Published: 02/02/2011 - Updated: 08/13/2019
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei
Vitamin B6 is also called paridoxina, it is a water soluble vitamin, which is excreted through urine and must be replenished daily with the diet because if you do not, you run the risk of deficiency.
This vitamin fulfills important functions in the body like:
- Essential for the body to properly manufacture antibodies and erythrocytes.
- Required for efficient absorption of vitamin B12 and magnesium, is essential for the production of hydrochloric acid and magnesium.
- Involved in the synthesis of DNA and RNA.
- Maintains proper functioning of nerve cells and involved in the formation of myelin.
- Important to maintain water balance in the body, because of the concentration levels of sodium and potassium which are responsible to detain and expel the water in the body.
- Improves the action of linoleic acid in the body.
- Promotes the absorption of iron.
- Helps correct tics, cramps and epilepsy, as it is necessary for brain function.
- Participates in many enzymatic reactions in the metabolism of amino acids, the primary task of transferring amino groups.
- Involved in the production of brain chemicals like serotonin, which regulates mood and can help in cases of stress, depression, anxiety, and/or sleep disturbances.
- It is commonly referred as "women's vitamin" because it is associated with relief of premenstrual syndrome such as irritability, discouragement, etc.
- Helps athletes to increase muscle performance and feel more strength and energy, as when an athlete requires more effort promotes the release of glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles.
- Helps reduce dry mouth due to taking medications, usually some antidepressants.
- Can help in weight loss diets because it helps the body to get energy from stored fat.
Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause:
- Irritability, anxiety, nervousness, poor concentration, etc.
- Bad breath
- Cramps in the abdomen
- Strong fumes
- Dandruff, sores or ulcers on the lips, mouth or tongue.
- When the deficiency is continuing and severe, it may cause seborrheic dermatitis in eyebrows and scalp; hands become dry and cracked.
- Gestational diabetes is associated with a deficiency of vitamin B6, which would cause a low level of insulin that hinders the entry of carbohydrates into the cells.
All of these symptoms or diseases due to lack of vitamin B6 in the diet are due to the number of lymphocytes in the blood that raise the level of urea and uric acid, which indicates the inadequate utilization of proteins in the body .
The main sources of vitamin B6 are:
- Brewer's yeast
- Black Molasses
- Wheat germ and bran
- Beef liver and kidneys
- Vegetables and legumes
- Foods rich in whole grains, whole bread and cereal
- Potatoes, bananas and melons
- Salmon, mackerel, trout and tuna
Vitamin B6 is easily lost if:
- It is cooked in tin
- When exposed to light
- When stored for long time
Take care if:
- You are pregnant, as you may be prone to lack of this vitamin during pregnancy.
- You follow a high protein diet.
- People with diabetes often find that they need less insulin if they take vitamin B6, so you must monitor your glucose levels and adjusting insulin doses.
- You have cramps in legs or other parts.
It is difficult to be deficient in this vitamin since it is found in various foods of the basic diet (such as fish, legumes, vegetables, etc.)
Vitamin B6-rich recipes:
- Marinated salmon
- Garden cress
- Sea salt
- Black Olives
- Olive oil
- Cut the salmon into slices and place in bottom of dish. Peel and chop the tomato and avocado into tiny dices.
- Dress the lettuce with oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice and place in center of plate, put avocado and tomato, both already seasoned, sprinkle with olive oil and nuts. Finally, decorate with garden cress.
- For the sauce, chop the olives, place them in a bowl and cover with olive oil.
Banana and almond smoothie
It’s rich in vitamin B and is a fantastic food for young, pregnant women, athletes and everyone.
- 4 Bananas
- 1 liter of almond milk
- Rice Molasses
- 2 nuts
- 1 tablespoon of wheat germ
- Peel the bananas and blend, drink slowly. It is delicious and very nutritive.
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