Vitamins and Herbs
Vitamin B6 (PYRIDOXINE)
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water soluble vitamin involved primarily in the maintenance of both physical and mental health. Vitamin B6 rich foods are meats, sunflower seeds carrots, chickens, eggs, walnuts, and spinach. Other dietary sources include soybeans, rice bran, brown rice, broccoli, avocados and bananas. A few herbs also contain pyridoxine. These are alfalfa, catnip and oat straw.
Vitamin B6 deficiency may arise from the use of antidepressants, contraceptives and treatment using estrogen therapy. Moreover, diuretics (drugs that induce urination) and cortisone inhibit proper vitamin absorption. Low vitamin B6 levels manifest as frequency of headaches, vomiting, flaky skin and anemia. It can also lead to irritability, anxiety, loss of hair, poor wound healing, chronic fatigue and impaired growth.
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in a number of bodily functions. Pyridoxine prevents excessive water retention and helps balance sodium and potassium levels in the body. It acts as a diuretic, providing relief from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The vitamin also stimulates red blood cell formation, hydrochloric acid production and enhanced absorption of fats (lipids) and protein.
Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and normal brain processes. It is involved in DNA and RNA synthesis, the genetic material of cells containing instructions on proper growth, development and maturation. Furthermore, pyridoxine serves as an activator of other key enzymes, enhances vitamin B12 absorption, boosts immune response and promotes antibody formation for the natural immunity of the body. Finally, vitamin B6 promotes cancer prevention and lowered risk of arteriosclerosis. The vitamin stops the formation of homocysteine, which causes cholesterol build up in heart muscles. Lastly, pyridoxine may help treat asthma, allergies and arthritis.
Vitamin B6 toxicity almost never occurs. But, too much vitamin B6 may lead to appetite loss, headaches, nausea and vomiting.