Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

There are multiple forms of vitamin B6, but collectively they are known as pyridoxine. Pyridoxine is needed for the functioning of over 100 enzymes. It helps in protein synthesis, particularly that of non-essential amino-acids. It can also convert protein to glucose if energy needs are not being met. This vitamin can be destroyed by heat. Deficiency of this vitamin is rare, but when it occurs it causes a type of anemia called Microcytic hypochromic anemia. It can be confused with iron deficiency, because they cause the same effects. This disease can damage the nervous system and elevate the risk of heart disease.

Medical uses of pyridoxine became prevalent when this vitamin was linked with the treatment of premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS. Doses as low as 15 milligrams per day might be helpful to treat PMS. A study in the mid 1980’s looked at women taking high doses of pyridoxine, greater than 500 milligrams per day, over a period of time. They developed neuromuscular diseases: they couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. They lacked coordination between the brain and muscles. This was the first time in history that a water-soluble vitamin exhibited toxicity.

The maximum you should consume of this vitamin is 100 milligrams per day. Supplements are available on the market that contain more than this amount without any warning of toxicity, so, be careful with those.

Required Daily Amounts

Male (18-50): 1.3 milligrams.
Male (50-70): 1.7 milligrams.
Female (18-50): 1.2 milligrams.
Female (50-70): 1.5 milligrams.

Good Sources of Pyridoxine

1 banana0.68 milligrams
1 cup broccoli0.22 milligrams
1 cup asparagus0.22 milligrams
1 cup spinach0.44 milligrams
1 cup potatoes, baked, with skin0.42 milligrams

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