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Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Overview of Vitamin B6:

Vitamin B6 is one of the B vitamins and its active form is known as Pyridoxine phosphate. The vitamin plays a vital role in many enzymatic reactions as a co-factor and its deficiency can make a person to suffer from many symptoms which manifest from impaired metabolism to suppressed gene expression. The vitamin is usually present in many of the healthy foods that we consume and it is considered to be present with abundance in whole grain products, meat items, vegetables, bananas and nuts. It is also vital to know that, freshness of a food will indicate the level of vitamin B6 that is present in a particular food item as food processing methods, canning and freezing would cause a loss in the amount of vitamin B6 present in these foods.

What are the causes for vitamin B6 deficiency?

Due to the abundance of foods that contains vitamin B6 within our reach, pyridoxine deficiency is not seen as common as it was few decades back. But, there are several other methods other than dietary deficiencies which can cause a vitamin B6 deficiency and among them being elderly, consumption of alcohol, undergoing dialysis as well as consuming medicines such as anticonvulsants and corticosteroids have been associated with vitamin B6 deficiency.

What are the symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency?

The deficiency of vitamin B6 can manifest in relation to several body systems and these would include nervous system, circulatory system, digestive system and the immune system…etc. Therefore, the symptoms felt by a person in relation to vitamin B6 deficiency would include angular chelitis, glossitis or inflammation of the tongue, conjunctivitis, dermatitis with eruptions, neuropathy, intertrigo, somnolence and confusion…etc. At the same time, being associated with other micro and macro nutrient deficiencies, these individuals would show manifestations related to other deficient elements as well.

What are the side effects of vitamin B6 supplementation?

The toxicity of vitamin B6 would take place most often in overdosing of supplements than from dietary intake. Therefore, researchers have indicated a daily tolerance level of 100 mg per day and the toxicity has been usually seen when the levels exceed 1000 mg per day. Among the side effects, nerve deadening has been reported and the commonest of such manifestations would be the deadening of the proprioceptive nerve. At the same time, some of the other manifestations would include painful sensory neuropathy, numbness and even difficulty in walking as well.