What is Pyridoxine Hydrochloride?
Pyridoxine hydrochloride is the salt form of vitamin B6. Once ingested, it converts into its active form pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP). It is one of the eight water-soluble B vitamins, and it is an essential coenzyme for more than 140 enzyme reactions. Some of its crucial metabolic functions include metabolizing lipids and fatty acids, synthesizing amino acids and neurotransmitters, and generating glucose as fuel for the brain.
What Does Vitamin B6 Do?
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in metabolizing protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It’s a cofactor for synthesizing numerous neurotransmitters. It also supports red blood cell production. It helps synthesize hemoglobin and improves its ability to bind to and release oxygen. Vitamin B6 is so critical to producing red blood cells that a deficiency can cause microcytic anemia. It also supports healthy immune function, response, and tolerance.
Vitamin B6 Deficiency Symptoms
Certain populations are at greater risk of developing a vitamin B6 deficiency. These include individuals with kidney, liver, or digestive disorders. Certain autoimmune conditions, pregnancy, smoking, obesity, and alcohol abuse may cause a vitamin B6 deficiency. A vitamin B6 deficiency can trigger a multitude of symptoms. These include:
- Pain, pins and needles sensations, or tingling in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
- Oily and flaky rashes on the face, neck, and chest (seborrheic dermatitis)
- Painful cracks at the corners of the mouth (cheilosis)
- A smooth, sore, red, and inflamed tongue (glossitis)
- Frequent illnesses and infections due to a weakened immune system
- Elevated blood levels of homocysteine
Potential Vitamin B6 Benefits
Vitamin B6 for Energy
Like the other b vitamins, pyridoxine hydrochloride can increase energy. It helps break down glucose for energy, and it can also synthesize glucose from non-carbohydrate sources if glucose becomes unavailable. Glucose is the sole source of energy for the brain, with the exception of ketones during periods of fasting.
Vitamin B6 for Mood
Vitamin B6 may improve mood in several ways. Individuals with low B6 are more susceptible to mood imbalances. High homocysteine levels can also have a negative effect on mood. Vitamin B6 supplements can address both these issues by replenishing B6 and lowering homocysteine levels. Vitamin B6 is a critical component for creating mood-regulating neurotransmitters as well, including dopamine, epinephrine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), norepinephrine, and serotonin.
Vitamin B6 for Morning Sickness
Vitamin B6 has a well-documented history of relieving morning sickness, and it may help with non-pregnancy-related nausea too. Nausea is a common symptom of early pregnancy, but it can culminate in severe dehydration if vomiting is excessive. Researchers don’t fully understand how B6 improves nausea, but one hypothesis is that vitamin B6 plays several critical roles during pregnancy. One study found that women who took vitamin B6 for morning sickness found relief within five days. Another study noted that vitamin B6 combined with ginger reduced nausea and vomiting by 31% after four days of use. Vitamin B6 similarly improved morning sickness symptoms when paired with an antihistamine. Because vitamin B6 is so well-researched, it’s recognized as safe in normal doses during pregnancy.
Vitamin B6 and Heart Health
Vitamin B6 may improve heart health by lowering homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine increases the risk of heart disease, blood clots, and stroke. Insufficient B6 also almost doubles the risk of heart disease, and it may contribute to high cholesterol and artery blockages.
Vitamin B6 Benefits for PMS
Vitamin B6 supplements may benefit menstruating women by relieving their PMS symptoms. It may help alleviate irritability, low mood, mood swings, fatigue, and nervousness. It may alleviate emotional symptoms of PMS as well due to its interactions with mood regulating neurotransmitters.
Potential Vitamin B6 Side Effects
Vitamin B6 is water-soluble, and the body usually excretes any excess. Trials note that vitamin B6 doesn’t cause adverse reactions when taken at typical doses. However, high amounts of vitamin B6 in excess of 1g per day (more than 10 times the recommended daily allowance) over a long period of time can damage nerves.
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