Also known as: Pyridoxine

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B complex group. Several forms of the vitamin are known, but pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) is the active form and is a cofactor in many reactions of amino acid metabolism.

PLP also is necessary for the enzymatic reaction governing the mobilisation of glucose from glycogen stores.

A little background information

Pyridoxine was first discovered in 1934 by a Hungarian physician, Paul György. With such extensive and overlapping functions in the body, Scientists continue to map new roles. 

Its role in the body

Vitamin B6 is involved in the following metabolic processes:

  • amino acid, glucose and lipid metabolism
  • neurotransmitter synthesis (serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA))
  • histamine synthesis 
  • hemoglobin synthesis and function 
  • gene expression

Deficiencies include reduced growth, muscle weakness, neurological signs (e.g. hyperexcitability, seizures), microcytic anaemia, irreversible kidney lesions, and anorexia.

Natural sources

Pyridoxine is widely distributed in food with highest concentrations found in meat, whole-grains, vegetables and nuts. 

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