The Importance of Vitamin B6 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 523
Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.
The Importance of Vitamin B6 – InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode 523
Hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed healthcare professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that InViteⓇ Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code PODCAST at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started!
Amanda Williams, MPH:
[00:00:40] I recently talked about the importance of B-complex and the 11 different B-vitamins. Today, I want to talk specifically about Vitamin B6 because oftentimes people will ask, “Do I need to take individual B-vitamins?” And the answer to that is sometimes yes. Sometimes, your body may require a specific B-vitamin in a higher amount, depending upon what your health needs or your health concerns may be. So I want to talk about what Vitamin B6 is and its function in the body. I’m Amanda Williams, MD, MPH, Scientific Director at InViteⓇ Health.† [00:01:19]
[00:01:20] So Vitamin B6 also goes by the name of pyridoxine, and we certainly understand that when we’re looking at individual B-vitamins, they all have critical roles in our everyday functionality. So we think about just the immune system, for example. We know that those B-vitamins are critical to the way that our immunity is actually working. So when we look at the functions of Vitamin B6 specifically in the body, we can recognize that it’s very important when it comes to detoxifying chemicals that are in our system. We can recognize that it’s very involved in strengthening our connective tissue, so when we think about our skin, when we think about our vascular system. We know that when it comes to the synthesis of different neurotransmitters, including things like serotonin, which we always consider to be our happy neurotransmitter, this is where Vitamin B6 is quite critical to this. We have to have adequate B6 in order for tryptophan to convert into serotonin. So for those who maybe suffer with issues such as low mood or depression, you can always look towards adding in some Vitamin B6 to see if this will better support your body’s ability to make or produce more serotonin. We know that when it comes to our sleep cycle to hit REM, that very important stage of sleep, we are going to require Vitamin B6. And this makes sense when you look at that conversion of tryptophan to serotonin and then we know from there we go to melatonin, so we can start to tie all of these pieces together.† [00:03:10]
[00:03:11] But when it comes to cholesterol, we recognize that Vitamin B6 also is very important. And when it comes to the absorption of fats and proteins in the body. When we think about our GI system and the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach in order to help break down the foods that we are taking in and for that maintaining of the proper acid-base balance. We know that we need to have this when it comes to different amino acids and the amino groups in the body. So when it comes to the metabolism of amino acids, we know those are those building blocks of proteins in the body. We know that when we think about the methylation pathways, I kind of go back to detoxification. So if someone has inadequate detoxification occurring in the body, we can in a sense become toxic over time. So we even see this in the vascular system in particular with elevated levels of homocysteine. We know that when homocysteine is high in our body, it shows that our vascular system is overreactive or it’s inflamed. That is a big problem. We don’t want to have vascular inflammation, and homocysteine is definitely a key indicator to that. So what should you be doing? Well, if you have high levels of homocysteine, certainly we need to be incorporating Vitamin B6 along with folate and B12, as well as N-acetyl cysteine. So we know that there are many different functions when it comes to Vitamin B6.† [00:04:55]
[00:04:56] Now, if someone has low levels of Vitamin B6. Some of the things that you may experience, perhaps you’re a little bit more on edge or irritable. Maybe you do have depression. Maybe you feel a little nervous. It’s possible that you have some little irritations even within your mouth area. We know that when it comes to lesions around the mouth, Vitamin B6 is a common cause for this. We can look at just general fatigue and weakness. Numbness is another common thing because when we look at glycation, how it is that blood sugar can impact our nervous system, and B6 is integrally involved into this. We can look at disruptions in your sleep. Perhaps you have insomnia and you’re trying to figure out why this is. We can look at stress, we can look at diet, but we can also look at inadequate exposure to things like Vitamin B6. [00:05:57][61.2]
