Vitamin B6 is one of the most commonly deficient nutrients in the United States. One U.S. Department of Agriculture study reported that approximately 80% of Americans consumed less than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin B6. This vitamin is essential in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.
Being deficient in vitamin B6 can limit your brain’s ability to synthesize serotonin. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression. If B6 deficiency inhibits serotonin production, there will be a corresponding decrease in the body’s ability to produce melatonin. Low melatonin levels can lead to sleep disturbances.
Vitamin B6 is one of the nutrients required to breakdown homocysteine so that it does not build up in the blood and begin to damage the lining of your blood vessels.
B6 is a water soluble vitamin. Large amounts are lost in cooking and food processing. Antibiotics, bronchodilators, oral contraceptives, and blood pressure medications deplete vitamin B6.
B6 is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and the growth of red blood cells. It facilitates the conversion of the glycogen stored in the liver to glucose for energy production. B6 is essential for the conversion of tryptophan to niacin (B3).
B6 is useful in people with premenstrual syndrome associated with oral contraceptives since additional estrogen’s inhibit the absorption of B6. Excess estrogen may also cause symptoms such as heavy menstrual flow, tender breasts, irregular bleeding, and emotional mood swings.
9 Ways To Get B6 Into Your Body
1. A natural food sourced vitamin/mineral complex for maximum absorption.
2. Brewer’s yeast
3. Wheat germ
4. Organ meats (especially liver)
9. Vitamin B6 is also synthesized by “friendly” intestinal bacteria.