Importance of Vitamin B6 for Depression and Moods
Many people with anxiety and depression find taking a Vitamin B complex very helpful, however it is interesting to know what vitamin B6 can do for you. There are eight B vitamins needed by the body and one of these is Vitamin B6 which is also referred to as pyridoxine.
B vitamins enable the body to convert food into carbohydrates and glucose in order to supply our body’s energy. These B vitamins also aid in metabolizing protein and fats, but that’s not all they do.
Here are a few more benefits that vitamin B6 can do in relation to depression, our moods and our general health.
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B6 Deficiency a Symptom of Depression
The National Institute of Health reveals that one of the symptoms of a vitamin B6 deficiency is depression. A study that took place and was published in “Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics”, showed that those people who were deficient in vitamin B6 manifested several symptoms of depression.
Another study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry further supported the claim that a vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to mood disorders and depression.
Another important function of Vitamin B6 is to aid in the production of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin. A deficiency has been associated with feelings of tiredness and inattentiveness.
Food Sources of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 can be obtained by eating beef liver, potatoes, raw garlic and some non-citrus fruits.
Other good food sources of this vitamin would include bananas, nuts, beans, avocados, fortified breakfast cereals, dried herbs, spices, salmon, cod and tuna. The key here is to see to it that you eat a balanced diet every day. Of course if you do, you won’t be deficient in any valuable vitamins and minerals. Plus, your depression symptoms and moods won’t be affected from a B6 deficiency either.
Vitamin B6 and the other B vitamins are water-soluble. This goes to say that the body cannot store them so we need to add them to our daily diet.
- Vitamin B6 is essential for the production of neurotransmitters which serve as signal carriers to the brain.
- The hormones norepinephrine and serotonin are produced with the help of vitamin B6.
- These are the hormones that regulate one’s mood and melatonin which controls our sleep patterns.
- Any deficiency of vitamin B6 will adversely affect several brain functions and development.
With the help of vitamins B9 and B12, vitamin B6 is also responsible for controlling the homocysteine levels in our blood. Homocysteine is another type of amino acid which is commonly associated with heart health problems. Vitamin B6 is very important for better absorption of vitamin B12 and for the production of red blood cells and immune system cells.
Please keep in mind that one must observe the necessary precautions when deciding to take any supplements, including vitamin B6 supplements for anxiety and depression. A high dosage of vitamin B6 supplements may lead to neurological disorders. Abdominal pain and nausea are also two of the known side effects of taking very high doses of vitamin B6 supplements.