What does vitamin B6 do?


Quick Answer

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, helps the human body produce neurotransmitters, develop the brain and control homocysteine levels, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. Vitamin B6 helps produce red blood cells, and it also makes the hormones norepinephrine and serotonin.

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What does vitamin B6 do?
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Full Answer

Neurotransmitters help nerve cells communicate with each other, while norepinephrine and serotonin play an important role in enhancing a person's mood. Vitamin B6 also influences the creation of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body's natural clock, according to UMMC. High homocysteine levels have been associated with heart disease.

Vitamin B6 assists several organs in making various useful substances. The vitamin helps the immune system fight harmful microorganisms and substances by producing antibodies. Pyridoxine helps make hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood. One form of anemia occurs due to a lack of vitamin B6, notes MedlinePlus. Vitamin B6 works with the digestive system to break down proteins for use in the body. When patients eat more protein, they need more vitamin B6 to process it. Pyridoxine also helps regulate blood-sugar levels.

Vitamin B6 is one of eight B vitamins, a class of water-soluble substances responsible for converting carbohydrates into energy, according to UMMC. Water-soluble vitamins are flushed out through urine and must be replenished daily. Some studies have shown that vitamin B6 helps reduce instances of heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, morning sickness during pregnancy, depression and rheumatoid arthritis.

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