Pyridoxine ~ Vitamin B6
Pyridoxine assists in the balancing of sodium and potassium as well as promoting red blood cell production. It is linked to cardiovascular health by decreasing the formation of homocysteine. Pyridoxine may help balance hormonal changes in women and aid the immune system.
Lack of pyridoxine may cause anaemia, nerve damage, seizures, skin problems, and sores in the mouth.
It is required in the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine.
Pyridoxine is given to patients taking Isoniazid (INH) to combat the toxic side effects of the drug. It is given 10–50 mg/day to patients on to prevent peripheral neuropathy and CNS effects that are associated with the use of INH.
Vitamin B6 is usually safe, at intakes up to 200 mg per day in adults. However, vitamin B6 can cause neurological disorders, such as loss of sensation in legs and imbalance, when taken in high doses (200 mg or more per day) over a long period of time.
Vitamin B6 toxicity can damage sensory nerves, leading to numbness in the hands and feet as well as difficulty in walking. Symptoms of a pyridoxine overdose may include poor coordination, staggering, numbness, decreased sensation to touch, temperature, and vibration, and tiredness.
Women in particular may suffer from pre-menstrual fluid retention, severe period pains, emotional PMS symptoms, premenstrual acne and nausea in early pregnancy. Mood swings, depression as well as loss of sexual drive is sometimes noted when there is lack of pyridoxine in the diet or in those on hormone replacement therapy or on birth control pills.
Minimum daily requirement in both Males & Females is 2 mg
People on medication for Parkinson’s disease should be careful about taking Vitamin B6 as it can inactivate levodopa.
People taking pyridoxine late at night sometimes experience very vivid dreams.
Pyridoxine should be taken together with the entire B group vitamins, and in supplementation the quantity of B6 should be nearly the same as B2. B2 is needed to activate the Pyridoxine.
Good sources to obtain pyridoxine from are brewer’s yeast, eggs, chicken, carrots, fish, liver, kidneys, peas, wheat germ, walnuts.