Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is a water soluble vitamin. It is essential for the metabolism of protein and amino acids, the formation of antibodies, the absorption of vitamin B12 and many other biochemical functions within the body. It is found in red meat, whole grain cereals, peanuts and soybeans. The recommended daily allowance in females is 0.9 mg to 1.4 mg a day. In males it is 1.3 mg to 1.9 mg a day. Higher amounts are required in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
A deficiency can cause seborrhoeic dermatitis of the face, dry cracked lips, sore mouth, nervousness and depression. An extreme deficiency can lead to nerve damage, anaemia and convulsions.
A large number of non-prescription preparations include pyridoxine (vitamin B6) alone or in combination with other vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin B6 may be used to ease nervous tension, mouth ulcers, premenstrual tension and hardening of arteries. Users of supplements should ensure they have an adequate protein intake in their diet. Supplements may interact with the oral contraceptive pill and L-dopa.
Remember, vitamins are merely chemicals that are essential for the functioning of the body, and if taken to excess, act as a drug.