Benefits of Vitamin B6 and Food Sources

Benefits of Vitamin B6 and Food Sources

Vitamin B6 is a nutrient that is beneficial for the central nervous system and metabolism.

Its functions in the body include encouraging the creation of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine and converting food into energy.

B6 is one of the 8 groups of B vitamins. This group of vitamins is important for proper cell function, helps metabolism, makes blood cells, and keeps cells healthy.

Baca: Vitamin B5: Pengertian, Manfaat, Sumber Makanan

Another term for this nutrient is commonly called pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 is a water soluble vitamin, that means the body cannot store vitamin B6 and excrete it through sweat and urine, so humans need to get enough B6 every day.

In this article you will find out the health benefits and dietary sources of vitamin B6. In addition, about deficiencies, supplements and side effects.

Benefits of Vitamin B6 and Food Sources


Health Benefits of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 has many benefits in the body, and plays a role in more than 100 enzymes. One of its main functions is to help the body convert proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for energy.

This vitamin is also able to encourage:

  1. Immune system function
  2. Brain development during pregnancy and infancy
  3. Creates neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine
  4. Produces hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that distributes oxygen to the heart. 

Vitamin B6 for Brain Function

Vitamin B6 helps produce neurotransmitters, which are compounds that carry important chemical messages in the brain. It also helps regulate energy use in the brain.

A number of studies say that a lack of vitamin B6 can affect cognitive power and dementia in a person. 

Furthermore,other studies have shown that older adults with high blood levels of vitamin B6 have better memory.

However, there is little evidence to suggest that taking vitamin B6 supplements can improve cognition or mood in people with or without dementia.

Vitamin B6 during Nausea during pregnancy

A 2016 study reported that taking pyridoxine can help with mild symptoms of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, compared to a placebo.

Still in the same study, stated that the combination of pyridoxine and doxylamine can help with moderate symptoms.

Based on research, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) they recommend vitamin B6 supplements as a safe treatment for nausea during pregnancy.

Protection from air pollution

A study published in 2017 showed that vitamin B6 can help protect humans from the harmful effects of air pollution by reducing the impact of pollution on the environment.

The researchers hope their findings can lead to new steps to prevent the epigenetic changes that can result from exposure to air pollution.

Another study in 2016 reported that, in 2016, 91% of the world's population lived in places where clean air quality levels were not met.

Recommended intake of vitamin B6

Several factors can affect a person's daily requirement for vitamin B6, depending on metabolism. According to ODS, the recommended dietary intake (nutritional adequacy rate- RDA) for vitamin B6 is:




0–6 months

0.1 mg

0.1 mg

7–12 months

0.3 mg

0.3 mg

1-3 years

0.5 mg

0.5 mg

4–8 years

0.6 mg

0.6 mg

9–13 years

1.0 mg

1.0 mg

14–18 years

1.3 mg

1.2 mg

19–50 years

1 ,3 mg

1.3 mg

51+ years

1.7 mg

1.5 mg

During pregnancy

1.9 mg

During lactation

2.0 mg

Food Sources Vitamin B6:

Most foods contain vitamin B6. People with a balanced diet are less likely to be deficient. However, certain medical conditions and the use of certain medications can cause a deficiency.

  1. chickpeas (1 cup) provides 1.1 milligrams (mg) or 65% of the daily value (RDA)
  2. beef liver (3 ounces) provides 0.9 mg or 53% of the RDA
  3. of yellowfin tuna (3 oz) provides 0.9 mg or 53% RDA
  4. of baked chicken breast (3 ounces) provides 0.5 mg or 29% RDA
  5. of potatoes (1 cup) provides 0.4 mg or 25% RDA
  6. of banana (medium) provides 0.4 mg or 25% RDA of
  7. tofu (half cup ) provides 0.1 mg or 6% of the RDA
  8. nuts (1 oz) provides 0.1 mg or 6% of the RDA

Other sources of B6: Fortified

  1. foods, such as breakfast cereals
  2. salmon
  3. beef
  4. cottage cheese
  5. Pumpkin
  6. rice
  7. raisins
  8. onions
  9. spinach
  10. watermelon

Vitamin Deficiency B6

Vitamin B6 deficiency can develop if a person has poor intestinal absorption or is taking estrogen, corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, or some other medications.

Many people with B6 deficiency are associated with low levels of other B vitamins, such as vitamin B12 and folate. 

Not only that, excessive alcohol consumption in the long term can also lead to B6 deficiency, as can hypothyroidism and diabetes.

Signs and symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency include:

  1. anemia
  2. seizures
  3. depression
  4. confusion
  5. weakened immune system

In rare cases, B6 deficiency can lead to dangerous diseases such as pellagra, for example:

  1. Seborrheic dermatitis
  2. Inflammation of the tongue, or glossitis
  3. Inflammation and chapping of the lips, known as as cheilosis


Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient for many processes in the body, including the nervous system and metabolism. The body does not store this vitamin, so you need to get it from your diet every day.

Most Indonesians get enough vitamin B6 from their diet. Otherwise, herbalists may recommend dietary changes or taking certain supplements related to vitamin B6.

Related by tags