5-minute read•July 11th, 2018
Sometimes we all need a helping hand to stay energetic and focused. All vitamins from the B-complex deserve credit for helping us do that. Responsible for turning food into energy, B-complex vitamins work well as a team. However, taken individually, they also have unique specialities. So, what makes vitamin B6 stand out from the rest? Let’s take a closer look.
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Types: Pyridoxine, pyridoxine phosphate, pyridoxine, pyridoxine phosphate, pyridoxal, pyridoxal 5-phosphate (all collectively referred to as vitamin B6).
Best known for: Energy metabolism and the maintenance of immune.
Good sources: Organ meat, fish, starchy vegetables and non-citrus fruits.
Recommended dietary allowance (RDA): 1.5 mg per day. The maximum intake level unlikely to cause adverse effects is 25 mg/day.
Vitamin B6 in Jake:
Jake Light and Original: 33% of RDA
Jake Sports: 25% of RDA
Vitaminbars: 26% of RDA
What is vitamin B6?
The name vitamin B6 refers collectively to a group of six vitamersThe six vitamers of vitamin B6 are pyridoxine, pyridoxine phosphate, pyridoxamine, pyridoxamine phosphate, pyridoxal, pyridoxal 5-phosphate.. Vitamers are chemical compounds with similar molecular structures. They exhibit the same activity, with only slight variations. Like the rest of the B-complex vitamins, vitamin B6 is water-solubleVitamins can be fat-soluble and water-soluble. Vitamin B6 is water-soluble. This means it can be dissolved in water and is not stored in the body.in all its forms. In dietary supplements, vitamin B6 is mostly found as pyridoxine.
Health benefits of vitamin B6
Once it is biologically activatedOften, a substance needs to be converted into its active form before it can fulfil any function in the body. The process of converting a substance into its active form is called biological activation., vitamin B6 serves as a coenzymeEnzymes are substances, mostly proteins, that speed up biochemical reactions within the body. A coenzyme is a substance that helps enzymes do their job.for more than 100 biochemical reactions in the body. Most of these are related to the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. This makes vitamin B6 crucial in ensuring that the nutrients from your food are converted into energy.
The key functions of vitamin B6 are:
- Helping convert nutrients from your food into energy.
- Beneficial for a good mental balance
- Keeping your immune system in shape: By enabling the production of lymphocytesA lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell involved in the immune system’s response against bacteria, viruses and toxins. and the protein regulating their activity, vitamin B6 promotes the normal functioning of the immune system.
- Supports cysteine production.
How much vitamin B6 do you need?
Healthy adult men need 1.7 mg of vitamin B6 per day. The recommended daily intake for women is 1.5 mg.These amounts reflect the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). That’s basically a portion of tuna with a side of potatoes.
Vitamin B6 in foods
Present in a variety of foods, vitamin B6 is most abundant in organ meet, fish, starchy vegetables and non-citrus fruits.
Here are the best sources of vitamin B6:
|Food||RDA (%)*||Vitamin B6 (mg)|
|Tuna, cooked (85 g)||60%||0.9|
|Beef liver (85 g)||60%||0.9|
|Pork (125 g)||40%||0.6|
|Avocado (one, whole)||33%||0.5|
|Potatoes, boiled (130 g)||27%||0.4|
* Based on the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) established by EFSA for healthy adult men (1.7 mg/day)
What if you’re not getting enough vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 deficiency occurs rarely and almost never on its own. It’s usually associated with an inadequate intake of other vitamins from the B-complex.
A deficiency of vitamin B6 can affect the skin, immune system and cognitive functions. Common symptoms are anaemia, dermatitisDermatitis is a skin condition caused by inflammation and characterized by red, itchy skin., as well as depression and disorientation. These symptoms could take months or even years to manifest.
People with poor kidney function or rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that results in painful, swollen and stiff joints. are at a higher risk of vitamin B6 deficiency. Chronic alcohol consumption also makes deficiency more likely, because alcohol impairs the absorption of vitamin B6.
How much vitamin B6 is too much?
Consuming a potentially dangerous amount of vitamin B6 is highly unlikely from food alone. However, oral ingestion of 1-6 grams (>600 times the RDA) for a period of 12 to 40 months can cause nerve damage and loss of control over bodily movements. Other side effects include painful skin lesions, sun allergy, nausea and heartburn.
To avoid these side effects, adhere to the tolerable upper intake limit (UL) of 25 mg/day.
The top three things to keep in mind about vitamin B6 are:
- Vitamin B6 helps you turn food into energy and keeps your immune functions intact.
- You can find vitamin B6 in a variety of foods. It’s most abundant in organ meet, fish, starchy vegetables and non-citrus fruits.