Vitamin B6 deficiency, a hidden enemy

Vitamin B6 deficiency, a hidden enemy

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Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, helps the body carry out more than 150 enzymatic reactions. These allow your body to process proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in your diet. Furthermore, vitamin B6 plays a very important role in helping with the function of the nervous and immune systems. Scientists first discovered this vitamin in 1932, but they continue to conduct studies on this vital nutrient.

Most people get enough B6 in their diet, but if you have other vitamin B deficiencies, you probably lack B6 as well. Studies have found that people with autoimmune, digestive, liver or kidney diseases, as well as smokers, pregnant women, alcoholics, and obese people are most likely to develop a deficiency of this vitamin.

Although scientists discovered this nutrient in 1932, they are still learning new things about it. Researchers also recently discovered that B6 contains many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This means that it can help prevent chronic diseases like cancer and heart problems. If you have a B6 deficiency, you likely have noticeable symptoms which we will discuss below. We will also list some of the foods that are high in B6 to help you overcome a deficiency.



Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause a red, scaly rash called seborrheic dermatitis. It appears most often on the chest, neck, scalp, and face and can cause swelling or white patches on the skin. It can also appear oily and flaky due to the lack of collagen in the skin. B6 helps regulate collagen, which plays a critical role in maintaining healthy skin.

By taking B6, you can help get rid of rashes quickly. Some people who suffer from this specific type of rash may need a doctor-prescribed B6 face cream to ensure higher absorption rates into the skin.


A pyridoxine deficiency can result in swollen, red, and sore lips, especially around the corners of the mouth. If your lips become too chapped, you can have bleeding and possibly infections if you come in contact with certain bacteria. You can alleviate these symptoms by eating more foods rich in B6 or by taking a supplement. Keep in mind that riboflavin, folic acid, iron, and other nutrient deficiencies can also cause chapped lips.


A deficiency in vitamin B6 can lead to a red, swollen tongue, a condition known as glossitis. The loss of red bumps on the tongue, called papillae, makes the tongue appear smooth and shiny. Without these lumps, you may have trouble speaking, swallowing, or chewing food. If you have this condition, increasing your intake of B6 should bring relief. However, deficiencies in other nutrients like folic acid and vitamin B12 can also cause glossitis, so be sure to take a multivitamin.


If you have inadequate levels of pyridoxine, this can make you more vulnerable to experiencing depression, anxiety, and irritability. B6 directly helps with the production process of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA, which help regulate moods and pain sensations. Studies have shown that in about 50% of people with autism, B6 supplements help decrease behavior problems by helping to produce neurotransmitters. Research also shows that taking 50 to 80 mg of B6 supplements every day can help with PMS symptoms, such as irritability, cramps, anxiety, and depression.

Scientists believe that since B6 helps in the serotonin production process, it can improve your mood. Ongoing research on the links between PMS and potential vitamin and mineral deficiencies will determine whether doctors can simply prescribe nutritional remedies in the future.


If you have a robust immune system, this can help prevent disease and inflammation. Nutrient deficiencies like B6 can disrupt the immune system, leading to fewer antibodies being produced to help fight infection. A pyridoxine deficiency can also reduce the number of white blood cells in your body, which helps regulate the function of the immune system. Additionally, B6 aids in the process of producing a protein called interleukin-2, which helps control the actions of white blood cells.


A deficiency in vitamin B6 can make you feel exhausted because this vitamin helps your body make hemoglobin, a protein found within red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout the body. If your body doesn't get enough oxygen due to a lack of this protein, you could develop anemia, which can make you feel weak and lethargic. In addition to tiredness from anemia, a B6 deficiency may make you feel exhausted because it helps in the melatonin production process. Because melatonin promotes restful sleep, a lack of B6 can cause sleep problems, such as insomnia.


If you often feel burning, shooting pain, or tingling in your arms, hands, legs, and feet, you may have nerve damage. Many people call it a tingling sensation because of the tingling sensation and pain. Because B vitamins play an important role in regulating the nervous system, a lack of these vitamins can result in nerve problems. You may notice clumsiness and difficulty walking and maintaining balance. If you think you have a B6 deficiency, be sure to get a blood test, which can measure your vitamin and mineral levels.


While seizures can have many different causes, a lack of B6 can lead to seizures due to a deficiency of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Without enough GABA, your brain can become exhausted and overstimulated, leading to seizure symptoms such as muscle spasms, inability to control your arms and legs, and rolling your eyes. Some people experience seizures or lose consciousness during a seizure.

Researchers have observed a link between B6 deficiency and seizures in newborns. In the 1950s, babies who received infant formula without enough B6 had seizure symptoms. In adults, seizures due to pyridoxine deficiency have been seen primarily in pregnant women, people with liver disease or alcohol addiction, and people taking medications that do not react well.

Researchers have observed a high rate of recovery in people who have seizures who increase their intake of B6.


Many foods contain adequate levels of B6, so most people get enough in their daily diet. However, since your body cannot store much vitamin, you should try to consume it regularly. Many types of cereal and nutrition bars have B6 added, so if you don't eat a lot of fresh foods, go for these. The recommended daily intake of B6 for adults who are not pregnant is 1.7 mg.

Here are some of the best plant sources of B6:

FoodsAmount of Vitamin B6
Wheat germ1.0 mg
Banana0.60 mg
Hazelnut0.60 mg
Walnuts0.57 mg
Chestnuts0.50 mg
Potato roasted in the oven0.46 mg
Brussels sprouts0.30 mg
Avocado0.28 mg
Peanuts or peanuts0.25 mg
Cooked carrot0.23 mg
Plum juice0.22 mg
Lentils0.18 mg
Raw spinach0.17 mg
Tomato juice0.15 mg
Watermelon0.15 mg

In addition to these foods, vitamin B6 can also be found in grapes, brown rice, orange juice, artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower, cooked corn, strawberries, white rice, black beans, cooked oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, cocoa, and cinnamon. .


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