Why Your Vitamin B6 Level Is Important
Vitamin B6 is a cluster of compounds (not just one) that is a co-factor in over 100 biochemical reactions in the body which is why your Vitamin B6 level is important.
Here are just a few of the things that studies show that it does for you:
- Increases diamine oxidase plasma levels.
- Degrading glutamates and MSG.
- Metabolises proteins.
- Reduces oxalate levels
- Inhibits the degranulation of mast-cells.
- Moderates cortisol levels.
- Regulates blood sugar levels and glucose tolerance.
- Converts ALA to DHA.
- Acts as a potent anti-oxidant.
- Synthesises neurotransmitters; serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, and norepinephrine.
- Relieves PMS, dermatitis, mosquito bites, irritability, depression, and short-term memory issues.
First and foremost, if a vitamin B6 deficiency, is being driven by a viral of fungal infection, including candida which completes with the Vitamin B 6, then that should be treated. That alone is typically enough to explain the deficiency.
If the Vitamin B6 deficiency, is not being driven by a viral or fungal infection, then supplementation is important.
Whilst I am all for getting our nutritional needs through diet, it is very hard to address Vitamin B6 issues, through a balanced diet. This is because eating foods rich in vitamin B6 does not necessarily increase vitamin B6 levels.
Vitamin B6 is needed to degrade the protein in the food we eat. For example, there is not enough Vitamin B6 in a wide variety of foods, to degrade the protein in that food itself, let alone raise overall Vitamin B6 levels.
Therefore it is the protein to Vitamin B6 level which is important. It is just too difficult to eat a balanced diet (with all the nutrients, not just one) so supplementation in this case, is the most practical solution.
Vitamin B6 is also not stored in the body. That means you need a continuous daily supply in your diet. It is also heat sensitive such that cooking food destroys much of it.
- A blood test for plasma Pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) is considered the single best indicator of Vitamin B6 status.
- Levels of 20nmol/L are generally considered adequate.
- Zinc levels should also be checked (along with viral or fungal infections).
- Blood tests can be difficult to interpret, as they can be affected by a range of factors, and should be done by a qualified practitioner.
- The combination of Vitamin B6 and its bio-available form PLP appear to be the most effective.
- Dosage is usually 0.25mg – 0.5mg Vitamin B6, and 0.25mg – 0.5mg P5p.
- Too high levels result in neuropathy and intense or vivid dreams. This is resolved by dropping back the dosage.
Supplementation should only be implemented under the supervision of a qualified practitioner but is often an important part of any treatment for histamine intolerance.
Martner-Hewes, P. M., Hunt, I. F., Murphy, N. J., Swendseid, M. E., & Settlage, R. H. (1986). Vitamin B-6 nutriture and plasma diamine oxidase activity in pregnant Hispanic teenagers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 44(6), 907-913.