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Vitamin B6: The Most Important Among the B Vitamins?

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When most people hear the word “anemia,” they immediately think of iron. But a shortage of Vitamin B6 can also cause a type of anemia because this vitamin is vital to the healthy generation of hemoglobin in the blood of a normal, healthy person. You may also associate Vit B6 with sugar diabetes, and that’s because one of the important functions of this vitamin is to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.

Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine. You may not have heard of many people who were found to have a serious Vitamin B6 deficiency, and there’s a good reason for that. B6 is so readily available in so many foods that it’s a fairly simple matter to get your daily recommended allowances of this vitamin.

Some of the common sources of B6 include tuna, roast beef, tomato juice, trout, pork loin and peanut butter. Naturally, cereals that are fortified with vitamins are excellent sources and many provide 100 percent of the body’s need for cereal. Three raw bananas also provide a full day’s supply of the necessary pyridoxine. A medium baked potato (including the potato skin) provides about one-third of the daily requirement. Evaluating the foods rich in this vitamin reveals that many people are already meeting the daily requirements for B6.

So what are the dangers of having too little Vitamin B6 in your daily diet? Recent studies suggest that a lack of this vitamin is a factor for determining the risk of stroke and some types of heart disease. That means that people with deficiencies are more likely to suffer from these health issues than their counterparts who are getting sufficient amounts of Vit B6.

Depression is another problem potentially impacted by a Vitamin B6 deficiency. Though there may be some difference of opinion as to the role and the importance of B6 and depression, there appears to be a link that can’t be denied. In fact, depression is listed by some as one of the symptoms of insufficient pyridoxine in the diet.

There are some risks of taking too much B6. Nerves – especially in the outer extremities – are sometimes damaged by overdosing the body on pyridoxine. In the majority of cases, simply eliminating any vitamin supplements appears to eliminate the nerve problems as well. It’s unlikely that a normal person can take in enough B6 from a normal diet to cause toxicity at this level, and more likely that these severe effects of too much B6 are caused by taking too many vitamin supplements containing B6.

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