What is vitamin b6
Of all the B-complex vitamins, B6 is perhaps one of the most well-known. This essential vitamin is a critical component in dozens of biological processes, from brain and heart health to mood regulation and sleep quality. Let’s take a look at the many health benefits of vitamin B6 and how it works to keep you focused, boost your mood, and help you sleep.
What does vitamin B6 do for your body?
It’s practically impossible to cover all the health benefits of vitamin B6 in a short article, since it plays such a vital role in our wellbeing. Here are just a few ways vitamin B6 impacts your health.
Regulates mood and relieves depression symptoms.
Vitamin B6 aids in the production of serotonin. Nicknamed one of the body’s “happiness hormones,” serotonin boosts happiness, confidence, and overall emotional balance. Serotonin also plays a role in muscle movement and producing melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycles. (More on that later.) B6 also produces norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that influences concentration, mood, and the body’s response to stress.
Supports the cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Studies show that vitamin B6 improves cognitive performance and increases concentration. In the brain, vitamin B6 is involved in the activation of neurons, also called neurotransmission. Vitamin B6 also manages the body’s levels of homocysteine, an amino acid. High levels of homocysteine are linked to heart disease.
Aids in metabolism
Breaking down carbs, fats, and proteins into energy is just one of the 100+ biological processes vitamin B6 is involved in. A few others include maintaining healthy skin, producing red blood cells, and protecting your body from the effects of air pollution.
May prevent inflammation and life-threatening conditions.
Research suggests vitamin B6 supplements, rather than intake from food alone, could potentially prevent serious illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and age-related macular degeneration of the eyes. People with rheumatoid arthritis may also benefit from B6 supplements. Research in this field is still ongoing, but promising.
Promotes good female reproductive health
Several studies found that vitamin B6 supplements alleviate symptoms associated with PMS and pregnancy. These include mood swings, anxiety, fatigue, and nausea respectively. Adequate vitamin B6 intake is particularly important for pregnant women and babies to support brain development.
How does vitamin B6 relate to my lifestyle?
Yes, vitamin B6 keeps your body functioning optimally. It’s safe to say you already knew that. But how do all those functions work to influence your daily lifestyle? Let’s take a look.
Keeps your mind sharp and focused at work
Vitamin B6 directly impacts our brain-power, giving us the energy and alertness we need to perform complex tasks. Persistent fatigue or simply feeling sluggish might be signs that you need a healthy dose of vitamin B6.
Instead of brewing another pot of coffee when the mid-day slump hits, why not hydrate and replenish the smart way with BrightFox? All three delicious flavors are packed with 0.6 mg of vitamin B6, in addition to other essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, helping you start and finish the day strong.
Improves sleep quality
When you’re stressed, depressed, or worried, your sleep quality suffers big time. As we’ve already seen, vitamin B6 helps produce serotonin, which in turn produces melatonin. The “sleep hormone” activates our natural circadian rhythm, and high levels of melatonin help us fall asleep faster. This is especially important for people with depression, many of whom struggle with insomnia and fitful sleep. Some studies also suggest that vitamin B6 increases the likelihood of remembering your dreams.
If you’re struggling to sleep, think twice about reaching for a melatonin supplement. Not only are most synthetic melatonin supplements not FDA-approved, but research shows they have little to no effect on sleep quality. Instead, get a healthy dose of vitamin B6 to kickstart your body’s natural melatonin production processes and wake up feeling refreshed. With zero sugar, caffeine, or artificial additives, BrightFox contains a hydrating dose of B6, other B-complex vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthy, tasty way to boost your nutrient intake morning, noon, and night.
How much vitamin B6 do you need?
Pinpointing a specific milligram amount of recommended vitamin B6 intake is tricky. This water-soluble vitamin is a key player in an array of metabolic processes, which means your needs fluctuate. Pregnant women and people with high protein intake typically need more vitamin B6 than the average person. It’s also important to note that some recommended daily intakes group all B-complex vitamins together, making it even more difficult to assess how much you need.
What foods are rich in vitamin B6?
Lean white meats, like turkey and chicken, as well as wild-caught seafood, non-citrus fruits, and starchy vegetables are rich in vitamin B6. Other sources include chickpeas and fortified cereals. When enjoyed as part of a balanced, varied diet, BrightFox can help ensure you get the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need to look, feel, and perform your best.
What happens when you don’t get enough vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 deficiency is rare. Mild cases of vitamin B6 deficiency usually don’t present symptoms. More severe vitamin B6 deficiency may result in depression, a weakened immune system, and certain skin conditions, among other symptoms.
Are certain people at risk of vitamin B6 deficiency?
People with kidney diseases, autoimmune disorders, and those taking certain medications are at risk of deficiency. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as elderly people, may benefit from B6 supplements to promote fetal brain development and boost cognitive function.
Is it possible to consume too much vitamin B6?
Consuming too much vitamin B6 from food is equally as rare as developing a deficiency. Serious effects of overconsumption, which are fortunately reversible, have only been observed in people taking dietary B6 supplements for a long period of time.
Vitamin B6: The bottom line
A key part of our overall wellbeing, vitamin B6 might well be considered the “feel-good vitamin.” Its role in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine affects everything from mood to sleep, not to mention the vital role it plays in brain and heart health. Although we’ve discovered so many of its health benefits, its long list of advantages will only keep growing as researchers uncover its role in preventing major diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.