You’ll be surprised how much your life will improve from a health standpoint just by correcting a single vitamin deficiency. Vitamin B6 is one nutrient that has such a huge role in keeping our bodies primed and lubed, yet it’s also one too many people don’t get enough of. We’ll outline some scientifically documented vitamin B6 benefits to show you what you’re missing out on if you suspect you might be deficient.
There isn’t just a single B vitamin. Aside from B6, the family of B-complex vitamins also include vitamin B12, thiamin (b1), riboflavin (b2), niacin (b3), and more. They work synergistically to keep your muscles, bones, and organs operating in peak condition.
What about B6? The water-soluble nutrient itself isn’t a single vitamin, but a category of six chemical compounds. There is no need to go into detail about the specifics of all six. Just know that they work together to contribute to a number of health goodies that you and I probably take granted for. If you have vitamin B6 deficiency, though, the ailments will slowly begin to manifest. In severe cases, it will inhibit your day-to-day living.
Below are some of the amazing health wonders attributed at least in part to B6.
With its scientific-sounding name, homocysteine is probably a term you never heard of. It’s a term you should be familiar with because it plays a role in your health and not in a good way. Too much homocysteine has been linked to inflammation, in turn elevating risk of cardiovascular disease.
Inflammation, by the way, also leads to depletion of B6 in specific muscle tissues. This is all the more reason to consume more B6 as inflammation will only cause deficiency to worsen.
Inadequate B6 can affect your critical thinking skills. Who hasn’t experienced the occasional brain fog? Studies show that B6 supplementation can offset cognitive decline associated with dementia.
Aside from cardiovascular risks, homocysteine has also been linked to neurodegenerative disease. It makes sense then that B6 would also aid in the cognitive department and the nervous system.
The brain, of course, is also linked to your mood and general feeling of well-being. B6 also helps with the synthesis of important neurotransmitters, including the feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin. Many doctors actually prescribe B6 for women going through premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which often includes drastic mood swings.
If you have difficulty concentrating, then we suggest B6 as part of a bigger health overhaul. This includes limiting grains in your diet, exercising more, and getting more sleep (more on this later). See our past post on how to eliminate brain fog naturally.
Vitamins B6 and B12 are critical in the production of red blood cells. Poor production output is known as anemia, and it wrecks all sorts of havoc on your body. Among them, it inhibits your body’s ability to process and use iron.
One research showed that B6 supplementation may be helpful in treating pregnant women with anemia.
Those with anemia also report chronic fatigue. This may be accompanied by shortness of breath, chest tightness, and dizziness. If you constantly feel physically drained, then you may very well be anemic.
It’s not just vitamin A that’s good for your eyes. Besides loading up on the carrots, you’re also doing your eyes a great service by consuming B6-rich food sources. B6 benefits also include the prevention of eye disease.
Many studies are available in this area and once again homocysteine comes out as a culprit. This harmful amino acid is also believed to contribute to age-related macular degeneration. A report revealed that B6 in conjunction with B12 and folic acid helps prevent macular disease in women.
In addition, B6 helps the body absorb magnesium. This mineral, in turn, helps the eyes produce teardrops. This is pivotal as dry eyes can lead to all sorts of vision health problems.
Vitamin B6 helps your joints and ligaments too. A 2010 study in Taiwan showed that B6 had anti-inflammatory benefits that alleviate joint discomfort. The findings also suggest that B6 supplementation may be a better alternative than Methotrexate, the commonly prescribed medication for arthritis. Methotrexate may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the B vitamin folate (B9).
Researchers concluded that supplementing with B6 may suppress the production of cytokines. This is a class of proteins responsible for joint inflammation.
Your ability to get a good night’s rest affects your health on so many levels. B6 benefits really come into play here as research suggests the vitamin aids in the production of melatonin. In one study, rats administered a B6 supplement saw their melatonin plasma levels jump by 35%.
We can’t stress the importance of a healthy sleep cycle. The implications of sleep disturbances and insomnia are far-reaching. For men, testosterone levels can take a serious hit. You’ll also experience midday fatigue. In addition, insomniacs are also at a higher risk of type II diabetes, congestive heart failure, and hypertension.
Here’s another interesting food for thought: another study showed that B6 supplementation also led to more vivid dreams and dream recall. That’s pretty cool, don’t you think? Perhaps you’ll recall pleasant dreams or be more able to decipher dream messages if you believe in that sort of thing.
Aside from getting more B6, we also recommend supplementing with our Sleep Optimization Stack.
The takeaway here is to always look at natural vitamins and minerals before resorting to synthetically-derived pills. We are ardent believers that correcting B vitamin deficiencies will reduce most common ailments.
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