Vitamin B6 – What Is It?
Vitamin B6 is one of many ingredients in the Tikva product. Technically an umbrella term used to describe three B vitamins (pyridoxine, pridoxal, pyridoxamine), vitamin B6 partakes in no fewer than 100 chemical reactions throughout the body. It functions primarily as a coenzyme, working along with other enzymes to speed up chemical reactions in cells.
It helps manufacture the building blocks of proteins known as amino acids. It also takes part in producing brain neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) such as serotonin , in releasing energy stored in cells, and in manufacturing red blood cells. It also helps to keep hormones in balance and the immune system functioning properly.
Incredibly, government surveys indicate that one-third of adults are deficient in this key nutrient. The elderly, pregnant or nursing women, oral contraceptive users, and smokers are particularly at risk for a deficiency.
Vitamin B6 Health Benefits
Several large observational studies have demonstrated an association between low intake or status with increased blood homocysteine levels and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. A large prospective study found the risk of heart disease in women who consumed, on average, 4.6 mg of vitamin B 6 daily was only 67% of the risk in women who consumed an average of 1.1 mg daily .
-Linus Pauling Institute
The link between vitamin B6 and heart disease also was compelling. Women with the highest intake had a 51 percent lower incidence of coronary heart disease than those who consumed the lowest amounts. For each 2 mg increase in vitamin B6 intake, there was a 10 percent decrease in coronary heart disease risk.
Low vitamin B6 intake and nutritional status have been associated with impaired immune function, especially in the elderly. Decreased production of immune system cells known as lymphocytes, as well as decreased production of an important immune system protein called interleukin-2, have been reported in deficient individuals. Restoration of vitamin B6 status has resulted in normalization of lymphocyte proliferation and interleukin-2 production, suggesting that adequate intake is important for optimal immune system function in older individuals. However, one study found that the amount of vitamin B6 required to reverse these immune system impairments in the elderly was 2.9 mg/day for men and 1.9 mg/day for women; these requirements are higher than the current RDA.
-Linus Pauling Institute
Prevent diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy).
People with diabetes are at risk of developing nerve damage. Supplementation may guard against this complication.
Ease carpal tunnel syndrome.
People who suffer from this painful wrist and hand disorder are often deficient in vitamin B6. Supplements may not only decrease the Inflammation that causes complications but also improve circulation to the compromised areas. In addition, it may boost the production of the Neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which helps to control pain.
Counter female infertility.
Along with other B vitamins, it contributes to the health and proper functioning of the female reproductive system.
According to various studies, vitamin B6 holds promise for decreasing wheezing and other bothersome asthma symptoms. It’s particularly recommended for asthma sufferers taking the prescription drug theophylline, which depresses natural levels of the vitamin B6 component known as pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P).
Treat chronic dizziness.
Supplements may be of use in treating chronic dizziness caused by a nerve disorder or decreased blood flow to the brain or inner ear.
Lessen tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
This condition is probably caused by a nerve malfunction in the brain. Because it positively affects the nervous system, it may improve the health of the nerves leading to the inner ear and thus minimize the discomforts of tinnitus.
Slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
People with this disease lack dopamine, a brain chemical that transmits impulses from nerve to nerve. They are also often deficient in vitamin B6. Interestingly, supplements of the vitamin B6 work to increase the production of dopamine.
Consult your doctor for guidance before starting on vitamin B6 supplements if you’re already taking the prescription drug levodopa (L-dopa) for this disease, however, because the vitamin could prevent the medication from working properly.
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