USE: Vitamin B6, also called Pyridoxine, is one of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose). These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein. All B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them.
Vitamin B6 helps the body make several neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another. It is needed for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin, which helps regulate the body clock.
Along with vitamins B12 and B9 (folic acid), B6 helps control levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that may be associated with heart disease. Your body needs B6 in order to absorb vitamin B12 and to make red blood cells and cells of the immune system.
SOURCE: Good food sources of vitamin B6 include chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, shrimp, beef liver, milk, cheese, lentils, beans, spinach, bananas, carrots, brown rice, bran, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and whole-grain flour.
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