Facts & Recommendations
Vitamin B6 is naturally occurring in three forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. It is commonly called pyridoxine.
This vitamin plays an essential role in protein metabolism, as well as in cognitive development by synthesizing neurotransmitters and maintaining normal homocysteine levels.
Fish, (organic) meat, starchy vegetables (such as potatoes), fruits, cereals, milk and cheese.
The bioavailability of vitamin B6 from a mixed diet is estimated at approx. 75% and for dietary supplement at 90%.
Like all other B vitamins, the water-soluble vitamin B6 is extremely sensitive to light and heat. If possible, avoid prolonged cooking of vitamin B6-containing foods in order to preserve them as much as possible.
Pyridoxine is absorbed through the small intestine and mainly accumulated in the liver, but only in small amounts. Since its half-life is short, a continuous nutritional supply of this vitamin is necessary. It is involved in the absorption of magnesium.
The most commonly used form of pyridoxine in nutritional supplements is pyridoxine hydrochlorid.
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of noradrenaline and serotonin, two essential neurotransmitters involved in several metabolic processes. It also acts as a coenzym in hemoglobin biosynthesis.
During pregnancy it may help to reduce nausea and vomiting, which are most likely due to the high production of the gestational hormones hCG (human chorioniy gonadotropin) estrogen and progesterone.
You will also benefit from vitamin B6 in other ways: it supports the immune system, reduces fatigue and contributes to normal red blood cell formation. This is a relevant point because the blood volume increases significantly during pregnancy (about 50%).
In combination with folic acid and vitamin B12, pyridoxine regulates homocysteine levels in the blood (homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid associated with cardiovascular disease at high blood concentrations).
Consequences of a vitamin B6 deficiency
In relation to vitamin B1, vitamin B6 deficiency is less common.
However, a reduction in vitamin B6 blood concentration was observed at the beginning of pregnancy.
In addition, excessive vomiting during pregnancy can lead to a reduction of pyridoxine. In this case, prenatal vitamins containing pyridoxine and other B vitamins may be beneficial.
Vitamin B6 deficiency during pregnancy can affect the development of the fetal brain, as well as weight gain and growth in infancy.
Some diseases such as renal disease, celiac and Crohn’s disease, as well as ulcerative colitis can specifically lead to a B6 deficiency because the absorption of pyridoxine is impaired.
Suboptimal vitamin B6 status is associated with diseases that particularly affect the elderly population, such as impaired cognitive function, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. These may be related to increased homocysteine concentrations associated with B6 deficiency.
Some studies have shown that vitamin B6 supplementation reduces the severity of nausea during pregnancy.
Vitamin vitamin B1 and vitamin B6 have been shown to be even more effective when taken together.