February 10, 2014

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

     Vitamin B6 is also called pyridoxine. It is involved in the process of making serotonin and norepinephrine, which are chemicals that transmit signals in the brain. Vitamin B6 is also involved in the formation of myelin, a protein layer that forms around nerve cells.

Functions of Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

  • Vitamin B6 helps the body make several neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another. 
  • It is needed for normal brain development and function
  • It helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin and helps regulate the body clock.
  • B6 helps control levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that may be associated with heart disease.  
  • Body needs B6 in order to absorb vitamin B12 and to make red blood cells and cells of the immune system.
  • It is also required for the production of insulin, as well as both red and white blood cells.

Sources

  • Meat Sources - Lean meats including chicken, pork, and turkey are good sources. Also, organ meats such as liver and kidney are excellent sources of vitamin B6.
  • Fish Sources - Fish including tuna, halibut, and salmon.
  • Nut and Legume Sources - A variety of beans, nuts, and legumes are good dietary sources of pyridoxine including soybeans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, peanuts, and peanut butter.
  • Whole Grain Sources - Fortified whole grains, and products made with enriched grains such as breads, cereals, and other baked goods.
  • Fruit Sources - Bananas, mango, watermelon, and cantaloupe are all good fruit sources.
  • Vegetable Sources - Many vegetables are good sources of vitamin B6 including broccoli, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, peas, spinach, and carrots.
  • Vitamin B6 can be destroyed by heat or exposure to ultraviolet light and so much of the vitamin can be lost during cooking. Almost half of vitamin B6 can be destroyed through processing and cooking. 


Daily Recommendation

  • 19 - 50 years: 1.3 mg (RDA)
  • Men 51 years and older: 1.7 mg (RDA)
  • Women 51 years and older: 1.5 mg (RDA)
  • Pregnant women: 1.9 mg (RDA)
  • Breastfeeding women: 2.0 mg (RDA)

Deficiency

     A deficiency of vitamin B6 can result in disruption in the normal functioning of the central nervous system. It can also lead to various problems of the tissues in and around the mouth. These problems can include cheilosis (cracking of skin around corners of mouth), glossitis (inflammation of tongue), stomatitis (sores in and around mouth), and cracked, painful lips.

Who are prone to deficiency
  • Peoples who have a small dietary option
  • Alcoholics 
  • Mothers who are breastfeeding
  • Elderly people
  • People with chronic diarrhea 
  • Certain medications, like isoniazid, hydrolazine, penicillamine, may also disrupt the functioning of the vitamin.

Symptoms

   Symptoms may weakness, tingling sensations, loss of coordination, confusion, seizures, depression, and insomnia. A pyridoxine deficiency can affect skin health and appearance. Symptoms can include seborrheic dermatitis, itchy skin, greasy skin, and flaking or peeling skin.

Overdose

      Very large doses (over 200 milligrams a day) of vitamin B6 can result in nervous system disorders, including numbness in the legs and a loss of balance, if taken for extended periods of time. Vitamin B6 toxicity could cause damage to sense nerves, resulting in numbness in the extremities and limbs. Additional nervous system related symptons of an overdose of pyridoxine could include loss of coordination, trouble walking, decreased sensitive to touch and temperature, and fatigue.

Reference

                     Vitamin InfoUMM
                     Picture

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