Vitamin B6 is a collective name for pyridoxine, pyridoxamine and pyridoxal. The body builds the so-called P5P (pyridoxal phosphate,) from vitamin B6. This is the chemically active form of the vitamin. In turn, the body needs P5P for more than 100 metabolic processes – without P5P no proper fat metabolism and no proper sugar metabolismn. Without P5P, the body can also not build up and convert amino acids. Without vitamin B6, the production of nerve messengers such as serotonin, dopamine or GABA does not function properly.
Alcoholics are particularly often lacking in B6. In addition, alcohol also prevents the body from converting the existing vitamin B6 into the active form P5P.
Vitamin B6 is also responsible for ensuring that the body can produce sufficient stomach acid. If B6 and therefore stomach acid are missing, the food is no longer broken down properly in the stomach and does not reach the intestines sufficiently predigested. This creates problems there. In addition, those who have too little stomach acid (for example, due to a vitamin B6 deficiency) cannot absorb the enormously important vitamin B12 from food.
Symptoms of deficiency can be:
- Loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting
- Dermatitis, growth disorders and anemia
- Degeneration of the peripheral nerves with paralysis and afferent ataxia, i.e., perceptions of the body are no longer transmitted to the brain, so that the brain can no longer properly control the body’s movements.
- convulsive states at irregular intervals
- Disturbance of the synthesis of the red blood pigment
- Seborrhea-like destruction around the eyes, nose and mouth (overproduction of skin oils by the sebaceous glands)
- inflammation of the corners of the mouth and tongue
- Anxiety disorders
- Sleep disorders (early awakenings, sleep disturbances)
- Insensitivity, muscle twitching
More information in the book “Bye bye, booze!“