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Vitamin B6

Published: November 24, 2017

Vitamin B6 is a water soluble vitamin essential for maintaining health.

As with other water soluble vitamins, small amounts of vitamin B6 can be stored in your body, primarily in muscles. However, foods containing vitamin B6 should be included as part of your daily food intake.
There are three forms of this vitamin: Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, and Pyridoxamine. These three forms of vitamin B6 can be converted into the coenzyme pyridoxal phosphate (PLP).  
A banana provides about 1/3 of your RDA
A banana provides about 1/3 of your RDA
Functions
Vitamin B6 as coenzyme PLP, interacts with more than 100 enzymes in a variety of metabolic reactions such as:

  • Amino acid metabolism: PLP transfers amino groups (NH2) from an amino acid to a keto acid which enables the synthesis of non-essential amino acids
  • Protein metabolism
  • Urea metabolism
  • Conversion of tryptophan to niacin (vitamin B3) or to serotonin (neurotransmitter)
  • Conversion of tyrosine to dopamine (neurotransmitter)
  • Synthesis of heme (non -protein part of hemoglobin), blood protein and red blood cell synthesis
  • Synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA)
  • Synthesis of lecithin (a phospholipid)
  • Initial step of glycogen metabolism and degradation into glucose
  • Synthesis of cysteine from methionine
  • Formation of glycine from serine
  • Sphingolipid synthesis: Sphingomyelins are found in large amounts in the myelin sheath of nerve tissues
  • Synthesis of carnitine required for fatty acid oxidation
  • Synthesis of taurine a neuromodulatory compound generated from cysteine metabolism
  • Steroid hormone production
  • May influence cognitive performance and immune function

Recommended daily allowance (RDA)

The RDA is the average daily amount of vitamin B6 considered adequate to meet the needs of most healthy people...link to the full article to learn more.

Related Topics

Health  Food Choices  Nutrients  Vitamins  Your Body 

References

1.
Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
2.
. Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
3.
Centre for Science in the Public Interest (August, 2011). Nutrition Action Health Letter (June 2008, January 2011))