What is vitamin B6 good for? Consuming vitamin B6 foods is critical because this vitamin is used on a daily basis since it plays a part in major functions, including movement, memory, energy expenditure and blood flow. It helps the body maintain a healthy nervous system, makes hemoglobin that carries oxygen in red blood cells throughout the body, provides energy from the food that we eat, acts as a natural pain treatment, boosts mood and also creates antibodies that our immune systems use to protect us.
So what type of benefits can you get from consuming vitamin B6 foods? The following:
1. Supports the Brain
One way vitamin B6 impacts brain function is by controlling homocysteine levels, which are not only a risk factor in heart disease, but also damage to neurons of the central nervous system, too. (1)
Vitamin B6 also plays an important role in making the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, two hormones known as “happy hormones” that help to control mood, energy and concentration. Researchers believe that certain behavior disorders in children, including ADHD, are caused by low serotonin levels and, therefore, that consuming vitamin B6 foods might have a beneficial effect on children with a these learning and behavior disorders. (2)
2. Combats Arthritis Symptoms
Low levels of vitamin B6 have been associated with increased symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including more severe pain. Research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition noted the anti-inflammatory benefits of vitamin B6 supplementation in arthritis patients. In the randomized study, 35 adults with rheumatoid arthritis to receive 5 milligrams per day folic acid or 5 milligrams folic acid plus 100 milligrams vitamin B6 for 12 weeks.
What the researchers found is that vitamin B6 supplementation helped treat the symptoms, concluding: “Our results provide valuable reference data for clinical practice with regard to the potential beneficial use of vitamin B6 to suppress inflammatory response in rheumatoid arthritis patients.” (3)