[00:05:58] Now, food source wise, the reason why most people are not technically deficient in B6… You may be insufficient, meaning you’re, you’re getting a little exposure, but maybe not what you actually need for B6 to do all of these different functions every day. Because when you look at the foods that contain Vitamin B6, it’s quite an extensive list. Now, where the problem comes in is many of the foods that have a high amount of Vitamin B6 fall into food categories that many Americans are just not obtaining on a regular basis. So if you’re following a Mediterranean diet, you’re probably well covered with your B6. But if you are adhering to more of a Standard American Diet, then the likelihood that you have Vitamin B6 insufficiency is pretty high because you look at some of the cruciferous vegetables. We know this is a wonderful source of Vitamin B6 when you think about cauliflower and cabbage for example. We can look at different fatty fish that we know have a good amount of Vitamin B6 in this. And once again, when you think about how most Americans eat, if you’re not eating things like walnuts, for example, or sunflower seeds, then you may not be getting an adequate exposure. So this certainly can be a significant problem over time.† [00:07:26]
[00:07:27] We also can recognize that there are many different medications that can create low levels of Vitamin B6, and they are kind of across the board when you look at the different classes of medications. You can look at a whole wide swath of antibiotics, from penicillin to fluoroquinolones to the tetracyclines. We know that birth control pills, oral contraceptives certainly can create this issue as well. You can see how different amphetamines many people are prescribed for, you know, ADD, they’re prescribed things like Adderall. Now that Adderall is an amphetamine, it’s speed, so that can potentially lower your Vitamin B6 level, which can certainly lead to problems.† [00:08:20]
[00:08:21] Now, being that Vitamin B6 is water soluble, this is why it’s important that we are getting adequate exposure on a regular basis. So you can look at many reasons as to why someone would want to be taking Vitamin B6 as a standalone vitamin. And we can look at issues such as depression. We can certainly look at issues when it comes to fertility. We can look at issues when it comes to skin health, such as eczema and psoriasis, any type of a dermatitis, because remember, we’re thinking about the connective tissue. So there are many different uses for Vitamin B6, and supplementation with B6 can certainly be very supportive when it comes to your cardiovascular health, when it comes to your neurological health. And thinking about that homocysteine, think about that detoxification. All of these things are critical to the way that our body functions each and every single day when we think about energy production in the body and our immune function. The ability for our cells to repair themselves, when we think about our DNA, for example, that mother board when it comes to the internal function of every cell in the body. So when we don’t have adequate b6, you can start to see why it is so incredibly problematic. So utilizing Vitamin B6 can do so many wonderful things for your system when it comes to regulating your sleep, when it comes to supporting healthy cholesterol, when it comes to the nerve health. And so for those who maybe have concerns with having elevated blood sugar, those who are, you know, diagnosed with diabetes or metabolic syndrome, having Vitamin B6 on board can certainly be incredibly helpful.† [00:10:24]
[00:10:25] Now, there was a study that was done over in Europe and it was published in the Endocrine Metabolism Immune Journal, where they talked about how Vitamin B6 had antihyperlipidemic, which means if you have high cholesterol and you took B6, the B6 helped to lower that cholesterol. But they also were able to show how Vitamin B6 helped to protect the liver. So it was a really interesting study the way that they designed this. And they were looking at how the effect of dietary supplementation with Vitamin B6, this essential cofactor for all of these different enzymes that participate in your cholesterol metabolism, how when you take Vitamin B6, this helped in terms of activating the way that cholesterol is transported. And at the end of the day, it really helped to support a healthier cholesterol profile.† [00:11:21]
[00:11:22] So many different uses when it comes to Vitamin B6. If you’re not exactly sure if you are a candidate for taking Vitamin B6, and if you do take it, how much should you take, then I would certainly advise that you speak with one of our healthcare experts. Remember, they are there to help you help yourself navigate through this, and we understand that when it comes to supplementation, this can be incredibly overwhelming. So definitely take advantage of speaking to one of them. They can help guide you through this process and make sure that the nutrients you are taking are the most supportive for your overall wellness.† [00:12:01]
[00:12:02] So thank you so much for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting invitehealth.com/podcast. Now, do make sure that you subscribe and you leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and we will see you next time for another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast.† [00:12:02]