While many bottles of food supplements tout the benefits of vitamin B6, what role does this vitamin actually play in our body?
It is present in the long list of vitamins indicated on cereal boxes that you read, your mind still foggy, in the early morning in front of your coffee. But what are the benefits of vitamin B6 ? Is it essential for our good health? And where to find it? Questions with more complex answers than some bottles touting the magical powers of the ” hair vitamin ” and other products might lead you to believe , not necessarily as simple as it seems.
The role of vitamin B6 for the body: why is it so essential?
Vitamin B6 exists in three forms: pyridoxal , pyridoxine and pyridoxamine , these three molecules being converted by the liver to pyridoxal phosphate (or pyridoxal 5-phosphate).
Water-soluble, vitamin b6 is said to be “essential” because our body cannot manufacture it on its own or store it. This is why it is essential for the body that it obtains it from the outside, in particular thanks to our food.
And for good reason, vitamin B6 has multiple functions, intervening in many chemical reactions involved:
– in the metabolism of amino acids (building blocks of proteins);
– in glucose metabolism (and therefore in the management of the body’s energy);
– in the metabolism of oxalic acid, reducing the risk of urinary stone formation.
“Vitamin B6 also helps the proper functioning of the nervous system, and supplements the action of magnesium – hence the association of magnesium / vitamin B6 in many food supplements – and contributes to the synthesis of red blood cells” , adds our expert. in nutrition.
Vitamin B6 deficiency: are there any withdrawal symptoms?
Indispensable for the renewal of red blood cells, vitamin B6 is thus involved in the functioning of the immune system and must be ingested in sufficient doses for our good health. However, do not panic, because vitamin B6 deficiencies are very rare , its contribution in a balanced diet being a priori sufficient for the proper functioning of our body.
Thus the dietician explains: “It is very rare to lack vitamin B6, especially in Western countries, because it is present in many foods.
If there is a deficiency, it is only rarely linked to insufficient intake except in the case of severe malnutrition (TCA, malnourished elderly, etc.). The deficiency can sometimes come from a malabsorption but again, it is very rare. There are sometimes deficiencies in a context of alcoholism or severe kidney failure. Most often, if there is a B6 deficiency, it is because there is a more general deficiency in group B vitamins. ” Treatment can then be considered following medical advice.
Vitamin B6: in what foods can you find it?
“Like other group B vitamins, pyridoxine is present in many foods.” But the highest concentrations are found in yeast and wheat germ.
And also in the liver, fatty fish (tuna, salmon, etc.), organ meats, poultry, meats, potatoes, pistachios, dried bananas, avocados and our famous breakfast cereals (when they are are not processed too much).
Water-soluble, it therefore escapes the cooking water, but it is however resistant to cooking itself.
The dosage of vitamin B6: how to supplement?
If vitamin B6 is essential for the proper functioning of the body, its action is only useful when combined with the intake of magnesium, as explained by the dietician.
“Taken alone, vitamin B6 is of little interest, even if you are promised energy, tone and hormonal balance. A normal diet largely covers the needs. On the other hand, it is readily associated with magnesium which it promotes assimilation, and together, they help fight against fatigue and stress. But in this case, the B6 is a magnesium carrier. “
Also most of the treatments offered are they by combining the two molecules, in the form of capsules or tablets to be taken orally, the dosage of which must be indicated by a professional. Indeed,“The ingestion of very large doses of vitamin B6 can cause nervous system disorders and cause poor coordination of movements, sensitivity disorders and interact with certain drugs” .
Vitamin B6, a vitamin with many benefits, therefore, but to be consumed in supplementation with measure and with the advice of a medical professional.
Is Vitamin B6 Important For Pregnant Women?
The WHO specifies that, at one time, vitamin B6 deficiency could have preventive effects on pre-eclampsia and premature births. However, the various studies on the subject do not provide any proof as to the benefit (or relating to any risk either) of supplementation. The WHO therefore concludes with the recommendation of a balanced diet during pregnancy, and indicates that it should be sufficient.What are the recommended nutritional intakes of VitB6 according to age?
An adult woman (over 16 years of age) should be able to ingest an average of 1.5 mg per day, and for an adult man, this recommended intake is 1.8.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women and the elderly need 2 and 2.2 mg / day, respectively.
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