Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is an established nutrient for overall wellness. An important role of B vitamins is the production of the neurotransmitters essential to your ability to relax and maintain a positive state of mind. Vitamin B6 plays an essential part in mood, memory formation, and cognitive functions. B6 is essential to the formation of the feel-good neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Serotonin is the “happiness molecule.” Dopamine helps you get motivated and stay focused. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the brain chemical of relaxation.
Vitamin B6 Fast Facts
B6 is important for a wide array of cognitive and physical functions in the body. One of the most well-known benefits of vitamin B6 is for improving energy metabolism at the cellular level. Because vitamin B6 is a co-factor for over 100 enzymatic actions in the brain and body, it is no wonder this vitamin is crucial for overall health.
It also plays a role in improving blood flow to the brain, which helps to improve cognitive function and general brain health. Vitamin B6 helps to grow the brain’s neurons, sheaths and neural connections. This means you can think faster, improve learning ability, and retain information better.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is utilised in the synthesis of the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. This means that, when you are stressed, there is less B6 available to perform its other functions, so supplementing with it can be very helpful.
Main benefits for Savvy
- Improves energy levels
- Anti inflammatory benefits
- Improved cognitive function with lowered stress & anxiety
- Improves memory
- Helps to uplift mood
To make it easy to identify all the different studies - we will highlight them for you!
We really hope you enjoy our many years of research when formulating Savvy...
One of the most well-known benefits of vitamin B6 is for improving energy metabolism at the cellular level. In fact, vitamin B6 is involved in over 100 enzymatic actions in the brain and body responsible for your proper functioning.
Clayton, P, ‘B6-responsive disorders: A model of vitamin dependency’ in Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, Volume 29, Issue 2-3, April 2006, pp 317-326 [Link]
“Pyridoxal phosphate is the cofactor for over 100 enzyme-catalysed reactions in the body, including many involved in the synthesis or catabolism of neurotransmitters. Inadequate levels of pyridoxal phosphate in the brain cause neurological dysfunction, particularly epilepsy. There are several different mechanisms that lead to an increased requirement for pyridoxine and/or pyridoxal phosphate.”
Ebadi, M, et al ‘Hippocampal Zinc Thionein and Pyridoxal Phosphate Modulate Synaptic Functions’ in Annals of the New York Academy of sciences, Volume 585, Issue 1 , Vitamin B6, May 1990, pp 189-201 [Link]
“Increases mental and physical energy, and improves the communication between neurons in your brain, allowing for increased cognition.“
Ebadi, M, ‘Regulation and function of pyridoxal phosphate in CNS’ in Neurochemistry International, Volume 3, Issues 3-4, 1981, pp 181-205 [Link]
“Pyridoxal phosphate and pyridoxamine phosphate, the catalytically active forms of vitamin B6, influence brain function by participating at stages in metabolism of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, other coenzymes and hormones.”
Ulvik, A, et al ‘Evidence for increased catabolism of vitamin B-6 during systemic inflammation.’ in The American journal of clinical nutrition, Volume 100, Issue 1, July 2014, pp 250-255. [Link]
“Broad-specificity enzymes upregulated to reduce oxidative and aldehyde stress could explain increased catabolism of vitamin B-6 during inflammation”
Improved cognitive function with lowered stress & anxiety
Ebrahimi, E, et al, ‘Effects of Magnesium and Vitamin B6 on the Severity of Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms’ in Journal of Caring Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 1, December 2012, pp 183-189 [Link]
“In accordance with previous research, the findings of this study demonstrated the positive effects of magnesium and vitamin B6 on reduction of all premenstrual syndrome symptoms.” The study shows improvements to Anxiety and depression from B6 use.
Mikawa, Y, et al, ‘Low serum concentrations of vitamin B6 and iron are related to panic attack and hyperventilation attack.’ in Acta medica Okayama, Volume 67, Issue 2, 2013, pp 99 - 104. [Link]
“Patients undergoing a panic attack (PA) or a hyperventilation attack (HVA) are sometimes admitted to emergency departments (EDs). Reduced serotonin level is known as one of the causes of PA and HVA. Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan. For the synthesis of serotonin, vitamin B6 (Vit B6) and iron play important roles as cofactors”
La Rue A, et al. ‘Nutritional status and cognitive functioning in a normally aging sample: a 6-y reassessment.’ in The American journal of clinical nutrition, Volume 65, Issue 1, January 1997 pp 20-29 [Link]
“Several significant associations (P < 0.05) were observed between cognition and concurrent vitamin status, including better abstraction performance with higher biochemical status and dietary intake of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate (rs = 0.19-0.29) and better visuospatial performance...Higher past intake of vitamins E, A, B-6, and B-12 was related to better performance on visuospatial recall and/or abstraction tests (rs = 0.19-0.28). Use of self-selected vitamin supplements was associated with better performance on a difficult visuospatial test and an abstraction test.”
Stough, C, et al. ‘The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress.’ in Human Psychopharmacology. Volume 26, Issue 7, October 2011, pp 470-476. [Link]
“Sixty participants completed the 3-month, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in which personality, work demands, mood, anxiety and strain were assessed. ...the vitamin B complex treatment groups reported significantly lower personal strain and a reduction in confusion and depressed/dejected mood after 12 weeks. The results of the study are consistent with two previous studies examining…supplementation of a B multivitamin.”
