Vitamin B6 FAQ
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What is Vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 is a term that is used to describe a group of compounds which can be converted to and from one another within the body.
This vitamin plays a crucial role in many processes throughout the body, including the metabolism of lipids, glucose, and amino acids, there are currently seven forms of Vitamin B6 known to exist.
What Types of Vitamin B6 are There?
As mentioned above, there are seven different types of Vitamin B6 in existence; however, we will be primarily focusing on the form most commonly referred to as Pyridoxine because this is the form of Vitamin B6 that will be most commonly found in dietary supplements.
How does Vitamin B6 Work and What are the Benefits?
When consumed either in food or as a dietary supplement, Pyridoxine is converted into the metabolic Lee active form of Vitamin B6 referred to as PLP.
From here PLP is metabolized in the liver and plays a number of roles throughout the body, encompassing everything from gene expression to enzyme formation, and even the synthesis of neurotransmitters.
More specifically, Vitamin B6 is directly involved in the metabolism of the fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids that we consume in our daily diets.
A relevant example of this is the role that PLP plays in providing amino acids as an energy substrate for gluconeogenesis and glucose synthesis.
There have been a number of benefits attributed to the supplementation of Vitamin B6, for example, a study conducted in the Netherlands in 2006 showed how the intake of Vitamin B6 could reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease in smokers by as much as 50%.
In fact, the benefits of additional Vitamin B6 intake have been shown to encompass everything from morning sickness in pregnant women to carpal tunnel syndrome, and even a reduced risk of colon cancer.
 Kasdan ML, Janes C.: Carpal tunnel syndrome and vitamin B6. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1987 Mar;79(3):456–62.
Who Can Benefit from Using Vitamin B6 and How?
Considering the vast majority of the benefits attributed to additional intake of Vitamin B6 are in the context of various diseases and health conditions, you may be wondering what the relevance is in otherwise healthy adults.
Unless you are suffering from a condition or nutritional deficiency that can be treated or otherwise managed by supplemental intake of Vitamin B6 it might not be worth your while buying a stand-alone supplement.
Having said this, it certainly can’t hurt to make sure that you are consuming enough Vitamin B6 any ordinary everyday diet.
This is why we are now going to look at foods that contain Vitamin B6 so you can at least ensure that you are eating enough to prevent deficiencies of any kind.
Do Any Foods Contain Vitamin B6? Which Ones are the best?
There are a number of food sources of Vitamin B6, including:
- Various meats, especially beef;
- Offal, especially liver and kidney;
- Wheat bran;
- Nuts; and
- Dairy products, especially milk
All of the above foods should serve well as dietary sources of Vitamin B6, but variety in your diet is recommended to ensure frequent intake of this vitamin in its various forms.
Does Vitamin B6 Have any Side Effects?
Although no side-effects have ever been associated with dietary sources of Vitamin B6, there have been some examples of toxicity resulting from the use of B6 supplements.
Just like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin and is therefore excreted in the urine when excessive amounts are consumed. Even though this is the case, prolonged excessive consumption can cause issues related to the nervous system.
A condition known as sensory neuropathy has been shown to occur in individuals taking more than 1000 mg of Vitamin B6 per day; however, anything more than around 200 mg is generally not considered safe because of the potential for adverse side-effects.
As with any dietary supplement, we recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult their doctor or physician prior to use. This also applies to people under the age of 18 and individuals who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or who are taking any kind of prescription medication.
Is Vitamin B6 Safe?
Providing you always stick to the recommended usage there really is nothing to worry about, but it is important to make sure that if you are using a Vitamin B6 supplement is because you have a real need for it rather than because you just want to add another supplement to your regimen.
Note: We recommend speaking to a doctor before taking any supplements.
How and When Should I Take a Vitamin B6 Supplement?
Because of the potential for excessive consumption of Vitamin B6 it is very strongly recommended that you refer to the manufacturers guidelines on any supplement that you purchase.
How Much Vitamin B6 Should I Take?
Again, be sure to refer to the usage guidelines on any Vitamin B6 supplements you decide to use.
The risk of toxicity occurring from the dietary intake of Vitamin B6 is essentially non-existent so you don’t need to worry about overdosing from eating too many eggs!
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Do I Really Need to Use a Vitamin B6 Supplement?
By now you can probably tell that a Vitamin B6 supplement is essential for daily use if you are healthy adult, and it doesn’t really bear that much relevance in the context of bodybuilding and athleticism in general.
Furthermore, you’ll find that the vast majority of multivitamin supplements will include some amount of Vitamin B6 anyway, so this definitely raises some questions as to whether or not you really need to add additional B6 to your diet.
It is really down to your discretion based on your personal needs whether or not Vitamin B6 supplementation is relevant to you, but at the very least you should make sure that you have at least a few food sources in your diet.
Choosing the Right Vitamin B6 Product
Vitamin B6 is a very simple supplement because it is typically only available in one form.
It is next to impossible to determine the purity and overall quality of a supplement from one brand to another when talking about individual vitamins such as this. For this reason, it is best if you simply opt for a Vitamin B6 supplement that is available in a dosage that is relevant to your needs.
If you would like more information on how the supplemental source of Vitamin B6 may be relevant to your personal needs then it is recommended that you speak to your doctor or physician.
Please note: This FAQ has not been written or reviewed by a doctor or medical professional and is therefore not to be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease or illness. Nor should it be used as medical reference.