Vitamin B6 “ also known as pyridoxine (pronounced pye-rih-DOX-een) “ shares many important functions with other members of the B-complex vitamins, but performs these functions to an even greater degree: Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzyme processes with a broad impact on health.
It is essential for the synthesis of amino acids, and it is involved with the growth and repair of practically every structure in the body. Vitamin B6 acts as a coenzyme to help metabolize protein and carbohydrates, produce insulin (along with red and white blood cells), and facilitate the formation of neurotransmitters, enzymes, and prostaglandins.
In other words, Vitamin B6 carries a heavy workload in terms of keeping us healthy.
There are six forms of Vitamin B6 including pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, and their respective phosphate derivatives. One of the derivatives called pyridoxal 5'-phosphate is the active coenzyme form and plays the biggest role in human metabolism.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is part of a triad of vitamins along with folic acid and Vitamin B12 that supports heart health.
- The active forms of Vitamin B6 in the body are pyridoxal phosphate and pyridoxamine phosphate.
- Vitamin B6 promotes the production of red blood cells.
- Vitamin B6 supports energy metabolism.
- Vitamin B6 supports protein metabolism of immune factors.
- Vitamin B6 helps promote healthy levels of homocysteine.
- Vitamin B6 is essential for proper hormone function.
- Vitamin B6 is essential for BCAA (branched chain amino acid) metabolism.
- Vitamin B6 supports nervous system health.
- Vitamin B6 supports brain health.
- Vitamin B6 is essential for the metabolism of protein.
- Research has found positive associations between Vitamin B6 levels in the body and eye health.
- Pyridoxine helps the body break down dietary fats and carbohydrates (starches and sugars) to produce energy.
- It helps produces red blood cells and hemoglobin (which carries oxygen and other nutrients to the body's cells), and synthesizes neurotransmitters, enzymes, and prostaglandins.
- Pyridoxine is especially important for maintaining healthy nerve and muscle cells, and is essential for new cell formation and growth. It also helps form the myelin sheath around nerves.
- Vitamin B6 aids in the production of DNA and RNA our code-carrying genetic material.
- Pyridoxine has been shown to work with vitamins B12 and B9 (folic acid) to support healthy levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can affect heart health.
- Vitamin B6 promotes healthy skin and the mucous membranes that act as an effective barrier against bacteria and viruses.
- Pyridoxine helps convert the amino acid tryptophan (important to the "s2">growth and development of infants) into niacin.
- Vitamin B6 is vital for metabolizing amino acids in the intestines to form histamine, serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline. It helps maintain a healthy immune system.
- It helps the immune system produce antibodies needed to maintain good health.
Small amounts of pyridoxine are present in virtually all foods, but the best sources are the whole not enriched grains, cereals, and other foods listed below.
It's true that B6 is one of the most stable vitamins. However, freezing, cooking, or canning food takes a high toll on its nutritional value, as high amounts of B6 can be lost because it is sensitive to both light and heat.
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