Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that exists in three major chemical forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine. It performs a wide variety of functions in your body and is essential for your good health. For example, vitamin B6 is needed for more than 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism. It is also essential for red blood cell metabolism. The nervous and immune systems need vitamin B6 to function efficiently, and it is also needed for the conversion of tryptophan (an amino acid) to niacin (a vitamin).
Vitamin B6 also helps maintain your blood glucose (sugar) within a normal range. When caloric intake is low your body needs vitamin B6 to help convert stored carbohydrate or other nutrients to glucose to maintain normal blood sugar levels. While a shortage of vitamin B6 will limit these functions, supplements of this vitamin do not enhance them in well-nourished individuals.
How Much Vitamin B6 Should You Get in a Day
|Age in Years
|Aim for an intake of
|Stay below *
|Men and Women 19-50
|Women 51 and older
|Men 51 and older
19 and older
19 and older
*This includes sources of vitamin B6 from food and supplements
Vitamin B6 Foods
Food rich in vitamin B6 include sunflower seeds, pistacchio nuts, tuna, chicken and turkey, soy products, lentils and dried fruits like prunes and apricots.