February 13, 2012


Vitamin B6 also known as pyridoxine, is part of the enzyme systems that removes CO2 from the acid group (COOH) of certain amino acids and transfers amine groups (NH2) from one compound to another in the body.

It is also needed for the metabolism of protein and the proper utilization of stored glycogen as fuel for muscles.

Pyridoxine also participates involved in the production of neurotransmitters, the chemicals signaling agents of the nervous system. This including dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine and gamma aminobutyric acid.

It is also critical in the synthesis of many hormones, such as insulin and growth hormone. It is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and plays an essential role in amino acid and fatty acid metabolism.

Deficiency is rare except in cases of alcoholism and severe malnutrition.

Pyridoxine is unique in that both the deficiency and toxic states result in neurological symptoms.

Deficiency manifestations are dermatitis around the eyes, eyebrows, and angels of the mouth.

Pyridoxine deficiency disorders are characterized by fatigue, nervousness, irritability, depression , insomnia and walking difficulties.

There are also a sensory neuritis, and a decrease in certain white blood cells and an increase in others.

Prolonged deficiency leads to fall in hemoglobin, mental depression, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal distension and convulsions.

Since pyridoxine is involved in the synthesis of serotonin, deficiency of pyridoxine may play a role in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Low serotonin levels can lead to general stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

The best source of pyridoxine include chicken, fish, kidney, and liver. Good source include egg, brown rice, soybeans, oats, whole wheat bread, peanuts and walnuts.

Because of the widespread occurrence of the vitamin in food, pure pyridoxine deficiency is uncommon, except when the pyridoxine content of food is destroyed or covered to less available protein bound forms during processing.

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