Vitamin B6 Deficiency: Symptoms and Causes – Most Wanted

Vitamin B6 is mainly obtained through diet. A shortage is hardly possible in Germany. But how can this happen and what are the symptoms?

Our body needs vitamins – in different forms. Overdose is often only possible through unnatural intake. Vitamin deficiency can be a big problem – but only in special circumstances.

The focus of this text is B6. Above all, questions about how a lack of this vitamin can appear and how it manifests itself.

Vitamin B6: What’s behind it?

Die Pharmacy journal describes vitamin B6 as “an umbrella term for various substances”. Here are the names consumer center pyridoxine, pyridoxamine or pyridoxal. It is a water-soluble vitamin whose effects can be worsened by “heat, daylight and especially sunlight.”

B6 is mainly absorbed through food such as:

  • Meat (especially chicken, beef tenderloin, pork, liver)
  • Fish (such as sardines or mackerel)
  • whole grain products
  • Vegetables (potatoes, legumes such as green beans, peas, lentils, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, spinach, lamb’s lettuce, tomatoes)
  • Fruit (avocado, bananas)
  • walnuts, peanuts

That Federal Ministry of Health also lists egg yolks as a source of vitamin B6. In general, vitamin B6 is according to consumer center Widespread in plant and animal foods, but availability is significantly higher in the latter – “especially if they are high in fiber”.

Vitamin B6: what effect does it have on the body?

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Like Pharmacy journal Vitamin B6 is said to work in the body in several ways:

  • regulates central processes in metabolism
  • helps the body convert and incorporate protein
  • helps with fat metabolism
  • contributes to the formation of messenger substances in the nerves
  • affects the immune system
  • affects certain hormonal activities

Vitamin B6: What is the daily requirement?

Recommendations from German Society for Nutrition (DGE) for one day are:

  • Infants under four months: approximately 0.1 mg
  • Infants between four and less than twelve months: 0.3 mg
  • Children from one year to four years: 0.6 mg
  • Children from four to seven years: 0.7 mg
  • Children from seven to ten years: 1 mg
  • Children from 10 to 13 years: 1.2 mg
  • Adolescents aged 13 to 15 years: 1.4 mg (females) and 1.5 mg (males)
  • Adolescents from 15 years and adults: 1.4 mg (females) and 1.6 mg (males)
  • Pregnant women: 1.5 mg in the first trimester and 1.8 mg in the second and third trimesters
  • Breastfeeding: 1.6 mg

Die Pharmacy journal calculates that the following substances can be consumed to absorb an average of 1.2 mg of vitamin B6:

  • 150 g of turkey breast, 200 g of broccoli and 50 g of brown rice
  • 1 avocado (200 g) and 1 apple (150 g)

It is recommended to cook vegetables gently with as little water as possible and to protect food from light and sunlight, i.e. store potatoes in the dark. In addition, the following applies: “During cooking, more than a third of the vitamin B6 content can pass into the water.”

Vitamin B6 deficiency: What are the causes?

Like Pharmacy journal Most people in Germany get enough B6 through food. The defect can be caused by:

  • chronic digestive disorders
  • Drug interactions (for example, hormonal contraceptives)
  • alcohol addiction

Die consumer center Causes of vitamin B6 deficiency also include “insufficient food intake, e.g. as a result of frequent dieting or in the elderly”. Anticonvulsants, as well as anti-asthma or tuberculosis drugs, could increase the need and thus also become a source of danger.

Vitamin B6 deficiency: what are the symptoms?

A lack of vitamin B6 is manifested Pharmacy journal according to these symptoms:

  • scaly rashes on the face
  • Inflammation of the lips and mouth
  • anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Babies and young children with vitamin B6 deficiency “have convulsions, tremors, and are often impaired in movement.” As a rule, these deficiency symptoms subsided as soon as the children got enough vitamin B6 again.

That Federal Ministry of Health also mentions depression as a possible consequence of vitamin B6 deficiency.

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