VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE) – The Versatile Vitamin
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine is soluble in water. Long storage, use of alcohol, food processing and estrogen are destructive to this vitamin. Pyridoxine is slightly absorbed in the ileum of the small intestine and colon, and mainly absorbed in the jejunum. Only small quantity of the vitamin is stored in the body and excess is mainly excreted from the kidneys.
Functions in the body
It protects the body from bacterial diseases. It is essential for reproductive processes and healthy pregnancies and helps in the healthy functioning of the nervous system and brain.
It prevents tooth decay, skin and nervous disorders and provides protection against diabetes and certain types of heart disease. Important body functions are carried out by Vitamin B6, which regulates the balance between sodium and potassium in the body. It is also required for the production of Magnesium and Hydrochloric acid.
Cooked foods contain lesser vitamins than raw foods. Among plant food the richest source of Pyridoxine are soybeans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, wheat-germ and yeast. Lima beans, lentils and other vegetables provide fair amount of pyridoxine.
(RDA - Men – 2mg, Women – 2mg, Children – 1.7mg, Infant – 0.1mg/0.4mg)
Anemia, mental depression, edema, and skin disorders occur due to the deficiency of Vitamin B6. Eczema, damage to the pancreas, inflammation of the colon, cracking at the corner of the lips, sleeplessness, irritability, foul smell in the mouth, kidney stone, nervousness and tooth decay may also be the result of the deficiency. Diseases of old age, migraine headaches, loss of muscular control and premature senility may also be the results of inadequate intake of Pyridoxine.
Healing and Therapeutic Properties
For the treatment of a wide range of common ailments Vitamin B6 is considered as a wonder vitamin.
1. Convulsions in Infants and Women – Infants who are fed with powdered milk lack pyridoxine, which causes convulsions without fever. Administration of required dosage can relieve convulsions. Undernourished women during pregnancy fall short of pyridoxine and as a result the development of the Central Nervous System of the foetus is affected. This can be treated with correct dosage.
2. Diabetes – Deficiency of Pyridoxine in diabetes is indicated by the excretion of large amount of xanthurenic acid. When administered dosage is given to the patient, there is a rapid drop in the urinary excretion of the patient.
3. Hemorrhoids – On giving therapeutic doses of Pyridoxine hemorrhoids disappeared from people suffering from it. Pregnant women who may also suffer due to lack of pyridoxine in the prevalent period can also be treated. Rapid recovery has also been reported from administered dosage.
4. Morning Sickness and Travel Sickness – By the sedative action of pyridoxine morning sickness during pregnancy and travel sickness can also be cured.
5. Stress and Insomnia – Administered dosage has sedative action on Central Nervous System and thereby helps to cure general weakness, irritability, mental stress, sleeplessness and psychoneurosis.
6. Vaginal Bleeding – Irregular long-standing vaginal bleeding in young girls can be treated with pyridoxine. This inhibits the activity of estrogen and the ripening of the follicles.
Unless the individual has deficiency, they should not take heavy doses. Night restlessness is a possible symptom of an overdose of pyridoxine.