Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is a water-soluble vitamin that has positive effects on various aspects of health such as the skin, heart, brain, kidneys, hormones and immune system.
It fights fatigue, depression, mood swings, anxiety, anemia, and arthritis. Because it plays an essential role in human health, the inclusion of vitamin B6-rich foods in your regular diet is of great significance.
Health Benefits of Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Below mentioned are 7 excellent health benefits of vitamin B6:
Important For A Healthy Menstrual Cycle
Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in maintaining hormonal balance. It is believed that vitamin B6 relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which include depression, irritability, lack of energy and anxiety.
It reduces the severity of PMS and improves the overall quality of life. Studies have further revealed that consuming vitamin B6-rich foods on a regular basis decreases physical symptoms of PMS such as heart palpitations, bloating and edema.
Vitamin B6 regulates the mood and fends off depression. It enhances the secretion of serotonin, a feel-good hormone that reduces stress, anxiety and depression and uplifts mood.
Furthermore, intake of vitamin B6 reduces craving for sweets which is otherwise common during this phase. Hence, this amazing water-soluble vitamin can be regarded as the first line of defense in the treatment of PMS. (1, 2)
Pyridoxine For A Beautiful Skin
Vitamin B6 is essential for the maintenance and development of skin. Deficiency of this vitamin is associated with dermatitis and poor skin health.
Vitamin B6 enhances the production of collagen, a skin protein that plays a vital role in strengthening the skin and keeps it looking younger. It is also useful in the treatment of skin diseases such as psoriasis and melanoma.
Vitamin B6 restores hydration, moisturizes the skin and improves the overall texture of the skin. It fights inflammation and deactivates the harmful reactions caused by the presence of excess inflammatory compounds.
Pyridoxine is an important component of various skin-care products too.
Research has observed significant improvements in asthmatic individuals following vitamin B6 treatment. Such a treatment reduced the dosage of anti-asthmatic medications and use of bronchodilators.
Higher levels of tryptophan, an essential amino acid is found in asthmatics as compared to healthy individuals. A block in the tryptophan metabolism produces substances that cause constriction of the airways and cause difficulty in breathing. Furthermore, these substances reduce immune-enhancing compounds and thus, contribute to asthma.
Insufficiency of vitamin B6 impairs tryptophan metabolism. Getting adequate vitamin B6 is highly beneficial for asthmatics because it increases the excretion of harmful substances that trigger asthma. (3, 4)
Protects The Heart
Poor nutritional status of vitamin B6 is a common finding in individuals with heart diseases. In other words, vitamin B6 insufficiency is associated with the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
High level of homocysteine in the blood increases your chance of having heart diseases. Vitamin B6 enhances the breakdown of homocysteine and protects your heart against damage.
It further prevents the onset of heart diseases by lowering high blood pressure and maintaining it within normal range. Vitamin B6 enhances the activity of antithrombin, a protein that inhibits clot formation and ensures smooth blood flow throughout the body without putting any additional stress on the heart. (5, 6, 7)
Also Read: Ayurvedic Medicine for High Blood Pressure
Improves Lipid Profile
Individuals with altered lipid profile should make vitamin B6-rich foods a part of their daily diet. Vitamin B6 enhances the breakdown of fat from the food you eat into energy. It further boosts use of fat as a source of energy and prevents its accumulation in the body.
High intake of vitamin B6 helps in lowering total cholesterol and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglyceride level. It enhances the activity of enzymes that promote the breakdown of fat and inhibit synthesis of cholesterol in the blood.
Carnitine, a chemical compound helps in the breakdown of fat and prevents its deposition in the body. Production of carnitine depends on the presence of vitamin B6. Hence, vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in improving overall lipid profile. (8, 9)
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is helpful in the treatment of anemia. Deficiency of vitamin B6 may cause severe anemia and can destruct red blood cells.
Erythropoiesis is a process in which red blood cells are produced in the body. During insufficiency of vitamin B6, erythropoiesis is impaired, which in turn reduces the production of blood cells. This causes anemia and may lead to fatigue, weakness, pale skin, irritability, lack of concentration and headache.
Intake of foods rich in vitamin B6 and its supplements helps in normalizing hemoglobin values. Hence, anemia caused due to deficiency of vitamin B6 can be prevented by getting this vitamin in adequate amounts in your diet. (10)
Treats Kidney Stones
Supplementing with vitamin B6 reduces the risk of kidney stone formation and its recurrence. The likelihood of crystal formation increases when the excretion of oxalate in the urine is high.
High doses of vitamin B6 have reported a decrease in the excretion of oxalate in the urine. Hence, high intake of vitamin B6 has a positive impact on individuals with calcium oxalate stones. (11)