Basically, there is no such thing as vitamin B — it’s a large group of eight vitamins. But some of them seem to be more well-known than others — for example, B12, which plays a vital role in maintaining the health of our nerves and blood systems. Other ones, on the contrary, are often undeservedly forgotten, such as B6 or pyridoxine. But it’s no less important. From our article, you can learn what vitamin B6 is and what makes it so vital for our health.
What is B6?
The human organism cannot make this vitamin (just as almost all other ones from the B group) on its own. This means that it needs to be consumed with food. So people with an unbalanced diet lack this vitamin in their bodies. And it’s really worrisome because B6 is necessary for the proper functioning of the organism. It takes part in more than a hundred enzyme processes, helps you digest useful nutrients, and get energy.
In addition to that, vitamin B6 fulfills the following tasks:
- Supports your immunity;
- Helps to create neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin;
- Helps to create hemoglobin.
Symptoms of B6 deficiency
According to a new study, almost 13% of people in the US may have a deficiency of vitamin B6. The researchers made these conclusions after measuring levels of pyridoxal 5-phosphate — an active form of B6. They suppose that this deficiency directly influences death rates, increasing them significantly. But without the context, this picture is incomplete. Dr. Walter Willett, a Harvard professor of nutrition and epidemiology, thinks that the B6 deficiency isn’t the only culprit since many people’s diets are of poor quality in general.
How to increase your B6 intake?
Foods with the biggest amount of vitamin B6 are poultry, dairy, and fish. But it’s also contained in lots of veggies, fruits, legumes, and nuts. This means that if you frequently consume fresh, healthy products, you’re highly likely to get enough vitamin B6.
However, nowadays, people tend to eat less meat, fish, and dairy because they consider it unhealthy, unethical, or harmful to the ecology. Dr. Willett warns that, in this case, you need to compensate for it by eating more nuts and beans. Otherwise, it may lead to a lack of vitamin B6.
Another way is to take multivitamin pills. Of course, they aren’t very effective and can’t be a substitute for a balanced diet, but they can at least partially compensate for your vitamin B6 deficiency.