What Is Pyridoxine? Pyridoxine, also known as vitamin B6, is one of the eight B vitamins. Pyridoxine cannot be manufactured by humans and is thus a true vitamin, obtained exclusively from the diet.
What Does Pyridoxine Do? The active form of pyridoxine, pyridoxal 5-phosphate (PLP), serves as an enzyme cofactor in over 100 enzyme reactions in carbohydrate, lipid, and amino acid metabolism. Of importance in CalmNeeds®, PLP is the cofactor for the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase, which converts glutamate (the main excitatory neurotransmitter) into GABA (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter). Additionally, PLP is the cofactor for the enzyme aromatic-L-amino-acid decarboxylase, which converts 5-HTP to serotonin. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the nervous system, including in the brain and gut, with important inhibitory roles. PLP is also involved in myelin and hemoglobin synthesis, and gene expression.
What Does a Pyridoxine Deficiency Appear as? Deficiency is generally found in individuals with highly-restricted diets and/or substantial gastrointestinal disease. Symptoms can include weakness, fatigue, depression, seizures, peripheral neuropathy, vomiting, anemia, and cardiovascular disease including stroke.
What About Pyridoxine‘s Use in Disease? Pyridoxine is sometimes recommended for anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, Alzheimer disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Down syndrome, diabetes and related nerve pain, sickle cell anemia, migraine headaches, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, night leg cramps, muscle cramps, arthritis, allergies, acne and various other skin conditions, and infertility. It is also used for dizziness, motion sickness, preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, seizures, convulsions due to fever, and movement disorders (tardive dyskinesia, hyperkinesis, chorea). Some people use pyridoxine for boosting the immune system, eye infections, bladder infections, preventing cancer and kidney stones, increasing appetite, and helping people remember dreams.
What Form of Pyridoxine is Best? Most supplements contain inactivated pyridoxine, but some sources suggest that the activated (pyridoxal-5-phosphate, abbreviated as PLP) form is better. Studies are few, and the answer is not clear. Inactivated pyridoxine is present in CalmNeeds®, but both activated (PLP) and inactivated pyridoxine are present in NeuroNeeds’ products SpectrumNeeds® and EnergyNeeds®.
What Are the Common and/or Important Side Effects of Pyridoxine? Pyridoxine is a water-soluble vitamin and thus considered to be generally non-toxic. Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation.
Is There Any Laboratory Testing for Pyridoxine Deficiency? Laboratory testing can reveal the presence of a deficiency of this nutrient, but is generally not likely to have clinically utility.
Why is Pyridoxine Used in CalmNeeds®
Pyridoxine is added to CalmNeeds® as PLP is the cofactor for the enzymes that synthesize GABA and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters with key inhibitory roles, as well as its use in treating hyper-excitable states such as anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and ADHD.
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