Vitamin B6


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Vitamin B6 - Food Sources and Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that exists in three major chemical forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine. It performs a wide variety of functions in your body and is essential for your good health. For example, vitamin B6 is needed for more than 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism. It is also essential for red blood cell metabolism.

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine hydrochloride, is essential for the metabolism of protein by the body, and the proper functioning of the nervous system and the immune system. Hemoglobin within red blood cells carries oxygen to tissues. Your body needs vitamin B6 to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to tissues. A vitamin B6 deficiency can result in a form of anemia that is similar to iron deficiency anemia.

It is also involved in the synthesis of hormones and red blood cells. There are six forms of vitamin B 6 : pyridoxal (PL), pyridoxine (PN), pyridoxamine (PM), and their phosphate derivatives: pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), pyridoxine 5'-phosphate (PNP), and pridoxamine 5'-phospate (PMP). PLP is the active coenzyme form, and has the most importance in human metabolism.

Functions of vitamin B6:

The important functions of vitamin B6 are as:-

Vitamin B 6 must be obtained from the diet because humans cannot synthesize it. It plays a vital role in the function of approximately 100 enzymes that catalyze essential chemical reactions in the human body. For example, PLP functions as a coenzyme for glycogen phosphorylase, an enzyme that catalyzes the release of glucose stored in the muscle as glycogen . Much of the PLP in the human body is found in muscle bound to glycogen phosphorylase. PLP is also a coenzyme for reactions used to generate glucose from amino acids , a process known as gluconeogenesis.

Sources of vitamin B6:

The main dietary sources of vitamin B6 include chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, shrimp, beef liver, lentils, soybeans, nuts, avocados, bananas, carrots, brown rice, bran, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and whole-grain flour.

Deficiency of vitamin B6:-

The deficiency of vitamin B6, is characterized by dermatitis, glossitis, cheilosis, and stomatitis. Marked deficiency causes irritability, weakness, depression, dizziness, peripheral neuropathy, and seizures. In infants and children typical manifestations are diarrhea, anemia, and seizures. Deficiency can be caused by certain medications, such as isoniazid.

Alcoholics are thought to be most at risk of vitamin B 6 deficiency, due to a low intake and impaired metabolism of the vitamin. Abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns have been noted in some studies of vitamin B 6 deficiency. Other neurologic symptoms noted in severe vitamin B 6 deficiency include irritability, depression, and confusion; additional symptoms include inflammation of the tongue, sores or ulcers of the mouth, and ulcers of the skin at the corners of the mouth.

Vitamin B6 deficiency symptoms will be very much like those of B2 and B3. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to manufacture its own B3 vitamin.

Vitamin B6 deficiency may result from inadequate intake or from use of drugs that deplete vitamin B 6 reserves in the body. Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause seizures in infants. In adults, it can cause anemia and inflammation of the skin with redness and greasy scaling.

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