Basic facts about vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 withstands cooking well but some will be lost in water.

It plays a role in the utilisation of proteins by the body by supporting normal protein metabolism.
It is also involved in energy release for the body (energy metabolism), in nervous system function, and in red blood cell formation.

Vitamin B6-rich foods, per 100 g* Vitamin B6 content
Nutritional yeast 2,6 mg
Cooked calf’s liver 0,71 mg
Preserved canned tuna, drained 0,325 mg
Steamed salmon 0,49 mg
Banana 0,47 mg
Boiled potatoes 0,256 mg
Chicken 0,275 mg
Cooked white rice 0,05 mg
Cooked wholegrain rice 0,147 mg

Find out more about vitamin B6

The term vitamin B6 covers three compounds: pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine.
Vitamin B6 is water-soluble, sensitive to light but resistant to heat; therefore, it withstands cooking well but some will be lost in the cooking water.
Vitamin B6 is absorbed in the small intestine, but its reserves are very limited, meaning that daily intake is necessary.

Roles of vitamin B6

Energy release: it is required for glycogenolysis, consisting of the breakdown of glycogen (form of energy store) in the liver into glucose (energy suitable for direct utilisation). When the blood glucose concentration falls, the liver draws on its glycogen reserves and produces glucose, which is released into the blood for use by other organs, and by skeletal muscles having used up their own glycogen reserves.
It is involved in red blood cell synthesis and haemoglobin formation, in conjunction with vitamins B9 and B12.
It helps regulate hormone activity.
Vitamin B6 helps reduce fatigue.
It is involved in normal immune system function.

Requirements in vitamin B6

Table of DRIs (Dietary Reference Intakes) for vitamin B6:

Age / Status DRI for vitamin B6
Infants 0,3 mg
Children aged 1 to 3 years 0,6 mg
Children aged 4 to 12 years 0,8 à 1,3 mg
Teenagers aged 13 to 19 years 1,5 à 1,8 mg
Women 1,5 mg
Men 1,8 mg
Pregnant women 2 mg
Breastfeeding women 2 mg
Elderly people 2,2 mg
Product availability varies from country to country.

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