Vitamin B6 Benefits - A "Mighty Vite" That's Up To The Fight!

Vitamin B6 Benefits - Vascular Disease and a Whole Lot More

 



Vitamin B6 benefits you in maybe more ways than any other vitamin. Vitamin B6 has been called the "mighty vite" because of all the functions it performs. It is estimated that Vitamin B6 is involved with more than 101 chemical reactions that occur in our bodies.

Vitamin B6 helps us by aiding in the manufacturing of amino acids. Amino acids are what we need to build proteins. And as we all know, proteins are essential for the repair and growth of our tissue.

 

Vitamin B6 benefits our brains as well. Vitamin B6 helps us to make what's called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that connect one nerve cell to the next and enable these two nerve cells to communicate with one another.

 

Some of these neurotransmitters are serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and what's called GABA. These neurotransmitters are essential for regulating our mood and even helping to ward off depression in our later years.

Vitamin B6 benefits us also by helping us to metabolize our foods and converting these foods into energy we need to get us through our day.

Even though the Vitamin B6 benefits we mentioned above are nothing to sneeze at (sorry, that's Vitamin C right?), we feel that Vitamin B6 may play a part in preventing disease ... vascular disease and brain disease.

 

Vitamin B6 Benefits Us in Our Fight Against Vascular Disease

Vascular Disease can take many forms i.e. heart disease and stroke for instance. And although there are many factors leading up to

vascular disease, one of our bodies' chemicals has been identified as an independent risk factor. That chemical is what's called homocysteine (I know - "i" before "e" except after "c")

We covered homocysteine quite a bit on our Folic Acid page, so I will refer you there if you really want to learn about homocysteine.

But just briefly, homocysteine is a byproduct of our eating meat. Normally our bodies want to convert homocysteine into methionine which your body needs to make proteins and to perform other chemical processes. However, we need Vitamin B6 benefits to do so. Remember - homocysteine is bad ... methionine is good.

Many recent and exciting studies have shown the indisputable relationship between Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 and a significant lowering of our homocysteine levels ... and along with lower homocysteine levels, a significant lowering of our risk for vascular disease.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled "Homocysteine vs. Vitamin B6" tells us that "In fact, the study showed that people with the highest blood levels of vitamin B6 had about one third the risk of developing heart disease compared with people with the lowest levels of Vitamin B6"

 

Vitamin B6 Benefits Us In Our Fight Against Losing Our Minds

Again, although there are many factors that can contribute to us losing our minds (our kids for instance), the "H" word has once again reared its ugly head... yes homocysteine.

A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stresses the importance of the B Vitamins Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 in the normal functioning of our brains. This particular study even links a deficiency of these vitamins to a cognitive decline in our later years leading to Alzheimer's Disease.

This study titled "B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurocognitive function in the elderly" tells us that "The status of these vitamins isfrequently inadequate in the elderly and recent studies have shown associations between loss of cognitive function or Alzheimer disease and inadequate B vitamin status".

Vitamin B6 Benefits Us in Strengthening Our Immune Systems

Vitamin B6 helps our bodies to produce what's called Lymphocytes. These are white blood cells that are called out to attack foreign invaders in our bodies called antigens. Antigens are toxins, bacteria and viruses that don't belong in our bodies.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tells us that folks who are low in Vitamin B6 are also low in antigen fighting lymphocytes. In a study titled "Pyridoxine (B6) supplementation: effect on lymphocyte responses in elderly persons" we are told "Vitamin B6 depletion significantly decreased percentage and total number of lymphocytes"

Remember that the above diseases are chronic diseases. These diseases progress over time and may be a result of suboptimal nutritional intake over the same periods.

How Much Vitamin B6 Do I Need To Get My Vitamin B6 Benefits ?

The RDA for an adult under 50 years is 1.3 mg. per day. For folks over 50 it is 1.7 mg. However, it is estimated that up to 30% of us are deficient in Vitamin B6. Women who are pregnant or nursing or are on oral contraceptives, people who smoke and older folks are especially at risk of being deficient in Vitamin B6..

Vitamin B6 is found naturally in turkey, chicken, salmon, tuna, bananas, potatoes (skin included), soybeans, nuts and brown rice for example. Of this group, a baked potato with the skin comes in at the highest with about 0.70 mg of Vitamin B6 benefits. A banana is next with about 0.68 mg. One cup of fortified cereal can get you between 0.5 to 2.5 mg.

You'll usually find 25 - 50 mg of Vitamin b6 in a vitamin supplement or a Vitamin B Complex product.

What Do We Recommend?

Vitamin B6 benefits us best when we take it with other nutrients in the form of a multivitamin. This insures that Vitamin B6 and the other nutrients you are getting are working together synergistically.

None other than Harvard School of Public Health weighed in by stating that the, "... intake of several vitamins above the minimum daily requirement may prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases."

Also, an article apperaing in the Journal of the American Medical Association had this to say... "suboptimal intake of some vitamins, above levels causing classic vitamin deficiency, is a risk factor for chronic diseases and common in the general population..."

In addition, the JAMA went on to say, "Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements."

We've seen lots of products out there and we recommend not wasting your time or money on the mass produced, mass marketed thrift store variety multivitamins.

Most of these skimp on the amount of nutrients in their formulations and some are are just downright low quality.

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