Kate's Cuisine

Jun 12 2009

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is part of the Vitamin B complex and depending on what you’ve needed it for or taken it for, you may have heard varying things about it. Vitamin B6 is critical for maintaining normal blood sugar levels, and helping prevent heart disease by also ensuring that the body’s homocysteine levels are also on track but these really are just a few of the benefits that Vitamin B6 provides.

Vitamin B6 helps metabolize carbohydrates and proteins and it helps create niacin from amino acids. During metabolism, Vitamin B6 also transports iron thereby preventing anemia. Also, both the immune system the central nervous system benefit from Vitamin B6.

Because Vitamin B6 plays such an important role in so many bodily functions, it’s essential that your body has proper amounts of it at all time. A deficiency can cause great problems but so can excess levels of the vitamin. Those who have an excess of Vitamin B6, or are just becoming accustomed to raising their levels to normal through a supplement, may find that they are jittery, have digestion problems, and you could also experience more serious neurological problems. These side effects are generally only present if there’s a severe deficiency or excess but it’s still always important to talk to a doctor before taking these supplements.

Men between the ages of 19-50 should be getting 1.3mg/day and over the age of 50, that amount should be increased to 1.7mg/day. Women who are 19-50 should make sure they have 1.3mg/day and once over the age of 50, that amount goes up to 1.5mg/day.

The best food sources of Vitamin B6 are meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and potatoes. Fruits and vegetables are not usually good sources of Vitamin B6 but watermelon and bananas are a couple of exceptions to that rule.

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