A prominent coenzyme involved in over 100 reactions, vitamin b6 assists in metabolizing protein in the brain, and improves memory, and concentration via multiple pathways in our body.
In addition it helps to metabolize carbs, lipids (fat) and one-carbon units. B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12 all play a role in glutamate regulation in the brain, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is cytotoxic (harmful to cells) at high levels.
Pyridoxine, vitamin b6 is a cofactor in many enzymatic processes including synthesizing amino acids (protein) and neurotransmitters (brain communication). It’s involved in RBC formation, nervous system and immune system functions and helps to maintain normal blood glucose levels .
So it keeps your blood sugar levels balanced in addition to playing vital roles for internal communication pathways and fighting off infections and disease.
Several enzymes (glutamine synthetase (GS), glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), aminotransferases (GOT, GPT)) are involved in maintaining glutamate concentrations below excitatory levels and these b vitamins assist in activation of these important enzymes .
Aged brains show considerably lower activation of these enzymes, but b6 induced activation of 3 of the 4 enzymes: GAD, GOT, GPT. Vitamin b12 and folic acid supported activation of GS, rounding out 4/4 enzymes involved in keeping glutamate below excitatory levels, thus supporting cytotoxicity reduction in the brain.
Decreasing damage caused by cellular toxicity is a huge reason why vitamin B supplementation is recommended as an adjunct therapy for Alzheimer’s. Increased cellular debris, specifically beta amyloid plaque, is suspected for much of the communication disruption that takes place with memory loss and altered cognitive function.
Quality sleep can actually promote the breakdown of these plaques and may contribute positively to memory and cognitive processes. Some of the plaque triggers an immune system response that further damages nerve cells while some clumps of plaque simply block signaling.
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Pyridoxine also supports heart health by helping to affect blood pressure, by potentially lowering systolic and diastolic pressures significantly. Those with high blood pressure were given doses of pyridoxine at 5mg/kg body weight for 4 weeks .
Vitamin B6 assists in making several neurotransmitters. Chemicals that transfer brain signals from one nerve cell to another. Thus it’s needed for proper brain development and function.
Serotonin (well-being) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) influence your daily mood, while melatonin is involved in circadian rhythm (sleep-wake timing, BP regulation, reproduction). VB6 is therefore pivotal for your everyday happiness, alertness, energy levels, and stamina. As an antioxidant, it protects our nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondria convert food into chemical energy used by our cells.
PYRIDOXINE B6 PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATION
Vitamin B6 | Pyridoxine
Take 20-30mg daily along with all other B vitamins for an optimal nootropic blend. 50 mg doses are effective for groups deemed deficient or requiring higher doses; the elderly, pregnant women, those with macular degeneration and RA.
Reports of positive changes in PMS symptoms with b6 supplementation have been increasing with some studies showing efficacy. The IOM (Institute of Medicine) deems 100 mg daily to be safe.
The richest sources of b6 include organ meat, beef liver and fish. Starchy vegetables contain a decent amount but supplementing with b6 helps to keep starch intake to a minimum and may help lower meat consumption overall.
Keep in mind more is not better. Levels exceeding 200mg may result in neurological disorders, poor sensation in the lower extremities and poor balance. Complete recovery is typically made within 6 months upon decreasing the dose.
Check your prescription drug interactions prior to taking any supplement. Certain drugs will interfere with uptake and decrease levels of b6; penicillamine for RA, hydralazine for high BP, isoniazid for TB, theophylline for asthma and others.
B6 does interfere with Levodopa, a common drug used for Parkinson’s disease. Be sure to check all of your prescription drugs for any interactions they may have with nutritional compounds.
For a full scope of health benefits check out our nootropic guide to B complex vitamins.
RECAP OF PYRIDOXINE B6
- Balance blood sugar
- Lower blood pressure
- Positively affect brain cytotoxicity
- Fight off infection and disease
- Improve cellular communication
- Increase metabolism of carbs, fat & protein
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