Vitamin B6, is also called Pyridoxine or Pyridoxal Phosphate.
Vitamin B6, also known as the substance, Pyridoxine. is metabolized faster than any of the other vitamins which make up the Vitamin B-Complex.
Like the other vitamins in the B-Complex, it is a water soluble vitamin. Because of its rapid metabolism and solubility, it passes through the body very quickly. In fact, its stay within the body is so short that it takes only about 8 hours for this vitamin to pass out of the body and, as a result, should be replenished regularly.
Also, as with other B-vitamins, Pyridoxine plays a vital role in the part of the metabolism process which converts proteins, fats and carbohydrates into a form of energy the body can use. Vitamin B6 also helps produce healthy hemoglobin by making more iron available for the body's use.
Possibly even more impressive is the fact that this vitamin plays an important role in the production of over 60 different hormones, enzymes, prostaglandins and neurotransmitters. Vitamin B6 is directly involved in the production of serotonin, a major regulator of mood, sleep and appetite.
If all this value to health and longevity is not enough, Vitamin B6 can also help prevent the formation of painful kidney stones and adequate quantities will help promote a healthy immune system as well. It also helps lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. This is a very important benefit because fatty plaque deposits are less likely to form on artery walls, greatly reducing the risks of heart attack.
It is believed that the way Vitamin B6 joins together with Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) and Vitamin B12 also helps reduce the risk of heart attack. Together this combination may lower homocysteine levels.
Sources of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is found in many of the same foods in which you can find most other B vitamins. A short list of sources of Vitamin B6 includes poultry, pork, fish, milk, eggs, nuts, seeds, brown rice, whole grains, bananas, carrots, avocados, soybeans and whole grains.
Otherwise healthy adult women need 1.2 to 1.5 milligrams of Vitamin B6 each day and adult men need to take 1.3 to 1.7 milligrams. There are many other recommeded doses for pregnant women, children, seniors, and people with specific health conditions which may be helped with Pyridoxine.
One of the most important things to remember about Vitamin B6, or Pyridoxine, is that it is one of the few vitamins that, when taken in excess, can actually be toxic. Taking more than 2 grams a day can result in irreversible damage to the nerve endings and to the entire neurological system. Although up to 500 mg/day is most certainly a high amount, this level still is considered safe, but should only be taken for a specific medical condition and under a doctor's care.
Vitamin B6 Deficiency
Since the vitamin can pass so quickly from the body, vitamin B6 deficiency is a real possibility.
Symptoms of a Vitamin B6 deficiency can include apathy, moodiness, depression, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, a loss of appetite, dry or cracked skin on the tongue or lips and anemia. While that is bad enough, this deficiency can also cause the nervous system to completely break down.
Insufficient levels of Vitamin B6 can be especially troublesome in children and babies, both of whom are more vulnerable to this type of deficiency. If left untreated, affected individuals can go into a convulsion, or become irritable, or anemic.
Women who are pregnant, people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol, the elderly, teenagers, and women who take the birth control pill are more vulnerable to developing a Vitamin B6 deficiency than others. The reason has to do with how each group impacts the body's ability to absorb this very important vitamin.
Other names of Vitamin B6 include, but are not limited to: Adermine Chlorhydrate, Adermine Hydrochloride, B Complex Vitamin, B6, Chlorhydrate de pyridoxine, Complexe de Vitamines B, Phosphate de Pyridoxal, Piridoxina, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxal Phosphate, Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate, Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate, Pyridoxa.