Well b-ing

Dr Barbara Wilson

Vitamin B6 is one of our hardest working nutrients, being involved in over 100 chemical reactions which take place in our bodies. Even so, it has been found that nearly one third of people don’t have as much vitamin B6 as their bodies need.

This is because it is very easily broken down during food processing, storage and cooking and it cannot be stored in our bodies.

Among its many functions are: the manufacture of amino acids, the building blocks which make proteins; producing neurotransmitters, the chemicals which send nerve messages around our bodies, helping to release energy from the food we eat; keeping our hormones in balance and helping to maintain our immune systems.

As well as carrying out these essential functions, there may be some benefits to increasing vitamin B6 intakes:

· Lowering homocysteine, a substance found in blood which, at high levels, can increase our risk of heart disease and stroke

· Easing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

· Easing pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, an inflammation of the wrist and hand

· Improving the appearance of acne, especially that caused by hormonal changes

· Prevent nausea, morning sickness and dizziness, combat depression and possibly slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease

Although side-effects are rare, very high doses of vitamin B6 over a long period of time can cause slight, but reversible, damage to nerves. To be on the safe side, supplements of more than 200mg per day should be avoided.

Instead, try to increase your intake of naturally occurring vitamin B6. It can be found in a wide range of foods including yeast and yeast extract, wheat germ, flour, soya beans, lima beans, lentils, sunflower seeds, walnuts, bananas and avocados.

Start a diet plan at tescodiets.com

Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.