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The health benefits of vitamin B6

by Natasha Whiting |

The health benefits of vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as pyridoxine, that is essential for a number of bodily functions and can not be produced by the body, so it must be consumed via food or supplements. The health benefits of vitamin B6 include:

Reduces symptoms of depression and improves mood

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in regulating your mood because it is involved in the production of neurotransmitters that are responsible for regulating your emotions, including dopamine, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Research also suggests that vitamin B6 may be important in decreasing the levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is an amino acid linked to psychiatric issues such as depression.

May aid haemoglobin production and treat anaemia

Due to the part vitamin B6 production plays in producing haemoglobin, it could be helpful in treating and preventing anaemia caused by haemoglobin deficiency, particularly in women of childbearing age and pregnant women. Haemoglobin is the protein responsible for delivering oxygen to the cells, so when your haemoglobin levels are low, your cells are deprived of oxygen which can lead to the development of anaemia symptoms such as tiredness and feeling weak. Vitamin B6 deficiency is rare in the majority of healthy adults, so research is limited regarding the use of vitamin B6 to treat symptoms of anaemia.

May help treat nausea during pregnancy

For decades, vitamin B6 supplements have been used to treat vomiting and nausea in pregnant women and the vitamin is an ingredient in the medication often prescribed to treat morning sickness, known as Diclegis. Scientists do not yet have a complete understanding of why vitamin B6 helps to reduce morning sickness, but a number of studies have found that it can significantly improve symptoms. A study of 342 women who were under 17 weeks pregnant found that a 30 mg supplement of vitamin B6 taken every day was effective in reducing vomiting and nausea after only five days.

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