What’s vitamin B6? What’s pyridoxine?

MNT Knowledge Center

Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine is a water-soluble vitamin – it dissolves in water. There are seven forms of this vitamin; pyridoxine (PN) is the most common form in vitamin B6 supplements. Vitamin B6 is a member of the family of B complex vitamins.

The human’s CNS (nervous system) also advantages of vitamin B6 activity. Pyridoxine is active in the synthesis from the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, as well as myelin formation.

What is vitamin B6?

Pyridoxine is really a main factor in protein and glucose metabolic process, plus the manufacturing of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an element of red bloodstream cells – it carries oxygen. Vitamin B6 can also be involved with maintaining your lymph nodes, thymus and spleen healthy.

We all know of those seven types of vitamin B6:

  • Pyridoxine (PN) – most commonly used in supplements
  • Pyridoxine 5′-phosphate
  • Pyridoxal
  • Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, the metabolically active form (sold as ‘P-5-P’ vitamin supplement)
  • Pyridoxamine
  • Pyridoxamine 5′-phosphate
  • 4-Pyridoxic acid

Potential health benefits

Brain function

You will find claims that vitamin B6 might help boost brain performance. One study, printed within the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1, discovered that people on high levels of vitamin b complex-6 carried out better on two measures of memory.

Nausea during pregnancy

Research printed within the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology2 attempted to determine the potency of vitamin B6 for vomiting and nausea of being pregnant. The authors from the study came to the conclusion that “pyridoxine works well in reducing the seriousness of nausea at the begining of pregnancy.”

However, more top quality studies are required to fully back this claim

Recent developments on the potential health benefits of vitamin B6 from MNT news

Reducing dementia risk – researchers from Oxford University, England, found that elderly individuals suffering from mild cognitive impairment who took high doses of B vitamins everyday reduced the rate at which their brains shrank by 50%, potentially lowering their risk of dementia.3

How much Vitamin B6 should I have each day?

Several factors will probably have an impact on a person’s vitamin B6 daily requirement, because it is involved in several aspects of metabolism. The most studied factor has been protein intake.

The more protein you consume the more vitamin B6 you require. According to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements4, the recommended daily requirement for vitamin B6 is:

Age Male Female
0 to 6 months 0.1 mg 0.1 mg
7 to 12 months 0.3 mg 0.3 mg
1 to 3 years 0.5 mg 0.5 mg
4 to 8 years 0.6 mg 0.6 mg
9 to 13 years 1.0 mg 1.0 mg
14 to 18 years 1.3 mg 1.3 mg
19 to 50 years 1.3 mg 1.3 mg
51+ years 1.7 mg 1.5 mg
During pregnancy 1.9 mg
During lactation 2.0 mg

Good food sources of vitamin B6

Most foods have some vitamin B6, and a well-balanced diet should not result in deficiency, unless the individual has a physical problem or is on certain medications.

According to Dietitians of Canada5, the following foods are good sources of vitamin B6:

  • Avocados
  • Banana
  • Brown rice
  • Carrots
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Fortified cereal
  • Hazelnuts
  • Milk
  • Pork
  • Potato
  • Seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach
  • Turkey
  • Vegetable juice cocktail
  • Whole grains

Vitamin B6 deficiency

The majority of foods contain vitamin B6. Deficiencies are rare, but may occur if the individual has poor intestine absorption or is taking estrogens, corticosteroids, anticonvulsants and some other medications. Long-term alcoholism may also result in eventual B6 deficiency, as can hyperthyroidism and diabetes.

Vitamin B6 deficiency may have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • A pellagra-like syndrome – with seborrheic dermatitis, inflammation of the tongue (glossitis), Inflammation and cracking of the lips (cheilosis),
  • Anemia
  • Seizures – in infants, these may persist, even after treatment with anticonvulsants