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Vitamin B6 Or Pyridoxine - What Role Does This Vitamin Play In The Human Body?

Dec 8, 2007
Vitamin B6 is a water soluble vitamin and a part of the B-complex family. It is also commonly referred to as Pyridoxine or Pyridoxal Phosphate. Due to its rapid metabolism and solubility, it takes only 8 hours for it to travel throughout the body. Therefore, it is important that this vitamin be replenished regularly.

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of healthy hemoglobin by making more iron available. It also directly participates in the production of the mood,sleep and Serotonin, the hormone that regulates the appetite. Just like the other vitamins in the B-Complex family, Pyridoxine participates in the metabolism process that converts fats, carbohydrates and proteins into a form of energy that the body can utilize. Vitamin B6 also plays a crucial role in the production of over 60 different types of hormones,neurotransmitters,enzymes and prostaglandins.

Some known advantages of Vitamin B6 is that it helps prevent the formation of painful kidney stones and adequate amounts of Pyridoxine actually promote a healthy immune system. Vitamin B6 is known to reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the blood and it is because of this function fatty that, plaque deposits do not form easily on artery walls. This vitamin also combines with Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Some common sources of Vitamin B6 include fish, milk, eggs, poultry, nuts, brown rice, whole grains, bananas, soybeans, carrots and avocados.

Medical experts recommend the average daily dose of Vitamin B6 to be 1.6 mg for women and 2 mg for men.This is one of the few vitamins that, if taken in excess can actually be toxic for health.Consumption of more than 2 mg of Pyridoxine a day can cause irreversible damage to the nerve endings and to the entire nervous system.Although up to 500 mg/day is considered high, this level still is considered safe.

Individuals who suffer from a Vitamin B6 deficiency can experience depression, tiredness, insomnia, loss of appetite, anemia, hair loss and dry or cracked skin on the tongue or lips.In severe cases it can lead to a complete breakdown of the central nervous system.If left untreated, those who are affected can become anemic, irritable or go into convulsions.

Individuals who consume excessive alcohol, babies, children, women who are pregnant or who are taking birth control pills, elderly people and teenagers are more vulnerable to developing a Vitamin B6 deficiency because all these factors affect the body's ability to properly absorb this vital vitamin.
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