Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins. Since these vitamins are soluble in water they are dispersed throughout the body dissolved in fluid. They are not stored in the body to any appreciable extent and must be replenished every day. Their influence on the body lasts for 14-18 hours after ingestion after which their potency decreases. An excessive intake of water-soluble vitamins is typically passed out through the urine. If the diet contains less than 50% RDA of water-soluble vitamins, symptoms from deficiencies may be displayed in as little as 4 weeks; much quicker than for fat-soluble vitamins.

All B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, assist and regulate carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. These are essential mechanisms which produce energy for the body. They also contribute to hemoglobin synthesis and red blood cell production which carries oxygen around the body. Furthermore, B complex vitamins help maintain muscle tone along the wall of the digestive tract and promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, mouth, liver and nervous system.

Vitamin B6 is important for the maintenance of the central nervous system and muscle cells. Furthermore, it aids in the removal of excess fluid of premenstrual women. It aids the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material and assists the formation of antibodies in the immune system. It reduces muscle spasms, leg cramps, hand numbness, nausea and stiffness of hands, and promotes healthy skin. Vitamins B12, B6, and B9 (folic acid) work closely together to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Elevated levels of this substance appear to be linked to heart disease. Vitamin B6 is also essential for normal brain development and function, since it aids the process of making important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Vitamins B6 also helps the balance of sodium and phosphorous in the body.

Vitamin B6 RDA

children 1-3 yrs 0.5 mg
children 4-8 yrs 0.6 mg
children 9-13 yrs 1.0 mg
Males 14-50 yrs 1.3 mg
Males 51-70+ yrs 1.4 mg
Females 14-50 yrs 1.3 mg
Females 51-70+ yrs 1.5 mg
Pregnancy 19-50 yrs 1.9 mg
Lactation 19-50 yrs 2.0 mg

For further information on nutrients RDA see our complete list for recommended dietary allowance.

3D picture of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Different forms or alternative names for Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine):
pyridoxine HCL
pyridoxal phosphate

Importance of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine):
key role in metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein
assists production of energy within the body
aids in the formation of antibodies
maintains the central nervous system
aids removal of excess fluid in premenstrual women
promotes healthy skin
reduces muscle spasms and cramps
reduces hand numbness and stiffness
helps maintain balance of sodium and phosphorous

Good sources of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) are:
bananas, avocado, beef liver, rice, wheat germ,

Good sources are:

We have sorted our nutrition database by foods high in Vitamin B6. You can easily see how much Vitamin B6 is contained in different foods. You can also search through our database using the search box below or browse the Vitamin b6 content by food category.

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