Vitamine B6 as Smart Drugs for Best Nootropics UK by Earthly Biotics

Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine

Also known as Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 is one of 8 water soluble B-vitamins that are vital to a healthy and high functioning brain. B6 is found in every cell of the human body and has direct impact on more than 140 enzyme activities, including affecting gene transcription and expression, the immune system, glucose regulation, and the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as melatonin, serotonin, dopamine and GABA. [source:1] Even a mild deficiency in Vitamin B6 can negatively impact neurotransmitters and lead to an overall decline in mental performance.

 

History

Discovered and isolated in the 1930’s, Vitamin B6 was named due to it having six common forms, including pyridoxal, pyridoxine(pyridoxol), pyridoxamine, and their phosphorylated forms. Foods that are rich in Vitamin B6 include chickpeas, bananas, pistachio nuts, potatoes, beef, pork, and turkey, though ideal amounts often under-reached in modern diets, when supplemented the cognitive benefits can become apparent.

 

Benefits

Vitamin B6 has been found to help the body in a multitude of ways, particularly the brain. Alongside aiding cerebral circulation through homocysteine regulation, B6 assists in the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, GABA and norepinephrine, enhancing alertness, mood, memory and cognition, while reducing fatigue, pain, depression and anxiety.

The benefits discussed more thoroughly in this document will be:

  • Neurotransmitter Synthesis
  • Improved Concentration & Reduced Stress
  • Reducing Inflammation
  • Vivid Dreams & Deep Sleep
  • Maintains Healthy Blood Vessels
  • May Prevent Parkinsons Disease
  • Beats Panic Attacks

 

Important Cofactor in Neurotransmitter Synthesis

Alertness, concentration, memory, anxiety and mood are all affected by the role Vitamin B6 plays on neurotransmitters. [source:2] Indeed, any nootropic which is taken with the intention of boosting neurotransmitters will require adequate Vitamin B6 levels to be at all effective.

As a vital coenzyme in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, GABA, melatonin, serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine, Vitamin B6 is an important nootropic in human health. [source:3] If a person has even a mild deficiency, knock on effects can result in poor sleep, problems with cardiovascular function, and impacts hypothalamus-pituitary regulation of hormone production. [source:4] Conversely, when supplemented as part of a nootropic stack, B-Vitamins optimize cognition.

A study conducted into national vitamin intake of Germany, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK found that B-Vitamins were lacking across a significant proportion of the population, despite there being no obvious reason for this. [source:5]

Cerebral circulation also relies on Vitamin B6 to control homocysteine levels. A study at Oxford University, England was conducted on 156 patients aged 70+, all suffering from mild memory lost and reading high in homocysteine, typically resulting from a deficiency in folic acid and Vitamins B6 and B12. Over the two-year study, the test group received a daily supplement of 0.8mg folic acid, 20mg Vitamin B6 and 0.5mg Vitamin B12 ,while the control group received only placebos. The results were conclusive. After two years, the control group had brain atrophy 5.6%, while the test group had only 0.6%. The study showed that the rate at which brain density shrunk was causally affected by those vitamins tested. [source:6]

A review conducted in 2008 analysed the previous 10 years of research on the role of folate and vitamins B6 and B12 on homocysteine levels and found that the 77 studies (over 34000 participants) demonstrated a link between deficit in these chemical compounds and the resulting rates of cognitive decline and dementia. [source:7]

 

Improved Concentration & Reduced Stress

The impact Vitamin B6 has on neurotransmitters, specifically serotonin and norepinephrine, has lead to research on its use for children suffering from behaviour and mood disorders such as ADHD, which is believed to be caused by low serotonin levels. Because of the increased serotonin activity in the brain caused by Vitamin B6, it works similar to an antidepressant, without the possible side effects. [source:8] [source:9]

It is these affects on hormone production that make Vitamin B6 a dynamic force in lifting moods, improving concentration and reducing stress. [source:10] [source:11]

 

Helps Reduce Inflammation

Vitamin B6 aids in the control of brain inflammation – deficits have been associated with severe brain inflammation. [source:12] This inflammation can lead to various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as contributing to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease. 

One of the ways that Vitamin B6 reduces inflammation is by the suppression of inflammatory cytokines [source:13], another is by its help in forming myelin - a protective neuron sheath, and yet another is the aforementioned regulation of homocysteine.

