Vitamin B6 is important for our body to function at its optimum, and a deficiency of it can lead to many health problems.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is necessary for normal brain development and to keep the nervous system and the immune system healthy, according to Mayo Clinic. Vitamin B6 affects our mood, appetite, sleep, and thinking, according to WebMD. It is also necessary to fight off infections, transform food into energy, and help our blood carry oxygen to all parts of the body. It is not usual for there to be Vitamin B6 deficiency but there should be action taken immediately if it happens.
Some people are more prone to this deficiency. Those who have kidney disease or conditions that stop the small intestine from absorbing nutrients from foods (malabsorption syndromes) have a higher chance of being vitamin B6 deficient, according to Mayo Clinic. There are some genetic diseases and some epilepsy medications that also cause this deficiency. When there is a deficiency, there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to our body's tissues (anemia). It can lead to confusion, depression, and a weakened immune system.
Here are five symptoms that reveal if someone has vitamin B6 deficiency:
Lack of this crucial vitamin in the body can cause a red, itchy rash called seborrheic dermatitis. It may appear on the scalp, face, neck, and upper chest. It has an oily, flaky appearance and can lead to swelling or white patches, as per Healthline. One of the reasons this happens is because the vitamin is important for synthesizing collagen, which is crucial for healthy skin. If you do have seborrheic dermatitis, then consuming B6 can clear up the rash. Different people will need a different quantity of B6 before it clears up. Using a B6 face cream can also help improve symptoms from seborrheic dermatitis.
Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause swollen, sore, smooth, inflamed, or reddened tongue. This is called glossitis. There is a smooth looking surface on the tongue due to the loss of papillae, which are the tiny bumps. This condition can lead to problems in chewing, swallowing, and talking. However, glossitis can be caused by other things as well. It can be treated by consuming B6, provided that's the only thing causing it. It can also be due to a deficiency of other nutrients like folate and B12. When all of these nutrients are consumed, glossitis can be cleared up.
If someone has sore, red, and swollen lips with cracked mouth corners, it could be cheilosis, which is a result of B6 deficiency. These cracked areas can bleed and be painful. They could also get infected since the immune function is weakened. The sore and cracked mouth area can make it difficult to eat or talk. Foods rich in vitamin B6 as well as supplements can help with these symptoms.
This nutrient is important for regulating mood as well. Not having enough of this can cause confusion or feelings of sadness, especially in seniors. It may be harder to regulate your mood or bounce back after a major illness, as per WebMD. This nutrient works with other B vitamins and not having enough can lower mental abilities. It can also increase feelings of pain and numbness.
If there is less B6 in the body then people can experience anemia, which is too few red blood cells. This happens because B6 helps in making hemoglobin. This can cause tiredness, weakness, and low energy. However, anemia can also occur due to not enough iron in the body, as per WebMD. Shortages of other vitamins, like B12 and folate, can also cause anemia. You can consume these in the form of supplements to improve this condition.
There are many food items, like poultry, fish, chickpeas, bulgur, and bananas, that can help improve the level of B6 in the body. It can also be consumed as a supplement, usually as an oral capsule, tablet, or liquid. Here is a list of all the foods to consume to improve the level of vitamin B6 in the body.