Pyridoxine (aka Vitamin B6) is another essential B vitamin often taken in B-complex supplements and also blood building supplements (due to its role in manufacturing red blood cells). It is quite easy to obtain from food, but is also heat sensitive and therefore food should not be overcooked. The RDA is set at 1.3 mg per day and quite easy to meet. It serves primarily as a metabolic cofactor and is also heavily in making blood cells.

Functions

  • Amino acid metabolism
  • Neurotransmitter synthesis
  • Manufacturing of hemoglobin and red blood cells
  • Gylcogenesis (production of muscle glycogen)
  • Proper steroid hormone function

Primary deficiency symptoms and diseases

  • Anemia
  • Weakened immune functioning
  • Depression
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities

Food sources

  • Fish
  • Liver
  • Beans and legumes
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas

Supplementation

Most people will take B-complex supplements and receive B6, but it is also available through single supplement forms. Refined grains are also a source of supplemental pyridoxine, but obviously are not very healthy to consume.

  • Pyridoxine HCl
  • Pyridoxal-5-phosphate

Who needs it most?

  • Those who consume alcohol frequently
  • Elderly populations
  • Those who take medications which deplete B6
  • Anemics