Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine,
is a water-soluble B vitamin. Vitamin B6 actually describes several
different compounds, including pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) acts as a coenzyme
and plays a role in the metabolization of protein and carbohydrates
into energy. It is also required for the production of insulin,
as well as both red and white blood cells. Pyridoxine is particularly
vital for keeping nerve and muscle cells healthy. Vitamin B6 is
needed for the creation of DNA and RNAl. Risk of vitamin B6 deficiency
is quite rare, because the vitamin is contained in the majority
of foods. A deficiency most often results from poor absorption of
nutrients via the intestines (as in the case of chronic alcoholism
or chronic diarrhea). Read more about the benefits
and functions of vitamin B6 and signs of vitamin
Good food sources of vitamin B6 are whole grains,
liver, fortified cereals, spinach, bananas, beans, nuts, and legumes.
Vitamin B6 can actually be found in varying amounts in nearly every
food. Pyridoxine requirements is proportional to the amount of protein
one consumes. Read more about sources
of vitamin B6 and the daily
requirement of vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 toxicity is rare, and the vitamin
is safe at intakes of about 200 milligrams per day for adults. Toxicity
can result in neurological problems, including numbness in the legs
and loss of balnce, when ingested in high doses (over 200 milligrams
a day) for extendied periods. Read more about vitamin
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is the label that actually
describes 6 specific compounds, including pyridoxine, pyridoxal,
pyridoxamine, as well as their respective phosphate derivatives,
pyridoxine 5-phosphate, pyridoxal 5-phosphate, and pridoxamine 5-phospate.
The phosphate compounds play the most active role in many processes
which involve the metabolization of amino acids and proteins. Pyridoxal
5-phosphate is the form most critical to metabolic processes.
Vitamin B6 is located mainly in the liver and
in the muscles. The liver uses it to produce pyridoxal phosphate.
pyridoxal phosphate acts as coenzymes which are integral to metabolizing
both amino acids and glycogen. Pyridoxal phosphate also acts as
a coenzyme in the production of niacin (vitamin B3) and the production
of various neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine,
dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)..
Pryridoxal 5-phosphate and pyridoxamine 5-phosphate
are the primary types of vitamin B6 which originate from animal
sources. Pyridoxine, pyridoxine 5-phosphate generally originate
from plant sources.