What are the Benefits of Vitamin B6? The Science Made Simple

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    Vitamin B6 is just one of the many vital B vitamins your body needs that has many health benefits to offer.

    Vitamin B6 is found in many different kinds of foods, including salmon, chickpeas, and chicken. But that doesn't mean you're getting enough of it. A lack of vitamin B6 can cause many serious side effects, so getting enough in your diet is important.

    The benefits of vitamin B6 include supporting a healthy heart, helping with temporary pregnancy related nausea, and aiding blood circulation. If you're not getting enough B6 through your regular diet, it might be time to consider supplementing with a convenient vitamin pack.

    To find out more about the important health benefits of vitamin B6, have a look at the list below.

    Why Is It Important to Maintain Healthy Vitamin B6 Levels?

    Vitamin B6 is just one of the many vital B vitamins your body needs. It helps to keep your blood oxygenated and is equally important for your immune system to function optimally.

    Vitamin B6 also helps in the creation of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is also known as the "happy hormone." That's why vitamin B6 is hailed for its mood-promoting properties.

    Another important reason to keep your B6 levels optimal is that it helps turn the food you eat into the energy your body needs. This can suport your energy levels.

    Dosing and Side Effects

    Whichever way you decide to incorporate vitamin B6 into your life, you must get the dosing right. How much you need depends on factors such as gender and age. Your weight and height should also be taken into account when deciding on the right dosage of vitamin B6.

    Side effects can occur when your vitamin B6 dosage is incorrect. Take too little, and you won't see any benefits. Take too much, and you might experience numbness in the arms and legs. Fortunately, most of this is not permanent. Adjustments to your dosage can manage these symptoms.

    Vitamin B6 Deficiency

    A lack of vitamin B6 in the body can have side effects. Thankfully, a vitamin B6 deficiency can be easy to spot. Most people at risk for deficiency include those with digestive issues that can impact nutrient absorption, pregnant people, those with kidney issues, and use of certain medications can deplete vitamin B6. Watch out for feeling more tired than usual, or for experiences of occasional brain fog and/or fatigue.

    A vitamin B6 deficiency can cause such symptoms because vitamin B6 helps your blood carry oxygen. Not having enough oxygen in your blood can causes overall lethargy in your body.

    Anemia is another symptom of vitamin B6 deficiency. This happens when you have a low red blood cell count and aren't getting the iron that your cells so desperately need.

    If you have skin changes like an unexplainable rash or dry and chapped lips, then it may be related to a nutrient deficiency. It is always best practice to discuss your skin concerns and symptoms with your doctor before starting new supplements.

    A vitamin B6 deficiency can impact your immune system. There are also some mood-related symptoms associated with a vitamin B6 deficiency, including occasional sadness and confusion. This is because B6 has an integral role in promoting neurotransmitter development in the brain.

    If you're experiencing many of these symptoms, you can always ask your doctor to perform a blood test to see if you are deficient in B6 or any other nutrients. Once your deficiency is identified, starting to incorporate the proper nutrients into your diet, through food or a supplement, can help you maintain optimal health.

    7 Health Benefits of Vitamin B6

    Now that you know how much you need vitamin B6, let's take a more detailed look into its many benefits. It really is a powerful vitamin when it comes to boosting your health. Once you begin taking the correct dosage, you'll notice the benefits very quickly.

    It is difficult to know if you're getting the right vitamin B6 dosage from diet alone. That's why a great way to ensure you are getting the right amount is to take a B6 supplement. One simple pill a day is enough to make sure you get the many benefits of this vitamin.

    May Boost Mood and Manage Symptoms of Occasional Mental Tension

    It's all too easy to become stressed and bogged down with the weight of the world these days. So if there's something you can do to improve your mood, then you should! Vitamin B6 is believed to have mood-enhancing benefits due to its role in the production of dopamine.

    Vitamin B6 also helps in the creation of certain kinds of neurotransmitters. These particular neurotransmitters can help to regulate emotions, which makes them important for boosting your mood when experiencing occasional mental nervousness or tension as a result of poor nutrient status. If experiencing constant mood challenges be sure to talk to your doctor about the best resources to support your mental health.

