Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)


Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the vitamin B complex. Vitamin B6 should be made sufficiently available on a daily basis through a high-quality diet or through supplementation. In addition, a healthy intestinal flora can also produce vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 is one of the cofactors in the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins. The need for vitamin B6 is particularly important for protein absorption, because it is linked to amino acid metabolism with vitamin B6 dependent enzymes. If we consume too much protein, vitamin B6 is already spent on this and there is little or nothing left for other processes in the body. The body is 40-98% dependent on the intake from our food.

Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine must first be converted in the body to Pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (P-5'-P), this form is then immediately available. P-5'-P, the biologically active form of vitamin B6, is therefore preferred because the body does not lose energy during the conversion.

P-5'-P is involved in more than 140 enzymatic reactions in the body. P-5'-P dependent enzymes also play a role in glycogen metabolism, which in turn contributes to a good energy supply. P-5'-P is also involved in the production of hemoglobin and also plays a role in the mitochondria through the involvement of the production of heme compounds.

Vitamin B6 also plays a role in the immune system. It is required as a coenzyme in the production of some immunoglobulins and cytokines. Vitamin B6 is essential in cysteine synthesis and homocysteine metabolism. Vitamin B6 further regulates hormonal activity.

Vitamin B6 also plays a role in the production of a hormone-like substance prostaglandin, because it contributes to the conversion of linoleic acid into GLA. Prostaglandins have an essential regulatory role in several vital body processes. In addition, vitamin B6 is involved in cholesterol metabolism. Too short can lead to improper cholesterol metabolism, resulting in a greater risk of arteriosclerosis.

Furthermore, P-5'-P is important for the normal functioning of the nervous system, because it plays a role in the production of neurotransmitters. It is necessary for the production of dopamine, serotonin, GABA, noradrenaline and melatonin. Even with a small deficiency of vitamin B6, the production of GABA and serotonin is reduced. For example, a shortage of vitamin B6 can lead to a nervous system that does not function optimally, resulting in irritability, insomnia, depression, dizziness and headache.

Vitamin B6 also ensures the balance of the 2 minerals potassium and sodium, which are important for the functioning of the nervous system. A good balance of these 2 minerals is also important for moisture regulation in the body. If this is not the case, this can lead to edema.

Other functions of Vitamin B6 are that it has a preventive effect on cardiovascular diseases, helps to reduce premenstrual complaints, and supports the absorption of vitamin B12, magnesium and iron. And is necessary for the functioning of magnesium, acts as a co-factor in the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into vitamin B3.

One must be careful with too much intake of vitamin B6, which can accumulate in the body, which in turn is toxic. If this is the case, it may indicate a malfunctioning liver. The liver converts vitamin B6 (pyridoxal, pyridoxine-5-phosphate or pyridoxine) into the biologically active form pyridoxal-5-phosphate. This happens together with the co-factors vitamin B2 and B3 and zinc. However, it can also happen that the biologically active form pyridoxal-5-phosphate is accumulated, but this indicates a deficiency of zinc and magnesium.

A deficiency of vitamin B6 can also lead to no dream memory, dejection, depression, confusion, hair loss, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), thrombosis, anemia, skin problems in the corner of the mouth and around the eyes, nose and tongue. Inflamed tongue, seborrheic dermatitis, burning feet, kidney stones and sensitivity to light.

The biologically active form pyridoxal-5-phosphate can only be obtained from food of animal origin. Such as meat, poultry, fish and egg yolks. Vegetable sources such as legumes and brown rice contain the less easily absorbable form pyridoxine.

Other foods that contain vitamin B6 are shrimps, whole grain products, nuts such as walnuts and hazelnuts, seeds, avocado, vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, cabbage. Fruit, garlic potatoes and legumes.