Vitamin B6 Deficiency
Last updated: October 05, 2015
Vitamin B6 Deficiency
With Vitamin B6 playing an important role for brain & body, make sure not to be deficient in it. In this article, see what to look out for and what to do.
As dietary research grows and improves, scientists are finding more and more people suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. One of the most common, and most insidious, deficiencies is a vitamin b6 deficiency. A deficiency in this important vitamin can lead to a feeling of weakness, a sore mouth and tongue, and depression. Here are some ways you can identify whether you might have a vitamin b6 deficiency, and what you can do to reverse the problem.
B vitamins play an important role
The B vitamins are eight separate vitamins that play an important role in a number of body functions, especially in cell metabolism. Vitamin b6 specifically is crucial for maintaining brain functions and lowering the feelings of stress, as it helps form heme, which transports oxygen in your bloodstream. This vitamin is found abundantly in eggs, avocados, soybeans, walnuts, whole grains and brewer’s yeast. While it is relatively easy to treat a vitamin b6 deficiency, it is a surprisingly common affliction for many people.
Research shows that a vitamin b6 deficiency is most commonly linked with alcoholism, though there are a number of other highly at risk groups. Certain medications are known to link to a vitamin b6 deficiency, most prominently oral contraceptives. One recent study found that up to 75% of women who took oral contraceptives without any form of vitamin supplementation suffered from a b6 deficiency. Furthermore, males who smoke and non-Hispanic African American men and women over the age of 65 were also found to have a vitamin b6 deficient more often than others. While these groups have the greatest concentration of the ailment, it is thought that the number of people with a vitamin b6 deficiency is overall greater than currently considered.
Symptoms of vitamin b6 deficiency
While there are some physical symptoms of a vitamin b6 deficiency, such as having a sore mouth and tongue and overall weakness, most of the problems that manifest are mental ones. Increased irritability and shifts in mood, a strong sense of confusion, and depression are all common. B6 plays a crucial role in the formation and transport of brain chemicals that make you feel happy and alert, so it’s no surprise that lacking it causes depression. In fact, some researchers are speculating how many cases of depression are caused by a vitamin b6 deficiency and can be cured with b6 supplementation instead of potentially dangerous psycho-active drugs.
If you feel like you might have a vitamin b6 deficiency, the first thing you need to do is eating more foods that are abundant in it. Eating a lot more bananas, avocados and watermelon are all good ideas that most people can start implementing immediately. Other foods, like eggs and other animal products, aren’t as appealing to others, but can contribute b6 in its most easily absorbed form. Overall, you want to stop the dietary conditions that caused your vitamin b6 deficiency.
You can also start taking supplements to help heal your vitamin b6 deficiency. If you’re going to take extra vitamins, you just need to make sure that they are of a high quality. You don’t want to get any synthetic dollar store vitamins, as those aren’t likely to help a vitamin b6 deficiency much. Instead, you want to focus on getting b6 supplements that are all natural and made from whole food products. In addition to being likely to help your vitamin b6 deficiency, natural b vitamin supplements are thought to aid and help improve a number of wide ranging brain functions.
Now that the fact that many people have a vitamin b6 deficiency is finally being recognized, it’s important that you take it in to consideration if you are feeling the symptoms. You can always see if you have this condition by getting blood tests and asking them to test for a vitamin b6 deficiency, or by simply noting how close to home the symptoms hit. If you suspect you might have a vitamin b6 deficiency, then it’s a good idea to start upping the amount of this important item you get on a daily basis, either through eating more vitamin b6 rich foods, or through supplementation.