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Vitamin B6 - Uses, Benefits, Sources and Dosage

Vitamin B6

It is also called Pyridoxine. It is water soluble vitamin.

It is involved in the process of formation of serotonin and norepinephrine, these act as neurotransmitters that transmit signals to brain. It is also involved in formation of myelin which is a protein layer around nerve cells.

Sources of Vitamin B6

  • Vegetables such as carrots, spinach, peas and potatoes
  • Milk, cheese, eggs, fish liver, meat and flour
  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes
  • Banana

Deficiency of Vitamin B6

Deficiency of vitamin B6 may cause many health complications which are given below:

  • In adults - It affects nerves, skin, mucous membranes and circulatory system.
  • In children - It also affects Central Nervous System.

Health Benefits of Vitamin B6

There are many benefits in maintaining health which are listed below:

1. Production of Red blood Cells

It is required in the formation of haem in body which is the key section of hemoglobin. The primary place for the production of hemoglobin in body is bone marrow cells and liver. The deficiency of vitamin B6 leads to a type of anemia called Sideroblastic anemia.

2. Metabolism of carbohydrates

It is involved in the process of metabolism in body. For the breakdown of carbohydrates, an enzyme that pulls carbohydrates out of storage cell in the form of glycogen that requires Vitamin B6 for its activity.

3. Brain and nervous system

Vitamin B6 is one of important vitamin that is required for the production of neurotransmitters namely GABA, dopamine and serotonin. Deficiency of this vitamin may result in depression.

4. Liver detoxification

It helps to support the healthy liver function. Presence of this vitamin helps to remove toxins. Deficiency of Vitamin B6 may lead to liver dysfunction.

5. Other functions

It helps to maintain normal nerve function and maintain the blood sugar level.

Side Effects

As such there are no side effects of vitamin B6 but it depends upon the dose taken it may cause some complications, which are given below:

High dose of Vitamin B6 can cause:

  • Numbness
  • Difficulty in nerve coordination
  • Sensory changes

Deficiency may cause:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Glossitis (mouth and tongue sores)
  • Peripheral neuropathy.

Dose of Vitamin B6

Dose vary according to age and sex which is explained below:

Infants

  • 0 to 6 months: 0.1* milligrams per day (mg/day)
  • 7 to 12 months: 0.3* mg/day

Children

  • 1 to 3 years: 0.5 mg/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 0.6 mg/day
  • 9 to 13 years: 1.0 mg/day

Adolescents and Adults

  • Males age 14 to 50 years: 1.3 mg/day
  • Males over 50 years: 1.7 mg/day
  • Females age 14 to 18 years: 1.2 mg/day
  • Females age 19 to 50 years: 1.3 mg/day
  • Females over 50 years: 1.5 mg/day
  • Females of all ages 1.9 mg/day during pregnancy and 2.0 mg/day during lactation
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