vitamin B6 – pyridoxine

  • Works with B12 and Folate in Methylation reactions
  • Brain and nerve function: transports amino acids into brain for use in making neurotransmitters; converts tryptophan to serotonin
  • Involved in:
    • Gluconeogenesis
    • Formation of body proteins and structural compounds: chemical transmitters in nervous system, red blood cells, prostaglandins
    • Maintaining hormonal balance and proper immune function
Sources notes Best sources yeast, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, whole-beans, banana, avocado
Vegetable Sources kale; spinach; turnip greens; peppers; potatoes
Fruit Sources banana; avocado; prunes; raisins
Nut and seed sources sunflower seeds; walnuts; hazelnuts
Absorption and function notes
  • Suspicions that food colorings, medications, and excessive protein and alcohol intake are antagonizing B6 use in body
  • Active form pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (PLP) made in liver from food: Zinc needed for this
  • Zinc, Vitamin B2 and Magnesium needed at target sites for function
  • Very heat stable
Deficiency factors
  • Brain and nerve function: deficiency causes abnormal brain wave patterns and decrease in nervous system activity and impaired nerve function
  • Depression; convulsions; glucose intolerance
Toxicity Can be toxic, leading to neuropathy, sensorial neuropathy and impaired detoxification reactions

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

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