B-6 Vitamin Benefits

Vitamin B-6 contains six compounds that work with the liver to provide your body with essential functions. Also called pyridoxine, this nutrient is just one of the B vitamins responsible for healthy metabolism and protection from diseases. Since this is an essential nutrient, it’s helpful to know that many everyday foods are considered rich sources of vitamin B-6.

Abundant Sources

Vitamin B-6 is available in a number of foods. Among the highest sources are bran flakes, whole grains, beef, white meat poultry, ham and garbanzo beans. Other sources include bananas, potatoes, halibut, herring, dark meat poultry, black beans and watermelon. Given the wide variety of sources, vitamin B6 is relatively easy to incorporate into your diet. However, rare cases of deficiency can still occur. Lack of vitamin B-6-rich foods, alcohol abuse and medications, such as birth control pills, are among a few of the causes.

Protein and Fat Metabolism

Pyridoxine works with the liver to create enzymes that function in protein and fat metabolism. Without vitamin B6, your body cannot create nonessential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, on its own, which means you would have to retrieve them all through food. Furthermore, pyridoxine helps retrieve glucose out of amino acids. Vitamin B6 also metabolizes fat lipids within the liver.

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