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Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is one of the eight vitamins in B-complex. Readily available in food as well as dietary supplements, these water-soluble vitamins work together to help the body convert food into energy, among other things. This important nutrient aids in maintaining the sodium and potassium balance, promotes red blood cell production, synthesizes RNA and DNA, and is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid, a substance in the stomach which is necessary for digestion and absorption of foods and nutrients.

Overall Health Benefits

  • Lowers risk of heart disease [1-4]
  • Boosts immune function [5-6]
  • Lowers blood pressure [7-10]
  • Helps lose weight [11-12]
  • Accelerates wound healing [13]
  • Prevents cancer [14-16]
  • Boosts brain power [17-19]
  • Prevents age-related blindness [20]

Proven Health Benefits

Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

A number of studies suggest that vitamin B6 is essential for maintaining a healthy heart:

  1. In Korean men, higher dietary intake of vitamin B6 was associated with a low cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. [1]
  2. A study showed that higher intake of vitamin B6 resulted in a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). [2]
  3. In women, higher doses of vitamin B6 prevented CHD. [3]
  4. In patients who are at risk for heart disease, higher vitamin B6 intake was associated with a lower risk of heart attack. [4]

Boosts Immune Function

Vitamin B6 has also been shown to strengthen the immune system:

  1. In critically ill patients, high-dose supplementation with vitamin B6 produced better immunity response. [5]
  2. In a mouse model, it was found that vitamin B6 deficiency caused a significant reduction in immune system cells. [6]

Lowers Blood Pressure

The anti-hypertensive effects of vitamin B6 are backed by a number of studies:

  1. In mice, vitamin B6 supplementation prevented elevations in blood pressure. [7]
  2. In various animal models of hypertension, vitamin B6 decreased blood pressure by reducing resistance within the blood vessels. [8]
  3. In rats, administration of vitamin B6 attenuated hypertension. [9-10]

Helps Lose Weight

Studies suggest that vitamin B6 supplementation can help promote weight loss:

  1. In obese women, vitamin B6 supplementation was associated with a better body composition. [11]
  2. A study showed that low vitamin B6 concentrations were present in obese Norwegian patients. [12]

Accelerates Wound Healing

In diabetic mice subjects, vitamin B6 supplementation effectively improved wound healing. [13] This suggests that vitamin B6 can be a therapeutic option for diabetic wounds.

Prevents Cancer

Studies also show that vitamin B6 has anti-cancer properties:

  1. A study showed that vitamin B6 prevented tumor growth. [14]
  2. One study also found that vitamin B6 could potentially lower the risk of cancer. [15]
  3. Higher vitamin B6 intake was also found to be linked with a lower risk of tumor growth. [16]

Boosts Brain Power

A number of studies reported that vitamin B6 is essential for normal cognitive function:

  1. In animal models, higher vitamin B6 intake was associated with a better cognitive function. [17]
  2. A study showed that vitamin B6 administration can help improve cognitive function by repairing nerve damage in the brain. [18]
  3. In Iranian patients with cognitive disorder, higher vitamin B6 intake was associated with decreased brain malfunction. [19]

Prevents Age-Related Blindness

Vitamin B6 can also help improve eye health especially in the elderly population. A study assessing the effects of vitamin B6 intake on adult female health professionals found a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration. [20]

References:

  1. Jeon J, Park K. Dietary Vitamin B6 Intake Associated with a Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1484. Published 2019 Jun 29. doi:10.3390/nu11071484.
  2. Jayedi A, Zargar MS. Intake of vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12 and risk of coronary heart disease: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(16):2697-2707. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1511967. Epub 2018 Nov 15. PMID: 30431328.
  3. Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB, et al. Folate and Vitamin B6 From Diet and Supplements in Relation to Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Among Women. JAMA. 1998;279(5):359–364. doi:10.1001/jama.279.5.359.
  4. Available at https://www.nature.com/articles/1601960.
  5. Cheng CH, Chang SJ, Lee BJ, Lin KL, Huang YC. Vitamin B6 supplementation increases immune responses in critically ill patients. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;60(10):1207-13. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602439. Epub 2006 May 3. PMID: 16670691.
  6. Qian B, Shen S, Zhang J, Jing P. Effects of Vitamin B6 Deficiency on the Composition and Functional Potential of T Cell Populations. J Immunol Res. 2017;2017:2197975. doi:10.1155/2017/2197975.
  7. Vasdev S, Ford CA, Parai S, Longerich L, Gadag V. Dietary vitamin B6 supplementation attenuates hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Mol Cell Biochem. 1999 Oct;200(1-2):155-62. doi: 10.1023/a:1007088512834. PMID: 10569195.
  8. Lal KJ, Dakshinamurti K, Thliveris J. The effect of vitamin B6 on the systolic blood pressure of rats in various animal models of hypertension. J Hypertens. 1996 Mar;14(3):355-63. doi: 10.1097/00004872-199603000-00013. PMID: 8723990.
  9. Dakshinamurti K, Lal KJ, Ganguly PK. Hypertension, calcium channel and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Mol Cell Biochem. 1998 Nov;188(1-2):137-48. PMID: 9823019.
  10. Vasdev S, Ford CA, Parai S, Longerich L, Gadag V. Dietary vitamin B6 supplementation attenuates hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Mol Cell Biochem. 1999 Oct;200(1-2):155-62. doi: 10.1023/a:1007088512834. PMID: 10569195.
  11. Novin ZS, Ghavamzadeh S, Mehdizadeh A. The Weight Loss Effects of Branched Chain Amino Acids and Vitamin B6: A Randomized Controlled Trial on Obese and Overweight Women. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2018 Feb;88(1-2):80-89. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000511. Epub 2019 Mar 6. PMID: 30841823.
  12. Erlend T Aasheim, Dag Hofsø, Jøran Hjelmesæth, Kåre I Birkeland, Thomas Bøhmer, Vitamin status in morbidly obese patients: a cross-sectional study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 87, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 362–369, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.2.362.
  13. Mochizuki S, Takano M, Sugano N, et al. The effect of B vitamin supplementation on wound healing in type 2 diabetic mice. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2016;58(1):64-68. doi:10.3164/jcbn.14-122.
  14. Mikkelsen K, Prakash MD, Kuol N, Nurgali K, Stojanovska L, Apostolopoulos V. Anti-Tumor Effects of Vitamin B2, B6 and B9 in Promonocytic Lymphoma Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(15):3763. Published 2019 Aug 1. doi:10.3390/ijms20153763.
  15. Simone Mocellin, Marta Briarava, Pierluigi Pilati, Vitamin B6 and Cancer Risk: A Field Synopsis and Meta-Analysis, JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 109, Issue 3, March 2017, djw230, https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djw230.
  16. Available at https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(08)01079-2/abstract.
  17. Guilarte TR. Vitamin B6 and cognitive development: recent research findings from human and animal studies. Nutr Rev. 1993 Jul;51(7):193-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.1993.tb03102.x. PMID: 8414222.
  18. Available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cns.13207.
  19. Available at https://www.msard-journal.com/article/S2211-0348(20)30208-X/abstract.
  20. Christen WG, Glynn RJ, Chew EY, Albert CM, Manson JE. Folic acid, pyridoxine, and cyanocobalamin combination treatment and age-related macular degeneration in women: the Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(4):335-341. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.574.

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