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Dr. Corinne: The Benefits of Vitamin B6; It's Not What You're Thinking!
Dr. Corinne Weaver : Oct 11, 2019 DrCorinneWeaver.com
Vitamin B6 has also been found as an antioxidant to be helpful in addressing diabetes complications, cognitive aging and the prevention of coronary heart disease.
Did you know that B6 plays a vital role in supporting your blood, brain, immune system and metabolism, among other areas? Signs of B6 deficiency include anemia, confusion, depression, mouth and tongue inflammation and a weakened immune system. I have had many patients who have had these symptoms and after multiple testing the patient was found to have a B6 malabsorption issue or was not getting enough in their diet. (Image: Pixabay)
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a water-soluble vitamin first isolated in the 1930s.1 The human body cannot synthesize B6, so one must obtain this nutrient from the diet or in the form of a dietary supplement. B6 is naturally present in many foods, added to others (like fortified breakfast cereal). B6 is a generic term for six compounds with vitamin B6 activity, namely:2,3
About B6, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) writes:
Vitamin B6 in coenzyme forms performs a wide variety of functions in the body and is extremely versatile, with involvement in more than 100 enzyme reactions, mostly concerned with protein metabolism. Vitamin B6 also plays a role in cognitive development through the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters and in maintaining normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood, which is a signal of inflammation.
Food chart showing B6 levels in common foods:
Top Health Benefits of Vitamin B6
Balances your blood sugar — a 2015 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research4 found vitamin B6 helped regulate blood glucose levels and insulin release in lab mice. The study authors said, "Vitamin B6 prevents endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance and hepatic lipid accumulation. Supplementation of [vitamin] B6 should be considered to prevent metabolic syndrome."5
Benefits your skin and hair — Based on at least one study performed on lab rats, vitamin B6 has been shown to alleviate dermatitis, thereby promoting healthier, clearer skin.6
Bolsters your immune system — B6 is involved with the production of lymphocytes (white blood cells), which help your body fight infection. A study involving lab mice showed a lack of B6 "retards growth, inhibits lymphocyte proliferation and interferes with its differentiation," suggesting B6 deficiency can influence immunity.7 A 2006 study done in Taiwan demonstrated that B6 supplementation has a beneficial effect on immune responses in critically ill patients.8
Boosts your brain power — Studies of pregnant and lactating women and their offspring indicate that a mother's deficiency in vitamin B6 can alter the function of the neurotransmitters thought to play important roles in their child's learning and memory.9
A small study involving 8- to 15-year-old children with mood and behavioral problems demonstrated a vitamin-mineral supplement containing 7 mg of B6 was effective to "exert a stabilizing effect on mood, temper and anxiety in a manner that is relatively independent of diagnostic category."10
Protects against oxidative stress — Vitamin B6 has also been found as an antioxidant to be helpful in addressing diabetes complications, cognitive aging and the prevention of coronary heart disease.11 A 2012 study indicates a B6 deficiency that coexists with low folate or anemia was associated with depressive mood in elderly patients.12
The study authors said, "Elderly people with coexisting marginal deficiencies of nutrients involved in the S-Adenosyl methionine (SAMe) and hemoglobin production were more likely to experience depressed mood and emotion that affect daily activity."13
Experts from Mayo Clinic additionally suggest B6 may be useful to control high levels of homocysteine in your blood.14 Elevated homocysteine levels may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Additionally, B6 supplementation has been shown to reduce the severity of morning sickness during pregnancy, as well as soothe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and PMS-related depression.15, 16
Clearly, vitamin B6 is a necessary nutrient that has been shown to be useful in addressing a variety of health concerns, talk to your doctor today before attempting to address any medical conditions with B6 supplementation. Testing is the key and if blood and hair testing show a need for some support this nutrient could be invaluable in a number of key areas. There are so many vitamins with B6 in them and knowing how to dose can be instrumental. There is a description on this site what area of the body each vitamin supports the most. Look here for more information.
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16 BMJ May 22, 1999; 318(7195):1375-1381
Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.
Dr. Weaver was named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds.
Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.
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