Most people haven't heard that Vitamin B 6 exists. However, according to it's involved in over 100 enzyme processes in your body. They're mainly related to the way your body uses and metabolizes protein, as well as certain carbs and fats.

B 6 strengthens your immune system by helping produce white blood cells and hemoglobin in red blood cells. The particular WBC are those that remove viruses and bacteria. The hemoglobin in RBC, on the other hand, are the oxygen carriers to your cells. As hemoglobin passes into the cell, the cell releases carbon dioxide, which is then carried back to the lungs where it's expelled in your breath.

Remember, I've told you that it's best to take the B family together because they are interdependent? There are several Bs that help maintain proper heart function. Each has a specific action, and by working as a team, they are much more effective and efficient. B6 is one of the team.

One way it specifically helps is by lowering homocysteine levels. B12 and folate work with B6 to break down that toxic protein into usable nutrients for the body. In other words, a small amount of homocysteine is actually beneficial. However, the problem occurs when a person is missing the Bs that help keep it at the proper level.

Being without them is when the trouble starts. An excess can damage the inside of your arteries that are the blood vessels that carry RBC with their oxygen packets to the cell. If they're damaged, it creates circulation problems for the whole body.

The connection to the heart is that the outside of the heart has many arteries & capillaries that feed the muscle with nutrients. If the vessels become clogged or scarred, the heart can quickly become short on oxygen and the result will be "chest" pain. That may be the start of a "heart attack."

As you may guess, by having the vessels clogged, they become ripe for forming clots. If one of those clots further clogs a heart vessel, the next stop may be the emergency room.

There are other problems that occur with high homocysteine levels, including osteoporosis and a starving brain which can lead to symptoms of dementia.

Back to vitamin B 6. It could be called a woman's friend. It can ease the dreaded morning sickness of pregnancy. It also helps her developing baby's brain grow appropriately.

It can also reduce symptoms of PMS. One reason it helps is because the hormone cycle at the time around a woman's period causes water retention. That causes the brain to swell, which leads to headaches, brain fog, irritability, and emotional ups and downs, among other symptoms. By taking supplements at that time, many women have found relief.

It's possible that the swelling that occurs during that time may increase pressure on certain nerves, one being the median nerve in the hand. This causes the tingling, numbness and muscle weakness in the hand and arm that we call carpal tunnel syndrome.

A lack can noticeably increase symptoms of inflammation all over the body, including worsening the pain and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis.

Here are some other deficiency symptoms. Cracks at the corner of the mouth and nose, feeling like the tongue is thick because it is swollen, brain fog, depression, lowered immunity, and for some, it may cause seizures.

It's important to use wisdom in taking this supplement. Overdoses have their own set of symptoms. You might want to check out for their article on "Vitamin B-6." They talk about doses, how certain medications can lead to B6 deficiency, drug interactions, and other important information.

Certain medications, chemicals, and food dyes can lead to deficiencies by blocking its absorption in the body.. For instance, the Yellow food dye, FD & C No. 5, Tartazine is especially notorious for doing this. It's found in certain foods, snacks, drinks, or some vitamins. A chemical derivative hydrazine used to be sprayed on onions and potatoes.

Hydrazine is flammable and highly toxic. Did you know that hydrazine is used in rocket fuel? It can cause seizures and nervous system problems plus damage your liver and kidney as they try to detoxify it.

This is another reason why I urge you to read labels and study the chemicals added to your food. They may be contributing to health issues.

Food sources for Vitamin B6 are beef liver (calf), yellowfin tuna, sockeye salmon, chicken breast, turkey, banana, beef, winter squash, nuts, raisins, onion, and watermelon.

It takes work these days to stay healthy!
Nancy Pidutti, PhD, (NHH), RN

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