“Vita” means “Life” in latin. Vitamins are vital nutrients, which are all essential for proper functioning of the human body. That’s why they got the name in the first place.Scientists believe that Vitamin B6 was the one, which triggered the reactions responsible for creating the very first life on earth. And today, we will get to know about the important Vitamin – B6.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in many foods. It supports many important functions in our body. And if you want me to be precise, It is a co-enzyme, which acts as a catalyst in many different body chemical reactions and plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of the human body. But, first of all, what is a co-enzyme?
What is a Co-Enzyme ?
To begin with, Enzymes are chemicals that basically break down big molecules into smaller ones, in order to help our body to process and make essential nutrients and other stuff by itself. Enzymes also digest the food by breaking them down.
Now, the Co-Enzymes are chemicals which act as a catalyst and speed up the chemical reactions involving those Enzymes
Functions of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 acts as a catalyst for the production of more than 100 enzymes, mainly in reactions with proteins. It also helps in the production of the blood and several neurotransmitters like Gaba and Serotonin.
Gaba is a neurotransmitter that helps your body to feel the sense of your mood, relaxation, stress, and pleasure. While serotonin regulates your appetite, digestion, sleep, and memory.
Other than that, Vitamin B6 also plays a role in breaking down Glycogen, which is related to blood sugar. Also, Vitamin B6 enhances your Metabolism.
Symptoms of Deficiency
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), which is numbness in the arms and hands.
- Pin & Needles – An uncomfortable tingling sensation in the arms, hands, legs & feet.
- Fluid Retention – Body fluids stagnating in limbs.
- Sleep-related problems.
- Neuropathy – Nerve damage.
- Trigger Finger – Short stiffness while bending fingers.
- Cracks in the mouth corners.
- Dermatitis – Skin inflammation.
- Sleepiness – To a point where you need so much sleep & still cannot recover.
All the above body conditions may occur as symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency. In addition to the above symptoms, some risk factors that induce cardiovascular diseases can also be traced back to low levels of Vitamin B6.
Causes of Vit B6 Deficiency
- Drinking alcohol can deplete Vitamin B6 in your body. So, if you are low on Vitamin B6, avoid consuming alcohol too much or frequently.
- Insulin can also reduce your B6 levels. So, if you are diabetic or having other blood sugar related problems like Insulin Resistance, it may lead to Vitamin B6 deficiency.
- Also, Rheumatic Arthritis, Liver Damage or Dysfunction, Gallbladder problems, Leaky Gut and any type of Bowel Syndromes can increase the risk of Vitamin B6 deficiency.
- Taking Antibiotics, Birth Control Pills and Steroids were also proven to deplete your Vitamin B6 levels. Hence, avoid consuming them without your doctor’s advice.
As Vitamin B6 can be found in many food sources, it is very easy to get them into your diet. But, if you consider the above causes of its deficiency, It is clear that you have to take better care of your health.
Note:- If you are to take Vitamin B6 through supplements, Active version of Vitamin B6 – “Pyridoxal 5’ Phosphate” aka PLP is the one that is highly recommended, due to its strong nature. Stay Healthy.