two forms, the fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and the water soluble vitamins which is more commonly known as the Vitamin B-complex. Vitamin B complex is composed of eight water soluble vitamins and one of which is Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine.

Pyridoxine is an indispensable member of the vitamin B-complex because it supports many vital functions which makes our body perform at its optimal level. Probably the most important among the functions that Pyridoxine performs is its being a coenzyme in the metabolism of our proteins, carbohydrates and fats. What about this function?

Most people think that once we eat foods, that is all there is- we become healthy. But that’s not the case. For these foods to be used by our body, they need to be converted into useful forms in order for them to enter the cells; such that the carbohydrates we eat become glucose, the proteins become amino acids and the fats become fatty acids and glycerol. These can be achieved through the help of certain enzymes located in our GI tract. Without the aid of these enzymes, the foods we eat would be extremely useless and would only add to our body fat deposits at the worst. With the aid of Pyridoxine, digestion, metabolism and absorption of these food groups become easier and more efficient- thus making our body healthier and fit.

Aside from this important function of Pyridoxine, it also boosts our immune system making our body defences stronger and impenetrable by foreign bodies. Vitamin B6 is also important in the production of neurotransmitters such as histamine, dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. These neurotransmitters are important because they facilitate the travelling of nerve impulses in order to make possible chemical reactions and body functions.

Some of the health conditions associated with a deficiency of Pyridoxine are contact dermatitis or skin eruptions; cracked, dry and sore lips and oral mucosa, neuropathy or disordered peripheral motor and sensory skills. However, a deficiency in Vitamin B6 is rare since most of the foods we eat contain Vitamin B6. Also, the health conditions mentioned above may also indicate other disorders aside from Pyridoxine deficiency.

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B6 for an adult man is 2.0 mg while for women, only 1.6 mg will do. Additional intake is also needed for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and others who use Vitamin B as treatment for some diseases. Foods rich in Pyridoxine are whole grains, meats, fish, eggs, carrots, and many other vegetables. In taking Vitamin B supplements, it is important to take note that it should be taken with water, since it is a water soluble vitamin. Not only should it be taken with water, but generally, we should increase our daily water intake to facilitate the use of this vitamin and to make it function effectively.

Pyridoxine gives our body many advantages- all of which are indispensable in our body’s most favourable functioning. It also makes us less prone to develop heart and cerebrovascular diseases such stroke. Osteoporosis and other neurologic disorders can also be greatly avoided with a steady and adequate intake of pyridoxine.

Last updated on Feb 26th, 2009 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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