Few supplements have the power of vitamin B to improve your health and possibly lengthen your life.
Vitamin B is what is known as a micronutrient. Micronutrients play a major role in supporting many metabolic and biological processes and are needed to optimize health and well-being. One of the most important micronutrients is vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the brain’s normal development and in making the immune system and nervous systems healthy. It is a water-soluble vitamin, and excess amounts are excreted through the urine.
B6, also known as “pyridoxine,” promotes brain health and other functions of the body. It is linked to carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism and the development of neurotransmitters and red blood cells.
Studies have found that B6 can improve cognition and may lower the risk of some cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Since the body does not naturally produce vitamin B6, this vital micronutrient needs to be obtained from food or supplementation. It also promotes eye health, and good digestion and, in women, has been found to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
The best food sources for vitamin B6 include the following:
- Poultry products
- Fortified cereals
- Beef liver
- Vegetables and fruits such as bananas, dark leafy greens, oranges, papayas, and cantaloupe
In addition to its impact on overall health in well-being, some new studies suggest that B6 can help stave off feelings of depression and anxiety and may play a role in lessening the risk of developing senior dementia.
If you feel you cannot get enough B6 from your diet, you can take a vitamin B6 supplement. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for males and females slightly differ. Males, 14-18 should take 1.3 mg/day of vitamin B6 and 1.3 mg/day for those aged 19-50. Males 51 years old and older should take 1.7 mg/day.
Females 14-18 years old have an RDA of 1.2 mg/day, and 1.3 mg/day for those 19-50. Women who are 51 years old and older should take 1.5 mg/day. Pregnant women are advised to take 1.9 mg/day and 2.0 mg/day when breastfeeding their infants.