What is Pyridoxine?
Pyridoxine is a form of vitamin B6 found in various foods and used as a dietary supplement to metabolize amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. It is a water-soluble vitamin that assists more than 100 enzymes in performing various biological functions.
B6 is a very important component for general cellular metabolism. Pyridoxine medication is used mainly to treat vitamin B6 deficiency and vomiting during pregnancy. It is also used to treat a certain type of anemia (lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin).
Pyridoxine is a member of vitamin B families like thiamine (vitamin B1), cobalamin (vitamin B12), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and folic acid (vitamin B9). It occurs naturally in various foods such as meat, poultry, nuts, whole grains, bananas, and avocados.
What is Vitamin B6?
Pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine are collectively referred to as vitamin B6. All of these compounds contain a pyridine ring as their core.
They are water-soluble and the phosphate form is inconvertible in our bodies. Their phosphorylated derivatives are pyridoxine 5′-phosphate, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, and pyridoxamine 5′-phosphate.
Among these, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) shows the highest biological activity. Aldehyde and amine are the main constituents of naturally occurring vitamin B6.
Health Benefits of Pyridoxine
According to World Health Organization (WHO), it is an essential list of medicine that is available as generic and counter product. In some well-developed counties, it may be added to breakfast cereal for better health improvement.
The oral supplement or injectable form can be used mainly to treat and prevent B6 deficiency, sideroblastic anemia, certain metabolic disorders, and certain types of mushroom poisoning.
Pyridoxine and pyridoxine hydrochloride is used to prevent or treat low levels of vitamin B6 in people who do not get enough B6 from their daily diets. It is also used in the prevention of heart disease, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), depression, morning sickness, Alzheimer’s disease, menstrual cramps, diabetes, and many other health problems.
Pyridoxine may help to convert the food that you eat into cellular energy. It helps to metabolize fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from your food that providing the energy needed to control various biological functions throughout the day. Therefore, if you eat more protein, more vitamin B6 or pyridoxine supplements are required to metabolize such proteins which you eat.
Reduce Symptoms of Depression
Pyridoxine, a form of vitamin B6 is essential for the proper metabolism of various neurotransmitters and plays an important role in mood regulation. The neurotransmitters that metabolize by vitamin B6 may regulate emotions, including serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid in your body.
It may also play a role in decreasing levels of the amino acid homocysteine in your blood. The amino acid homocysteine has been linked to depression and many other psychiatric issues.
Promote Brain Health
It is a vital vitamin supplement that helps in normal brain development and keeps your nervous system and immune systems healthy. It may indirectly help your brain function by lowering homocysteine levels because a high level of homocysteine in your body may cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive decline.
Various scientific studies suggest that a high dose of vitamin B6 supplements per day for a month may reduce anxiety and depression in your body. Pyridoxine is an essential component for the proper metabolism of various neurotransmitters that help in your mental development.
Prevent and Treat Anemia
It is used to treat and prevent vitamin B6 deficiency resulting from a poor diet because low levels of pyridoxine in your body can cause anemia and many other health problems. Hence B6 supplements are effective for preventing and treating a genetic form of anemia because it is involved in the formation of red blood cells in your body.
PLP is a cofactor for the enzyme δ-aminolevulinate synthase that helps to synthesize heme protein in your body. Therefore, vitamin B6 deficiency may limit the synthesis of heme protein (a component of hemoglobin). Hence B6 deficiency may decrease the production of red blood cells in your body and causes a condition known as microcytic anemia.
Pyridoxine in Treating PMS
Several vitamins and minerals including various B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium are essential for neurotransmitter synthesis and hormonal balance. Both factors potentially cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Pyridoxine hydrochloride is an important vitamin supplement that is thought to relieve the depressive state and overall symptoms of PMS. Therefore, hydrochloride supplements can be suggested to use in the treatment of PMS.
Treat Nausea During Pregnancy
It is a form of vitamin B6 that blocks the action of certain natural substances in your body which may contribute a role to preventing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It is used to prevent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy because it has a good safety profile with minimal side effects.
Pyridoxine in combination with doxylamine may be used for the treatment of morning sickness during the pregnancy period.
Pyridoxine is easy to obtain and plays a part in your growing baby’s brain and nervous system development. Therefore, we generally use it as an initial treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Reduce the risk of Heart Disease
Vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12 are cofactors that help in the metabolism of the amino acid homocysteine. Hence low intakes of these vitamins may increase the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke by increasing the concentration of homocysteine in your blood.
Therefore, many researchers believe that vitamin B6 (a form of pyridoxine) combined with folic acid (vitamin B9) and vitamin B12 may help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing the homocysteine levels in your blood. However, studies show that these vitamins combination may not significantly impact blood vessel disease and stroke.
Pyridoxine for Eye Health
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplementation may help in preventing eye diseases, a type of vision loss that affects older adults called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Supplement
Vitamers of vitamin B6 are available in multivitamins or supplements containing other B complex vitamins. It also stands alone as a supplement. The most common form of pyridoxine (B6 vitamer) is pyridoxine hydrochloride. Some supplements of vitamin B6 also contain PLP.
Pyridoxine supplements are available in oral capsules or tablets and liquids forms. Absorption of the most active form of vitamin B6 from supplements is similar to that from food sources. Our body absorbs large pharmacological doses of pyridoxine hydrochloride but quickly eliminates it from the urine.
About 28 to 36 percent of the general population uses supplements containing vitamin B6 or pyridoxine hydrochloride.
Side Effects of Pyridoxine
Pyridoxine obtained from naturally occurring foods such as meat, poultry, nuts, whole grains, bananas, and avocados may not cause any side effects on your health.
Oral supplementation or injectable pyridoxine dose can cause many side effects in your body. Generally, high doses of pyridoxine may cause brain and nerve problems. Therefore, you must take this supplement or injection after asking your healthcare professional.
Ask a doctor before using this supplement during pregnancy or the breastfeeding period because high doses of pyridoxine can harm your nursing baby.
Nausea, headache, drowsiness, and mild numbness or tingling common side effects of pyridoxine supplementation. The serious side effects may include:
- Decreased sensation of touch, temperature, and vibration
- Loss of balance or coordination of your body
- Numbness in your feet or mouth
- Clumsiness in your hands or feeling of tiredness
These are not a complete list of side effects and pyridoxine supplementation may also cause many other side effects. Therefore, always ask your doctor before taking any pyridoxine supplementation.