Vitamin B6

This is one of those vitamins that their is a finer line between not enough and too much. It has many important roles, many of them are the first step before other important things happen. So lacking B6 could set off a negative chain reaction in the body. One role it is involved in is as a coenzyme to form pyridoxal phosphate which helps over 100 other enzymes in protein metabolism. Talk about a team player!


Not only does B6, otherwise called pyridoxine, do all that; it also helps with the other things that are typical B vitamin jobs. Such as red blood cell metabolism, nervous and immune system function, and forming neurotransmitters as well as steroid hormones. Lastly, B6 is helpful in glycogen breakdown. (Remember, glycogen is the sugar stored in your muscles for your muscles to use as fuel) Making this helpful for athletes. You can find this little gem in foods like;

  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • sunflower seeds
  • chickpeas
  • bananas
  • plantains
  • spinach
  • fish
  • pork
  • beef and,
  • poultry


You do want to make sure you are getting enough, so you can avoid nasty things like damage to the mucous and skin membranes, nervous system disorders, anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, confusion, depression, and anemia. Many of these things listed are also common signs of aging. Talk to your doctor to determine if your symptoms are a result of a nutrient deficiency, or regular signs of aging. Of course you can always talk to a registered dietitian to help you create a more healthful diet if  you are concerned about aging and reducing the growing pains associated with aging.


On a final note, getting too much of this vitamin can result in painful neurological symptoms. I might sound like I am beating a dead horse here when I warn you about overdoing it with the supplements. You might not get sick right away, but over time it will build up and slowly start to affect your life. Unfortunately many doctors won’t ask you if you are taking vitamins or herbal supplements. They are more concerned with what medications you might be taking for contraindications. Doctors aren’t bad people, but there are a million things and counting that could be causing your pain. A doctor can only do their best work with the information they have. It is up to you to arm yourself with knowledge to take care of your own body.


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