5 Key Vitamin B6 Benefits You Don’t Want to Miss Out On
The vitamin B family is big – with some very important members. Today, you’ll meet one that your entire body relies on, vitamin B6.
So many vital functions require B6. In fact, over 100 enzyme reactions in your body require it. I’ll explain how critical B6 is to your health and who is at risk for deficiency. Since you must get B6 from your diet, I’ll fill you in on the foods that will give you a boost.
5 Vitamin B6 Benefits Your Body Relies On
1. B6 Helps Make Neurotransmitters
These chemical messengers help your cells communicate. Without certain neurotransmitters, your physical and mental health will decline.
- B6 converts L-dopa (amino acid) to dopamine (neurotransmitter). You may recognize this one as the “feel good” neurotransmitter that supports:
- B6 converts 5-HTP (amino acid) to serotonin. This is another vital neurotransmitter you don’t want to miss. Serotonin regulates:
- Sexual function
Learn more about how 5-HTP influences mood here.
In short, dopamine and serotonin production rely on adequate levels of B6!
2. B6 Influences Hormones
- Norepinephrine – helps control stress responses
- Melatonin – regulates your sleep cycle
- Sex hormones – must be balanced for good health
For instance, the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, must be in a specific ratio to prevent symptoms and disease.
Too much estrogen or too little progesterone creates a dangerous state of estrogen dominance, leading to symptoms and health problems. Keeping these hormones in the right balance can relieve premenstrual syndrome and reduce your risk for cancer and obesity.
Check out this supporting study published in 2018 titled, “The Relationship Between Vitamin B6, Diabetes and Cancer.”
3. B6 Promotes Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Without balanced blood sugar, there’s little hope for good health.
Type 2 diabetics tend to have low B6 levels. Research has shown that supplementing B6 lowers A1C levels (the measurement of average blood sugar).
B6 also has the ability to assist in carbohydrate metabolism and reduce inflammation – properties that diabetics can especially benefit from.
4. B6 Helps Allergy Symptoms
You may have heard of taking an “antihistamine” to help allergy symptoms. Well, histamines are neurotransmitters released by our cells during an allergic response. They cause the inflammatory symptoms you might experience with an allergy, like runny nose, sneezing and puffy teary eyes.
Basically, histamine induces allergy symptoms, and guess what?
The enzyme that breaks down histamine in your body requires B6! B6 is therefore a natural antihistamine!
This is definitely a fact worth sharing, especially with those who have allergy symptoms.
5. B6 Converts Your Food Into Energy
When you eat, B6 is used to turn your food into energy you can use, called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Are you at Risk for a Vitamin B6 Deficiency?
Here are some of the top risk factors:
- Digestive Issues: If you suffer from digestive disorders, you’re likely not absorbing nutrients properly, and also missing out on B6.
- Diet: Animal protein and seafood are leading sources of B6. If you’re not having several servings of each per week, your B6 levels could be low.
- Blood Sugar: Having high blood sugar is a red flag for a B6 deficiency.
- Aging: Certain nutrient requirements increase with age – and B6 is on the list!
How to Boost Your B6 Levels
B6 needs to come from your diet or be supplemented. Ideally, you get a good variety of B6 from food sources and through supplementation.
Fill your plate with poultry, salmon, tuna, organ meats/beef liver, spinach, cabbage, bok choy, and bananas (but limit the bananas due to sugar content).
Because of its abundant health benefits for brain function and its ability to convert food into energy, I’ve made B6 a part of my Super Energy Boost formula. Alongside a healthy diet, this supplement is a great way to rev up your body’s efficiency, while ensuring you get enough B6.
You can find it on BodyManual.com and see for yourself!
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