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Vitamin B6: What are its health benefits and where to find it

Among the vitamins that make up the B complex is vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine. Like the others in the group, it has very important functions in the human organism.

Vanessa Caluete, clinical nutritionist at LC Restaurantes (company of collective meals) and postgraduate in Sports Nutrition and Metabolism by GANEP – Human Nutrition, explains that vitamin B is necessary for the proper functioning of more than 60 enzymes, participates in the multiplication of cells (including those of the immune system) and the production of red blood cells.

Vitamin B6 is found in abundance in foods of animal and plant origin, so it can be supplied to the body through food.

This vitamin plays an important role, for example, in pregnancy, but it offers numerous other health benefits. Learn more about her below.

7 key benefits of vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is one of the most important nutrients in the human body, playing an important role in the chemical reactions that take place in the body. Check out:

  1. It acts in the multiplication of cells: Vanessa points out that vitamin B6 participates in the multiplication of cells of the immune system and in the production of red blood cells.
  2. Prevents anemia: The nutritionist highlights that vitamin B6 plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of this disease, as it helps in the production of hemoglobin which, in turn, transports iron throughout the body.
  3. Reduces PMS Symptoms: Vanessa also explains that the vitamin works to eliminate excess estrogen, thus helping to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual tension.
  4. Improves sleep and contributes to good mood: Vitamin B6 helps in the production of serotonin, among other important neurotransmitters related to sleep and mood. It can also help to improve the symptoms of depression.
  5. Maintains brain integrity: being responsible for the synthesis of some neurotransmitters (dopamine, histamine, serotonin and epinephrine), highlights behavioral nutritionist Patrícia Cruz, vitamin B6 helps maintain brain integrity.
  6. Helps in the absorption and digestion of nutrients: Patricia highlights that vitamin B6 actively participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.
  7. It is important in pregnancy: the behavioral nutritionist explains that this vitamin is important in pregnancy as it helps to prevent anemia and also helps to reduce nausea and vomiting. Vanessa also points out that vitamin B6 helps in the metabolism of the protein consumed, which will be used in the production of breast milk.

With so many papers, there is no doubt how important the consumption of this vitamin is, and it is done through food.

Where to find vitamin B6

The good news is that vitamin B6 is present in many foods, so deficiency is rare. Nutritionists highlight the following as the main sources of this vitamin:

animal sources

  • Fish (salmon, cod, tuna, trout, anchovy)
  • poultry meat
  • Pig meat
  • Beef
  • Milk
  • Viscera (liver, heart, kidney)
  • Eggs

Sources of plant origin

  • Fruits such as bananas, avocados, watermelon and plums
  • Whole grains (whole wheat, wheat germ)
  • White bean
  • Soy
  • Pea
  • Nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts)
  • Potato
  • Oat
  • Sunflower seed

According to Patricia, the daily recommendation for vitamin B6 is, on average, 1.3 mg.

Vanessa highlights that the amounts of vitamin B6 consumption should be established according to physiological needs, taking into account gender, age and gestational period (for women).

Signs of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Deficiency of this vitamin, which is present in many foods, is relatively rare, but it can occur, bringing signs such as those highlighted below by nutritionists:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • swollen tongue
  • Insomnia
  • headache
  • Lip and skin lesions
  • Irritability and/or mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • More intense symptoms in premenstrual tension
  • Nausea associated with pregnancy

Supplementation, according to Patricia, is necessary when there are signs of deficiency, during pregnancy and in risk groups, such as alcoholics.

But, it is worth noting that only a health professional can diagnose the deficiency of this vitamin and indicate supplementation.

Too much vitamin B6

Patricia explains that excessive consumption through food is rare. “It can happen in cases of supplementation, causing insomnia and lack of appetite – symptoms that disappear after two weeks of discontinuing the supplement,” she says.

Vanessa points out that vitamin B6 hypervitaminosis can cause nerve damage, arms and legs: tingling, cramps and muscle spasms. “Effects range from headache to insomnia to nausea,” she adds.

Now you know the benefits of vitamin B6 and the main foods that contain it. It is worth noting that a balanced diet, preferably guided by a nutritionist, will probably meet the daily needs of this and other vitamins.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.

Tais Romanelli

Journalist graduated in 2009 (58808/SP), freelance writer since 2013, totally adept at working from home. Communicative, always full of topics to talk about and inspiration to write. Responsible at work and outside of it; dedicated to commitments and the people with whom she lives; in love with family, dogs, home, the sea, moments of tranquility and also excitement.

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