The link between vitamin B6 and concentration
by Floris Biesemans on Feb 17, 2023
Functions of vitamin B6Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is one of the eight B vitamins our body needs. It plays an important role in several processes in the body, including the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Vitamin B6 is also involved in the production of neurotransmitters, which are substances in the brain that pass signals between nerve cells and in the production of red blood cells. In addition, vitamin B6 is important for the health of our immune system and the regulation of hormones. It can help reduce inflammation and symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). In addition, vitamin B6 can also help reduce fatigue and support healthy skin.
Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiencyLong-term vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to several symptoms and health problems, including:
- Skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis (a scaly, itchy rash) and dry, cracked skin.
- Neurological symptoms, such as tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, weakness in the muscles and coordination disorders.
- Fatigue, irritability and mood swings.
- Decreased resistance and increased risk of infections.
- Loss of concentration: Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a disruption in the functioning of neurotransmitters and thus symptoms such as decreased concentration, forgetfulness and even depression.
Groups at risk for vitamin B6 deficiency
- Elderly people: Elderly people have an increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency because of reduced absorption and metabolism of nutrients in the body.
- Pregnant women: Pregnant women have an increased need for vitamin B6 because of fetal growth. Deficiency can lead to complications such as low birth weight or pre-eclampsia.
- People with certain medical conditions: People with conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have an increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency because of the reduced absorption of nutrients in the intestines.
- People who drink a lot of alcohol: Alcoholics are often deficient in nutrients, including vitamin B6, because alcohol can interfere with the absorption and metabolism of nutrients in the body.
- Vegans and vegetarians: Vitamin B6 is mainly found in animal products, so people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet have an increased risk of deficiency. However, there are also plant sources of vitamin B6, such as beans, nuts, whole grains and some vegetables.
Vitamin B6 nutritionVitamin B6 can be obtained from a variety of foods, including:
- Meat and fish: Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, salmon, tuna and trout
- Legumes and nuts: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, cashews and almonds
- Whole grain cereals: Silver rice, quinoa, oats, wheat and whole wheat bread
- Vegetables: Avocado, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower.
There are also supplements available that contain vitamin B6, including GIMMY's Focus Gummies. Designed specifically to improve concentration and memory, these gummies contain vitamin B6, as well as other nutrients that support brain function.
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