Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. The body needs vitamin B6 for more than 100 enzyme reactions involved in metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy as well as immune function.

The amount of vitamin B6 you need depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg).

Life Stage

Recommended Amount

Birth to 6 months

0.1 mg

Infants 7–12 months

0.3 mg

Children 1–3 years

0.5 mg

Children 4–8 years

0.6 mg

Children 9–13 years

1.0 mg

Teens 14–18 years (boys)

1.3 mg

Teens 14–18 years (girls)

1.2 mg

Adults 19–50 years

1.3 mg

Adults 51+ years (men)

1.7 mg

Adults 51+ years (women)

1.5 mg

Pregnant teens and women

1.9 mg

Breastfeeding teens and women

2.0 mg

Some people are prone to have lower levels of Vitamin B6 and may benefit from dietary supplements. These include those whose kidneys are not working properly, on dialysis, have autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease, or people with alcohol dependence.

What are some symptoms that could indicate low levels of Vitamin B6? Symptoms could include anemia, itchy rashes, scaly skin on the lips, cracks at the corners of the mouth, swollen tongue, depression, confusion, and a weak immune system.

Vitamin B6 may have benefits on one’s health. This includes:

-Cardiovascular disease: It is believed that Vitamin B6 can help to lower homocysteine levels which can in turn help prevent heart disease.

-Cancer: Vitamin B6 may help prevent certain cancers, such as colorectal cancer.

-Cognitive Function: Vitamin B6 may help improve memory.

-Premenstrual Syndrome: Vitamin B6 may reduce PMS symptoms such as moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, bloating, and anxiety.

-Nausea and vomiting in Pregnancy

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