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Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin essential in smaller amounts to ensure optimal health. When you consume sources of vitamin B6, it will be absorbed by the small intestine. From here, the absorbed vitamin B6 will form part of a pool of “free”-vitamin B6 in the body, where it is further absorbed to perform its numerous functions.

Importance of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 has an active coenzyme that play a special role in numerous functions in the body. Some of the most critical functions include the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein. Beyond its coenzyme form, vitamin B6 also plays an essential role in:

  • Brain development
  • Formation of neurotransmitters (messengers in the brain)
  • Helps to maintain normal levels of homocysteine (an amino acid, found within the blood, that if present in excess, can result in various diseases)
  • Immune function
  • Formation of hemoglobin (a protein in your red blood cells)
  • Formation of blood glucose (sugar), from sources other than carbohydrates to provide the body with energy
  • Breakdown of stored blood glucose (sugar) to provide the body with energy

Food sources

Vitamin B6 can be found naturally within a variety of foods such as bread, cereal, rice, pasta, meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts.

Deficiency and Excess intake

The risk for a vitamin B6 deficiency is unlikely because more of the vitamin is available in a typical diet than is required. If a deficiency does occur, then it usually occurs along with a vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin B12 deficiency. The risk for a vitamin B6 deficiency increases in individuals who have:

  • End-stage kidney disease
  • Severe kidney disorders
  • Celiac disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Other malabsorptive disorders
  • Homocystinuria
  • Certain genetic disorders

If a vitamin B6 deficiency does develop, it will result in a variety of symptoms that become more pronounced as the deficiency progresses. The following symptoms are indicative of a vitamin B6 deficiency

  • Anemia
  • Problems with brain activity
  • Dry and cracked lips
  • Cracks at the corner of your mouth
  • Swollen tongue
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Poor immune function

To find out if you have a higher vitamin B6 requirement, make the better choice and choose EatwellgxTM+.





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