Vitamin B6 is a water soluble vitamin that plays a role in over 100 different reactions in the body. It is needed to help make amino acids, the building blocks of proteins and hundreds of cellular functions. It can also be used to make niacin (Vitamin B3) from the amino acid tryptophan.
Vitamin B6 deficiency can be caused by excess consumption of alcohol, sugary foods and processed foods.
Vitamin B6 deficiency symptoms include:
- Skin inflammation
- Neurological degeneration
- Low energy
Other roles of vitamin B6 include the formation of hemoglobin and neurotransmitters, as well as regulation of blood glucose. The RDA for Vitamin B6 is 1.3 mg/day. The Daily Value is 2mg.
If you struggle with any of the above symptoms including low energy, skin issues or depression make sure to incorporate these high vitamin B6 foods into your diet.
Top 10 Vitamin B6 Rich Foods
- Wild Caught Tuna
3 oz: 0.87 mg (44% DV)
1 medium: 0.43 mg (21% DV)
3 oz: 0.7 mg (35% DV)
- Grass-fed Beef
3oz: 0.57 mg (30% DV)
- Chicken breast
3 oz: 0.46 mg (23% DV)
- Spinach (cooked)
½ c: 0.22 mg (11% DV)
- Sweet potato
½ cup: 0.29 mg (15% DV)
½ c: 0.38 mg (19% DV)
3 oz: 0.691 mg (35% DV)
3 cloves: 0.11 mg (5% DV)
Top Health Benefits of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps convert a compound called homocysteine into the amino acid cysteine. High levels of homocysteine in the blood have been connected to an increased risk for heart attacks and stroke.
Several studies have shown a connection between low vitamin B6 in the diet and an increased risk of stroke, which may be related to the effect that B6 has on maintaining low levels of homocysteine.
Healthy Immune Function
Low levels of vitamin B6 have been connected with impaired immune function. It is believed that without vitamin B6, the body is unable to produce lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that is critical for proper immune function.
There is a connection between vitamin B6 status, memory, and mental performance. People with Alzheimer’s who had low levels of vitamin B6, were found to also have more difficulty with cognitive problems and memory. This effect was even found on the elderly without an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It is critical to intake sufficient B-vitamins as we age to maintain our cognitive abilities.
Vitamin B6 benefits also include improving energy as well as improving symptoms of ADHD.