Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine

Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine is a water soluble vitamin that is essential in the human diet. It has many functions within the body, the main one being acting as a co-enzyme to help enzymes in the body speed up chemical processes. Vitamin B12 also plays a part in the manufacture of red blood cells, proteins and certain nurotransmitters (brain chemicals). Another function is the release of energy from food sources such a carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Along with Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) and Vitamin B9 (folic acid), Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the regulation of homocysteine in the human body.

Supplements of Vitamin B6 have been used for treatment of pre-menstrual syndrome in women and are often used alongside evening primrose oil tablets. Another use is to help with stress and to increase energy.

Deficiencies of Vitamin B6 are rare as it is easy to get sufficient quantities from our diet. Symptoms of a deficiency include muscle weakness, depression, poor memory and irritability.

Within the normal diet it is unlikely an excess of Vitamin B6 would be consumed. However, large doses taken over a long period of time have been shown to cause nerve damage which shows as tingling or a sensation of numbness in hands and feet.

If you are currently taking any prescribed medication or have any medical conditions please consult your doctor or consultant, to seek advice before taking any vitamins or supplements.