Let’s Learn About Vitamin B6…

*For the next couple of weeks, we’re going to take a look at the essential vitamins for our health. We’ll look at the what, where, when, who and how much. Please remember that this blog is providing general information. If you are questioning whether you need to take a vitamin(s) supplement, please speak to a health professional such as your family doctor, pharmacist or registered dietitian.*

The next up in the series of vitamin blogs is…vitamin B6.

What is it and what does it do?
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is used by the body to make and use protein and glycogen, which is the stored energy in your muscles and liver. Vitamin B6 helps form hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in your blood.

Where do we get it?
According to Dietitians of Canada, the best sources of vitamin B6 include meat, fish, poultry, organ meats, enriched cereals and meatless soy products, nuts, lentils and some vegetables and fruit. The top 5 food sources are: meatless fish sticks, soy burger or vegetarian meatloaf or patty, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, tuna (yellowfin/albacore) and salmon (wild).

Who and How Much?
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine):
• Men and women, 19-50, should aim for an intake of 1.3 milligrams (mg)/day.
• Men, 51 and older, should aim for an intake of 1.7 milligrams (mg)/day.
• Women, 51 and older, should aim for an intake of 1.5 milligrams (mg)/day.
• Pregnant women, 19 and older, should aim for an intake of 1.9 milligrams (mg)/day.
• Breastfeeding women, 19 and older, should aim for an intake of 2.0 milligrams (mg)/day.
It is recommended that everyone stay below 100 milligrams (mg)/day of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).

When?
Water-soluble vitamins travel through the body, and excess amounts are usually excreted by the kidneys. The body needs these vitamins in frequent, small doses. Eating a balanced diet, according to Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide usually provides enough water-soluble vitamins, including vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).

Before taking any supplement, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider or Registered Dietitian to discuss your individual needs.

For the next couple of weeks, we’re going to take a look at these essential vitamins for our health in greater detail. If you have any questions on a specific vitamin or vitamins in general, let me know.

If you have any nutrition topics you would like me to write about or have a question you would like answered, email me at [email protected]. I would really like to hear from you!