 

Promotes Vivid Dreams & Deep Sleep

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 12 participants examined the claims that Vitamin B6 impacts the vividness and recall of dreams. For five consecutive days the subjects were given a placebo or a 100mg or 250mg dose of Vitamin B6 before going to sleep. The following morning, they were asked to self-report on dream vividness, emotionality, bizarreness and colour. The findings showed a significant difference in ‘dream-salience scores’ in the groups taking Vitamin B6. The proposed reason for this was that Vitamin B6 had something to do with serotonin conversion during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. [source:14]

 

Maintains Healthy Blood Vessels

Blood needs Vitamin B6 in order to regulate its levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid found in high protein foods, particularly meat. High homocysteine levels damage blood vessel linings and is linked to inflammation, blood vessel disease, plaque buildup and heart disease, which can ultimately end in a heart attack or stroke.

Research has found that patients taking a combination of folate and Vitamin B6 have significantly reduced levels of homocysteine, allowing the body to repair the damage done. [source:15]

As well as the effects on homocysteine, Vitamin B6 helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease. It is also a key part of heme synthesis, an iron-rich component of hemoglobin. Red blood cells rely on hemoglobin in order to move oxygen through the brain and wider body.

 

May Prevent Parkinson’s’ Disease

A study in Rotterdam, Netherlands found that Vitamin B6 may halve the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The study was conducted on 5289 people over the age of 55 and tested the hypothesis that high levels of homocysteine contribute to the development of Parkinson’s.

Dietary intake was tracked and the levels of folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 were analysed as numerous studies have reported these being effective at decreasing homocysteine in the blood. After 9.7 years, 72 of the research participants had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and comparisons of the data showed no difference in folate or Vitamin B12 levels between the groups. In fact, beneficial effects were actually found smokers that were taking B6, leading to the conclusion that when combined with nicotine, Vitamin B6 has a protective effect on brain cells, reducing the risk of Parkinson’s. Though B6 effects for oxidative stress were most likely the major component.

As the levels of Vitamin B12 and folate didn’t affect the Parkinson’s results, it was concluded that homocysteine was in fact, not, a factor in developing the disease, but that instead oxidative stress may be to blame. This proposal means that B6 may provide protection from Parkinson’s due to having antioxidant properties. [source:16]

 

Beats Panic Attacks

One of the main causes for episodes of panic or hyperventilation attacks is reduced serotonin levels. Serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for happiness, is synthesised from tryptophan, which requires Vitamin B6 and iron to carry out this synthesis. [source:17]

This insight was discovered due to a study conducted by the Atago Hospital, Japan, into the effects of B Vitamins on panic attacks. A total of 21 patients who presented in ER having experienced a panic attack or hyperventilation attack were given a blood test to check for levels of vitamins B2, B6, B12 and iron, and these results were compared to those of 20 healthy volunteers. The study found that the levels of iron and Vitamin B6 were significantly lower in the test group than the control group, while B2 and B12 remained the same. It was thus concluded that the former two elements are involved in panic and hyperventilation attacks. [source:18]

 

Other

As well as these benefits, Vitamin B6 has also been shown to help;

  • Eye health
  • Arthritis
  • PMS
  • Blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Anemia
  • Kidney stones.

 

Side Effects

Side effects of Vitamin B6 are very rare and it is considered safe and well-tolerated due to being non-toxic at recommended doses. 

Taking unusually high single doses may result in nausea, stomach upset or diarrhoea.

High doses of Vitamin B6 taken for an extended period of time can result in a form of nerve damage called pyridoxine neuropathy. The symptoms of this include extreme skin sensitivity, muscle weakness or numbness, bone pain and loss of coordination. The reported cases of pyridoxine neuropathy were in patients taking 200mg-5g per day over an extended period. Symptoms usually disappeared when the dosing was stopped, as the destruction of neurons and axons is reversible at low levels of toxicity, though it is irreversible at high levels of toxicity. You can safely dose up to 100mg of Vitamin B6 daily, without risking any toxic side effects. [source:20][source:21][source:22][source:23]

 

 

This information should be used for guidance only, please consult with a medical professional before taking any dietary supplement. Should you suffer from any ongoing medical conditions or have any concerns at all, consult your doctor in the first instance.

 

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