Vitamin B6 is a B-group vitamin essential to the human body. It is supplied through a varied and balanced diet in several different forms (pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine). Once absorbed, it is metabolised to pyridoxal phosphate, its biologically active form. It is involved in a number of biological reactions such as amino acid metabolism.
It is also essential for the synthesis of several neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). That is why it has attractive properties for the management of stress and sleep disturbances. Indeed, serotonin is involved in regulating mood and sleep. As for GABA, it is the “relaxing” neurotransmitter in the central nervous system that brings the body’s vital signs back to normal levels (homoeostasis) after activation, for example following episodes of stress.
Vitamin B6 supports normal psychological functions including mood and helps reduce fatigue.
It is often combined with magnesium, since it facilitates its cellular uptake.
In cases of oxidative stress, vitamin B6 supplementation can be beneficial since it has strong antioxidant properties (comparable to those of carotenoids and vitamin E).