Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine


Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble compound that was discovered in 1930s during nutrition studies on rats. The vitamin was named pyridoxine to indicate its structural homology to pyridine. Later it was shown that vitamin B6 could exist in two other, slightly different, chemical forms, termed pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. All three forms of vitamin B6 are precursors of an activated compound known as pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), which plays a vital role as the cofactor of a large number of essential enzymes in the human body.

At least one preliminary study has found that this vitamin may increase dream vividness or the ability to recall dreams. It is thought that this effect may be due to the role this vitamin plays in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.

Another study found Increased intake of vitamin B6, from diet and supplements, could cut the risk of Parkinson’s disease by half suggests a prospective study from the Netherlands.

Vitamin B6 is prevalent in both animal and vegetable food sources. Liver, chicken, fish, green beans, field salad, wheat germ, nutritional yeast and bananas are particularly good food sources.

Signs of a Vitamin B6 deficiency include: depression, anxiety, loss of libido, insomnia, water retention, inability to process glucose (weight loss/gain). Physicians are now beginning to recommend routine vitamin B6 administration during hormonal contraception/medication.