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Vitamin B6

The excellent multi-tasker

20193400_xlOur body depends heavily on enzymes, which are protein structures that help chemical reactions take place. As vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions, it has crucial and diverse functions in our bodies.

Functions
Prevents heart disease. Vitamin B6’s most prominent function is perhaps keeping heart disease at bay. It does so by preventing the build-up of compounds that damage blood vessel linings. It also lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, and keeps blood platelets from sticking together.
Synthesises new molecules. Vitamin B6 plays a key role in forming new cells and essential molecules, including amino acids, nuclei acids and the cell membrane – these are all building blocks for other molecules. This means most molecules in the body depend on vitamin B6 for their production.
Supports metabolism. Vitamin B6 helps breaks down glycogen – a form of starch – stored in our muscle cells. As with other B vitamins like B1 and B2, vitamin B6 plays an important role in athletic performance. Apart from processing carbohydrates, it also supports the addition and removal of other chemical compounds, thus helping the body to flexibly “switch” specific genes on and off.
Rids the blues. This vitamin also increases your body’s serotonin, a chemical that influences mood. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, so vitamin B6 acts like an antidepressant.
Curbs premenstrual acne flares. Women will understand how the monthly breakouts can be. Due to vitamin B6’s role in hormonal regulation, taking B6 supplements at least ten days before the menstrual period can prevent pimples from forming. Studies have also shown that this reduces bloating and breast pain, which are common premenstrual syndromes.

 

Signs of Deficiency
Skin disorders. Eczema and seborrheic dermatitis are signs of vitamin B6 deficiency, as they imply that the body tissue in skin cells have failed to regenerate quickly.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. Those marginally deficient in vitamin B6 may be more susceptible to this syndrome characterised by pain and tingling in the wrists after performing repeated movements.

The Health Promotion Board recommends a daily intake of 1.3 mg vitamin B6 for adults aged 19 to 50 years old. The recommended intake for pregnant and lactating woman is 2.0 mg per day.

Sources of Vitamin B6

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 Note: As large amounts of vitamin B6 are lost during most forms of cooking and processing, we should consume plentiful amounts of the above foods.
References:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/vitamin-supplements/vitamin-b63.htm

http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/2652

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=108

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Posted by ezyhealth on Feb 13 2014. Filed under Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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