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Vitamin B-6 Requirements and Dietary Sources

Vitamin Guide

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Updated February 04, 2014

dry beans and vitamin B6

Dry beans are rich in vitamin B-6.

Sanja Gjenero

Vitamin B-6, or pyridoxine, is a member of the water-soluble family of B-complex vitamins. It's required for protein and glucose metabolism, and you need it to make hemoglobin, which is the component of red blood cells that carries oxygen to all the parts of your body.

Vitamin B-6 is needed for normal immune system function because it helps maintain the health of your thymus, spleen and lymph nodes. It's also required for normal nervous system function.

Daily Requirements

Males

1 to 3 years: 0.5 milligrams per day
4 to 8 years: 0.6 milligrams per day
9 to 13 years: 1.0 milligrams per day
14 to 30 years: 1.3 milligrams per day
31+ years: 1.7 milligrams per day

Females

1 to 3 years: 0.5 milligrams per day
4 to 8 years: 0.6 milligrams per day
9 to 13 years: 1.0 milligrams per day
14 to 30 years: 1.3 milligrams per day
31+ years: 1.5 milligrams per day

Vitamin B-6 supplements have been recommended for relief of carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, headaches and premenstrual syndrome. But research hasn't provided sufficient evidence for these recommendations. These supplements will reduce homocysteine levels in your blood. Unfortunately, supplementation does not appear to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

A true vitamin B-6 deficiency is rare, so supplements aren't necessary.

Ingesting large amounts of supplemental vitamin B-6 may result in nerve damage. The Institute of Medicine established 100 milligrams per day as the upper tolerable intake level. It's normally found in a variety of foods such as fish, meat, beans and legumes, and many vegetables. 

Also Known As: pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine

Sources:

"Vitamin B6." Accessed March 17, 2009. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminb6/

Otten JJ, Hellwig JP, Meyers LD. "Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements." IOM, 2006.

 

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