    Supports Brain Health

    Vitamin B6 has been shown to promote the functioning of the brain and support its overall health.

    The increase in neurotransmitters made by vitamin B6 is important for your brain's health. Not only can it balance your mood as mentioned above, but it may even help to manage occasional brain fog and mental fatigue.

    Aids Hemoglobin Production and Blood Circulation

    One of the most important functions of vitamin B6 is its role in maintaining good blood health. B6 helps to create red blood cells which are vital for transporting oxygen throughout your body.

    Additionally, vitamin B6 helps to promote and develop hemoglobin in your blood. This is the part of the blood that transports oxygen from the lungs to the blood and around your body, so it is important for your health.

    As well as promoting better blood circulation and hemoglobin production, vitamin B6 regulates the number of amino acids in your blood. These are the building blocks of protein, and so your blood must be able to correctly regulate them.

    Helps Combat Symptoms of PMS

    The symptoms of PMS can disrupt your day and make you feel quite ill. Vitamin B6 may help to relieve some of these symptoms. The production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine may help those suffering from PMS.

    Vitamin B6 helps the body develop a chemical called prostaglandin E1 from essential fatty acids (also known as EFA). Studies have suggested that people who experience PMS often don't have enough of this chemical in their bodies. This implies that having sufficient B6 levels may help manage PMS symptoms. Other theories suggest that excess prostaglandins in general may be responsible for uterus contractions and can play a role in PMS symptoms such as abdominal bloating and cramping. Levels may be too high in those with PMS symptoms.

    The clinical trials done with B6 supplementation to manage PMS symptoms show potential but more studies need to be done. Dietary modifications are a great place to start managing PMS symptoms including minimizing caffeine, sugar, and alcohol intake.

    Helps With Nausea During Pregnancy

    Nausea is a common occurrence during pregnancy. Thankfully, vitamin B6 may combat this nausea. By helping to keep your amino acids in check, vitamin B6 makes nausea easier to handle, especially during pregnancy.

    Vitamin B6 is not known for causing any complications with the fetus, so if you're pregnant you should still incorporate vitamin B6 into your diet.

    Supports a Healthy Heart

    Another important function of vitamin B6 is its role in maintaining a healthy heart. Vitamin B6 can help to manage homocysteine levels in your blood. This chemical when present in excess can cause blood vessel issues, which means your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body.

    By managing the homocysteine levels in your blood, vitamin B6 can boost your overall heart health.

    Promotes Eye Health

    Eye health is often overlooked until it begins to become a problem. Maintaining the right dosage of vitamin B6 in your body can help to promote eye health before issues begin to occur by promoting healthy blood flow throughout the body, including the eyes.

    Vitamin B6 has been shown to support eye health even as you age. This study saw a correlation with low vitamin B6 levels and those who happen to have age related eye issues. According to results from this study, making sure you get sufficient vitamin B6 daily can help maintain healthy eyesight.

    There Are So Many Benefits of Vitamin B6

    If you want to get all the benefits of vitamin B6, then it's time to consider measuring your levels, increasing your food sources, or even taking it as a supplement. It's an easy vitamin to miss out on if you aren't carefully monitoring your dietary intake of it.

    At Care/of, we want to make sure you're the healthiest you that you can be! That's why we've created a quiz to help you figure out the right vitamins you need to keep your body functioning at its best.

    You can access our quiz here. If you're ready to hear more about the benefits of daily vitamins and supplements, then get in touch with our customer service team. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have and get you started towards a healthier you!

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Our Editorial Staff
    Freelance Contributor
    The Care/of Editorial Team is made up of writers, experts, and health enthusiasts, all dedicated to giving you the information you need today. Our team is here to answer your biggest wellness questions, read the studies for you, and introduce you to your new favorite product, staying up to date on the latest research, trends, and science. Each article is written by one of our experts, reviewed both for editorial standards by an editor and medical standards by one of our naturopathic doctors, and updated regularly as new information becomes available.