You may have heard of vitamin B6, but do you know what it is and why it's so important? Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that your body needs for many different functions. It is considered an essential vitamin. It's found in a variety of foods, including meats, vegetables, and fruits. Vitamin B6 is thought to be involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions in your body. These reactions are important for metabolism, immune function, and making hemoglobin - the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.
What's the benefit of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is also necessary for the formation of myelin, which is the white coating around nerve fibers that allows electrical impulses to travel quickly and smoothly. A study showed how vitamin B6 could also help with GABA synthesis. Another study showed that vitamin B6 helps the body make serotonin and norepinephrine - two important neurotransmitters that play a role in mood and sleep patterns.*
Who may benefit from using B6 vitamin?*
While most people get enough vitamin B6 from their diet, some groups of people are at risk for deficiency. These groups may include:
- People with liver disease or other conditions that affect vitamin B6 absorption*
- Elderly adults*
- Pregnant women or women who are breast-feeding*
- People taking certain medications (such as birth control pills, anticonvulsants, or antibiotics)*
Foods rich in vitamin B6
Several foods we consume can offer vitamin B6. Some of the most nutrition ones in vitamin B6 are bovine meat, chicken, fish including tuna, salmon, and yellowtail, boiled potatoes, and certain fortified cereals. In fruits, you can consider mamey sapote, bananas, jackfruit, and prune.
If you think you may be deficient in vitamin B6, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test.
Taking a supplement may help if you're not getting enough from your diet. As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a vitamin B6 supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.
You can also read more about other types of vitamin B such as niacin - vitamin B3 and vitamin B12 methylcobalamin.