Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 plays a big role in brain function. This vitamin, which is also called pyridoxine, is a key component of the process of making serotonin and norepinephrine. In addition, B6 helps to form a protein layer around nerve cells in the body.
Other functions of vitamin B6 include making antibodies to fight disease, breaking down proteins and keeping glucose levels stable. Like the other B vitamins, B6 was first recognized in the 1930s when scientists were looking for a way to treat pellagra.

Signs of a Vitamin B6 Deficiency

A B6 deficiency is typically the result of diet or pyridoxine-inactivating drugs. A deficiency in vitamin B6 may result in a number of health problems that could affect the nervous system and circulatory system.
Some people also experience mouth sores, bouts of confusion and feelings of irritability.

Vitamin B6 Excess

Taking large doses of vitamin B6 can cause a few problems. Some people report difficulty with coordination or sensory changes when taking large doses. Other people report numbness in their bodies. Skin lesions, nausea and heartburn are also symptoms that can be experienced.
It is also possible to develop a temporary sensitivity to light when taking large doses of the vitamin.

The daily dosage of vitamin B6 needed depends greatly on age.

  • Infants under six months of age need 0.1 milligrams.
  • Infants up to 12 months old need 0.3 milligrams. Children between one and three years old need 0.5 milligrams.
  • Children between four and eight years old need 0.6 milligrams.
  • Children between nine and 13 years old need 1.1 milligrams per day.
  • Adult men and women below the age of 50 require between 1.2 milligrams and 1.3 milligrams.
  • Adult men and women over the age of 50 require between 1.5 milligrams and 1.7 milligrams.