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Vitamin B6: what is it and do I need it?

Vitamin B6: what is it and do I need it?

Navigating vitamins and supplements can be mind-numbing. When what you really want to do is drink your coffee and ignore your body’s cries for nutrients, it’s challenging to focus on healthy habits. After all, Americans drink over 146 billion cups of coffee each year. But Vitamin B6—and other B vitamins—are crucial building blocks in your body.

Getting enough B6 in your diet is not only vital for your health, but it can also impact your mood, cognitive abilities, and more. Here’s everything you need to know about vitamin B6, from what it does to where to find it and how it’s relevant to Noocaf’s mission toward better, healthier coffee.

What is Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in the vitamin B group. B vitamins help with cell metabolism, promoting your body’s energy levels from the inside out. On its own, B6—AKA, pyridoxine—defends your body against infections, builds amino acids, and produces insulin.

Types of B Vitamins

Vitamin B6 is part of a larger group of eight B vitamins. Together, B vitamins go by the name vitamin B complex. Individually, the other types of B vitamins include numbers one through nine plus B12.

Thiamin, vitamin B1, governs neurotransmitter creation, fatty acid production, hormone synthesizing, and carbohydrate breakdown

Riboflavin, vitamin B2, breaks down fat and hormones, produces energy, and converts B6 into other coenzymes

Niacin, vitamin B3, transforms food energy into a usable form, helps with metabolic cell processes, helps cells communicate, and manages DNA expression in cells

Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5, creates coenzymes, protein, and fat plus travels through the body via the red blood cells for energy and metabolism processes

Biotin, vitamin B7, for breaking down fat, carbs, and protein, helping cells communicate, and regulating DNA

Folate, vitamin B9, is vital for DNA replication, vitamin and amino acid metabolism, and cell division

Vitamin B12 supports brain and neurological functions, metabolism of fat and protein, DNA synthesis, and making new red blood cells

What Does Vitamin B6 Do?

Vitamin B6 includes six various compounds that have a lot of vital jobs in the body. The water-soluble vitamin participates in a ton of enzyme reactions. Most of its duties have to do with metabolizing proteins.

B6 also contributes to your cognitive development. It keeps both your brain and nervous system operating correctly, producing hemoglobin, and making serotonin (a mood regulator) and norepinephrine (a coping mechanism when you’re under stress). These neurotransmitters are an essential component in your nerve cells, making B6 even more of a player in our systems than you may have expected.

Immune functions are another important job B6 works on. It helps support biochemical reactions to promote a stronger immune system. Without a robust immune system, you’ll fall victim to illness more easily—and take longer to recover.

Of course, if you have trouble sleeping, B6 could also be to blame. The vitamin makes melatonin, the stuff that makes you sleepy and handles your internal clock.

Sure, you could buy and ingest melatonin to help your sleep—but incorporating vitamins into your routine can prove beneficial instead.

Signs of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Experts say a healthy blood plasma level of 30 nmol/L of B6, but to find out your status, you’ll need to have a blood test. It’s probably easier to make sure you’re getting enough B6 in your diet. For most healthy adults, 1.3 mg of B6 per day is adequate. Pregnant and lactating women need a bit more at 1.9 to 2.0 mg.

Experts note that often, people can go for months or even years without recognizing B6 deficiencies. That’s partly because dangerously low B6 is relatively uncommon.

But in general, signs of a vitamin B6 deficiency can include:

  • Anemia
  • A weakened immune system
  • Depression
  • Scaling and cracking around the mouth
  • Confusion

Other health problems can also prevent your body from using B6 stores. Conditions like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and some genetic diseases can mess with your body’s B6 utilization. Specific health problems can even drain you of B6.

Often, vitamin B6 deficiency also goes hand in hand with B12 deficiencies. People at the highest risk for B12 deficiency are vegetarians and vegans who don’t consume animal products rich in B vitamins. Overall, you need about 2.4 mcg per day of B12 for optimal health.

Symptoms of a specific lack of B12 involve:

  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness
  • Poor balance
  • Memory issues
  • Numbness
  • Anemia
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation/diarrhea/gas
  • Nerve problems
  • Vision loss

The good news is that supplementation with B vitamins is simple. While you need to meet minimum requirements, there’s not much evidence pointing toward massive doses of B6—so you don’t need a truckload of vitamins each day.

Plus, the Noocaf Focus blend contains both B6 and B12 vitamins to help promote wellness while you enjoy your daily cups of coffee—no pills or powders necessary.

Vitamin B6 Supplements

Plenty of supplements help boost your B6 levels if you suspect you’re not getting enough in your diet. Keep in mind that experts say not to get too much, however.

Benefits of Vitamin B6 Supplementation

Supplementing your diet with B6 vitamins can have many health benefits. For example, researchers suggest that B vitamins can help lower the risk of heart disease. Scientists also noticed that low vitamin B6 correlated with higher levels of some cancers in some cases.

B6 is also a contributor to cognitive health. Studies show that B6 can promote healthy brain function in older adults. One study noted that the combined benefits of B6 and B12 “spares gray matter in healthy elderly.” That’s good news for anyone who’s hoping to preserve brainpower into their golden years.

Other benefits include helping ease morning sickness in pregnant women and reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women.

Sources of Vitamin B6

You can find vitamin B6 naturally occurring in many foods and supplements.

Common foods with at least ten percent of your recommended daily value of B6 include:

  • Chickpeas
  • Beef liver
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Chicken breast
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Potatoes
  • Turkey
  • Banana
  • Marinara sauce
  • Ground beef
  • Waffles
  • Bulgur
  • Cottage cheese
  • Winter squash

Though people following vegetarian and vegan diets may be at higher risk of B vitamin deficiency, you can see that there are many alternatives to animal-sourced B vitamins. Noocaf Focus coffee blend is also completely vegan, so you don’t have to sacrifice your beliefs or diet plan to get adequate B vitamins (and a caffeine boost).

Vitamin B6 in Noocaf Focus Blend

Noocaf Focus blend combines the benefits of caffeine intake with the perks of enhanced B6. While you enjoy a much-needed caffeine boost, B6 ensures your short- and long-term memory stays intact.

Health Potential of Caffeine + B6

Caffeine has a long list of proven benefits, and researchers are exploring many more.

A few benefits of regular caffeine intake through delicious coffee include:

  • Better overall health, such as a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer
  • Lower odds of developing Type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
  • Slowing the progression of dementia
  • Protecting your liver from cirrhosis, high enzyme levels, and scarring
  • Increased heart health
  • Reduced risk of melanoma
  • Less risk of stroke

Final Thoughts

If you love your coffee but also want the benefits of B vitamins, you can’t go wrong by adding B6 (and B12) to your daily cup of java. With Noocaf Focus, you don’t have to compromise on taste, convenience, or decaffeination to stay healthy.

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