Vitamin B6 is very much required for many metabolic activities. Pyridoxal phosphate is required in amino acid metabolism from their synthesis to their breakdown. This vitamin also helps in conversion of glycogen into glucose. It has a major role in hemoglobin synthesis, gene expression, histamine synthesis and neurotransmitter synthesis.
Vitamin B6 is needed for synthesis of more than 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism. Hemoglobin within red blood cells carries oxygen to tissues. Our body needs vitamin B6 to make hemoglobin. Vitamin B6 also helps increase the amount of oxygen carried by hemoglobin. Vitamin B6 deficiency causes vitamin B6 deficiency anemia which is similar to iron deficiency anemia.
It helps in healthy maintenance of lymph glands and helps in the production of white blood cells. Vitamin B6 increases antibody production and increases our immune response. Nutritional supplementation with high dose vitamin B6 and magnesium is claimed to reduce the symptoms of autism. Monitored administration of vitamin B6, in pregnancy is found to reduce nausea and morning sickness.
Deficiency of vitamin B6 causesThe deficiency of this vitamin alone is usually uncommon. It usually occurs in association with deficiency of other vitamins of vitamin B complex. The main causes of vitamin B6 deficiency are poor nutritive quality of food and reduced ability in absorption of nutrients. The elderly people and alcoholics may have the risk of deficiency of this vitamin. Pyroluria is one result of its deficiency. Dermatitis (skin inflammation), ulcers, angular cheilitis, conjunctivitis and neuropathy are some of the symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency.
Vitamin B6 for skin care and skin healthAmong the remedies for dermatitis, vitamin B6 is a good for treatment of skin inflammation. Seborrhoeic dermatitis skin inflammation and skin eruptions are clinical signs and symptoms of the deficiency of vitamin B6. Angular cheilitis, deep crack and split in the corners of the mouth, can be caused by vitamin B6 deficiency. Vitamin B6 deficiency causes glossitis, an inflammation of the tongue, causing tongue to swell and change its colour to dark red.
Vitamin B6 deficiency also causes dandruff, hair loss, dry and scaly skin with inflammation, acne, psoriasis and eczema. These conditions of skin inflammation are due to causes and effects of vitamin B6 deficiency like reduced oxygen and nutrients supplies to the skin and reduced production of body enzymes for many body functions.
Toxicity of vitamin B6Excess of this vitamin can cause vitamin B6 toxicity and result in nerve damage. However this condition is reversible when the supplement is stopped. Neuropathy and imbalances in the nervous system's activity have been shown to result as vitamin B6 side effects from high over dose of supplemental vitamin B6.
Food sources of vitamin B6Good vitamin B6 foods are fortified cereals, potato, banana, bell peppers, mushrooms, mustard greens, asparagus, garlic, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, turnip greens, spinach,tuna, cod and trout. Vitamin B6 food sources include beans, meat, poultry, fish, sunflower seeds, tomato, avocado, whole flour of wheat, walnuts, soybeans, fruits and vegetables. In cooking and in storage the vitamin may be lost to great extent.
Recommended dietary daily allowances of vitamin B6 are as follows
Infants and children
newborn to 12 months: 100 micrograms - 500 micrograms
one year to eight years: 500 micrograms - 600 micrograms
9 years to 13 years: one milligram
Teenagers and adults
14 years to 50 years: males 1.3 milligrams; females 1.2 milligrams
Above 51 years: males 1.7 milligrams; females 1.5 milligrams
pregnant women: 1.9 milligrams
Lactating mothers: 2 milligramsFor related information on skin inflammation (dermatitis), white spots and skin sensitivity read the following posts.
- Vitamin B1 deficiency causes skin sensitivity
- Folic acid (vitamin B9) deficiency causes dermatitis( skin inflammation)
- Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) deficiency causes white spots on the skin