Hoffman, JR, et al, ‘The effects of acute and prolonged CRAM supplementation on reaction time and subjective measures of focus and alertness in healthy college students.’ in Journal of the international society of sports nutrition, Volume 7, issue 39, December 201 [Link]
“Results indicate that acute ingestion of CRAM can maintain reaction time, and subjective feelings of focus and alertness to both visual and auditory stimuli in healthy college students following exhaustive exercise… The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of acute and prolonged (4-weeks) ingestion of a supplement designed to improve reaction time and subjective measures of alertness, energy, fatigue, and focus...CRAM; α-glycerophosphocholine, choline bitartrate, phosphatidylserine, vitamins B3, B6, and B12, folic acid, L-tyrosine, anhydrous caffeine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and naringin… Reaction time significantly declined..”
Deijen, J, B, et al, ‘Vitamin B-6 supplementation in elderly men: effects on mood, memory, performance and mental effort’ in Journal of Psychopharmacology, Volume 109, Issue 4, December 1992, pp 489-496 [Link]
“Positive effects of vitamin B-6 supplementation were only found with respect to memory, especially concerning long-term memory. In view of the finding that mental performance improvement and Δ PLP values were most strongly correlated within an intermediate range of Δ PLP, it is suggested that cognitive effects are primarily associated with a certain range of vitamin B-6 status increment. The general conclusion is that vitamin B-6 supplementation improves storage of information modestly but significantly.”
Douaud, G. et al. ‘Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment’ in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Volume 110, Issue 23, June 2013, pp 9523-9528 [Link]
“Our results show that B-vitamin supplementation can slow the atrophy of specific brain regions that are a key component of the AD process and that are associated with cognitive decline. “
Helps to uplift mood
Kemper, K. Et al. ‘Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapies to Promote Healthy Moods’ in Pediatric Clinics of North America. Volume 54, Issue 6, December 2007. Pp 901 - 926 [Link]
“Depression is the 2nd leading cause of illness and disability among young people worldwide. A healthy lifestyle and healthy environment are the cornerstones for promoting positive moods. In addition, several complementary therapies, including nutritional supplements, herbs...“
Hvas, AM, et al, ‘Vitamin B6 level is associated with symptoms of depression.’ in Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, Volume 73, Issue 6, December 2004, pp 340 - 343. [Link]
“A low level of vitamin B6 might theoretically cause depression as vitamin B6 is a cofactor in the tryptophan-serotonin pathway.”
Gourgeon, L, et al, ‘Intakes of folate, vitamin B6 and B12 and risk of depression in community-dwelling older adults: the Quebec Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Aging.’ in European journal of clinical nutrition, Volume 70, Issue 3, March 2016, pp 380 - 385. [Link]
“This study provides some evidence of decreased depression risk among women with higher intakes of vitamin B6 from food, which was dependent on total energy intake, and among men with higher intakes of B12 from food, independently of energy intake.”
Lewis, J, E. et al. ‘The Effect of Methylated Vitamin B Complex on Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms and Quality of Life in Adults with Depression’ in Journal of International Scholarly Research Notices Psychiatry, Volume 2013, Article ID 621453, pp 1-7 [Link]
“The Max Stress B [B1,2,3,6,12 combination] formula showed modest improvements in mood and mental health according to the BDI, BAI, and SF-36, making our findings consistent with the prior studies. Thus, our study shows that a high quality, whole-food dietary supplement may offer an opportunity for adults with depression to improve mood symptoms and quality of life.”
Bell, IR, et al. ‘Brief communication. Vitamin B1, B2, and B6 augmentation of tricyclic antidepressant treatment in geriatric depression with cognitive dysfunction.’ in Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Volume 11, Issue 2, April 1992, pp 159-163. [Link]
“This was a 4-week randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study to assess augmentation of open tricyclic antidepressant treatment with 10 mg each of vitamins B1, B2, and B6 in 14 geriatric inpatients with depression. The active vitamin group demonstrated significantly better B2 and B6 status on enzyme activity coefficients and trends toward greater improvement in scores on ratings of depression and cognitive function”
Kennedy, David O. et al. ‘Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males’ in Journal of psychopharmacology. Volume 211, Issue 1, July 2010, pp 55-68. [Link]
“Healthy members of the general population may benefit from augmented levels of vitamins/minerals via direct dietary supplementation. Specifically, supplementation led to improved ratings of stress, mental health and vigour and improved cognitive performance during intense mental processing.”
Almeida OP, et al. ‘B vitamins to enhance treatment response to antidepressants in middle-aged and older adults: results from the B-VITAGE randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.’ in The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science, Volume 205, Issue 6, December 2014, pp 450-457. [Link]
“B vitamins did not increase the 12-week efficacy of antidepressant treatment, but enhanced and sustained antidepressant response over 1 year. Replication of these findings would mandate that treatment guidelines adopt the adjunctive use of B vitamins as a safe and inexpensive strategy to manage major depression in middle-aged and older adults.”
Murajami, K, et al. ‘Dietary Folate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin B-12 and Depressive Symptoms in Early Adolescence: The Ryukyus Child Health Study’ in Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, Volume 72, Issue 9, October 2010, pp 763 - 768 [Link]
“This study suggests that higher intake of dietary B vitamins, particularly folate and vitamin B-6, is independently associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in early adolescence.”