What does vitamin B6 do for me? Why do I need vitamin B6?
This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! and today I’m talking about vitamin B6!
Vitamin B6 promotes the hundreds of biochemical reactions necessary for protein synthesis and is important for immune and nervous system function, the manufacture of red blood cells, and the production of tryptophan an important nervous system hormone. Over all it benefits you by protecting against cardiovascular disorders, infectious diseases and, because of its impact on tryptophan metabolism, has been shown to reduce depression in some studies.
And get this! Vitamin B6 in combination with a medication called doxylamine is recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology to treat morning sickness!
Humans can’t synthesize vitamin B6 so we depend upon dietary intake to get sufficient amounts of this essential nutrient. Fortunately, deficiency of vitamin B6 is not common. Alcoholics are at risk, however.
The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin B6 is 1.3 mg per day for both adult males and females, which are revised upward for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Foods rich in vitamin B6 include fish, poultry, nuts, avocado, potatoes and bananas. Vitamin B6 can also be taken as a dietary supplement and most multivitamin and mineral formulations contain sufficient quantities of vitamin B6 to ensure adequate daily intake.
Despite abundant food sources in the United States, however, the 2013 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that 14% of the US population does not meet the estimated average daily requirement for vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 taken as a supplement is generally safe if the tolerable upper intake is limited to no more than 100mg daily in adults. Nutritional experts propose 2mg daily as the optimal dose.
So eat your chicken and fish, don’t forget the hazelnuts and avocados and ensure adequate intake by consuming a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement daily – all of this for a healthy heart, improving your moods and ensuring a high performance immune system.
This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Thanks for listening and stay tuned for our next segment when I’ll tell why you need vitamin B12 to stay healthy and happy!
Reference: The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, 2015. Online [available at]: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic Accessed May 25, 2015.