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Vitamin B6 Fact Sheet

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Pyridoxine: Learn All About Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is part of the B group of vitamins that plays a role in providing optimum health for the body. A water soluble nutrient that is naturally present in many foods, it is also artificially added to some foods and is available in many supplements that contain the other B group vitamins.

Function

Extremely important in the formation of antibodies and red blood cells, Vit B6 also assists with nerve function, carbohydrate metabolism and protein metabolism.

Food Source

Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods such as meat, liver, pork, fish, corn, wheat, peanuts, avocado, potatoes and legumes. Water soluble vitamins such as those in the B group are easily destroyed through the cooking process. As such it is recommended that some raw food sources are included in your daily diet.

RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)

For men and women under 50 years of age, it is recommended they consume at least 1.3mg. For people aged over 50, the RDI (recommended daily intake) is 1.5mg for women and 1.7mg for men.

Food Portion Guide

Many breakfast cereals are fortified with approximately 25% of the RDI of Vit B6, as 1 tablespoon of wheat germ can provide up to 0.35mg. Pyridoxine can also be found naturally in many foods. For example, one chicken breast contains about 0.5mg of vitamin B6 and 1 cup of chickpeas can contain up to 1.1mg. Just 85g of liver or yellow fin tuna will give you approximately 0.9mg of your recommended daily intake.

Possible Symptoms of Deficiency

Deficiency is quite uncommon, but symptoms may include anemia, scaling and cracking of the lips, depression, confusion and a weakened immune system. People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol and women who take the contraceptive pill are more at risk of developing a deficiency over time.

Possible Side Effects Of Overdose

Overdose from natural food sources is extremely uncommon and very unlikely. Chronic overuse of over-the-counter medication containing high levels of pyridoxine may cause ataxia (loss of control of body movements), lesions of the skin, photosensitivity, nausea and heartburn.

In summary, by following a healthy balanced diet including small portions of foods such as liver, fish, wheat, peanuts and legumes, you are likely to achieve your RDI. The body has a limited ability to retain and store Pyridoxine, so it is important to replace your Vitamin B6 levels on a daily basis.

If you are concerned that your B6 levels are not within normal ranges, consult your Doctor to discuss your options.

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About Author

As Editor in Chief of 'Health & Wellbeing Australia', Lucinda brings over 20 years experience in the Health Industry, with 14 years as a practicing, registered Physiotherapist; specializing in pelvic floor and erectile dysfunction issues, to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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