What are the benefits of vitamin B6 for hair growth and general health?
The benefits of vitamin B6 are manifold, it takes part in different bodily functions, as well as ensures the good state of your hair. Apart from that, its other functions include boosting immunity, reducing blood sugar and blood pressure, keeping your heart healthy and therefore maintaining overall health.
Impressive, right? Discover all about this vitamin and how it affects not only your hair but also your whole body.
- What is vitamin B6 good for?
- What are the benefits of vitamin B6?
- How much vitamin B6 should I take daily?
- What are the foods that are high in B6 vitamins?
- Is vitamin B6 good for hair growth?
What is vitamin B6 good for?
Vitamin B6 is essential for your hair health. Below we explain its role in various body processes that have a direct impact on hair.
Acts as a catalyst in protein metabolism
Being an important member of the B-group family, this vitamin plays an active role of a catalyst in several metabolic reactions. A catalyst is a chemical element that increases the rate at which a certain chemical reaction happens. Also, the reaction cannot be completed without that particular catalyst.
Now, the main proteins whose metabolism is directly affected by vitamin B6 are keratin and melanin. Both of these proteins are directly related to the health of your hair. So, essentially, vitamin B6 ensures that your hair follicles get enough keratin and melanin. Thus keeping your hair strands in good health.
Regulates sex hormones
Androgenic hormones such as testosterone negatively influence hair growth. Dihydrotestosterone or DHT is a derivative of testosterone which decreases the anagen (or growth phase) of the hair cycle and shrinks the hair follicle in size.
Thus, DHT leads to hair loss. This is where vitamin B6 comes into play. It binds to the testosterone receptors thereby decreasing the production of DHT.
This, in turn, can lead to better hair health. Additionally, a derivative of vitamin b6 regulates the functioning of sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. It is also known as pyridoxal 5 phosphate or PLP.
Reduces mental stress
Stress precipitates an imbalance in the regular hair cycle. This leads to untimely and excessive hair loss which is detrimental to the health of your tresses. Serotonin and dopamine are the hormones that influence our brain functioning. Decreased levels of serotonin are linked to depression in individuals.
Low levels of dopamine can also cause subdued mood, chronic fatigue, low physical energy, etc. Vitamin B6 helps regulate the levels of these two important mood-boosting hormones thereby reducing mental stress.
Those also increase the flow of blood to the scalp and hair follicles. This supplementary effect of vitamin B6 helps ensure optimum hair growth.
What are the benefits of vitamin B6?
As mentioned in the previous section, vitamin B6 helps in the formation of hormones serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. Serotonin is a mood-elevating hormone and dopamine is a stress-buster hormone. Meanwhile, melatonin helps regulate your circadian rhythm i.e. your internal biological clock/sleep cycle.
Therefore, practically every hormone responsible for your mood and brain function is influenced by the levels of vitamin B6 in your blood.
Moreover, according to a study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal, dementia or decline in brain function of the elderly is directly related to homocysteine, the metabolism of which depends on the blood levels of vitamin B6, cobalamin and folic acid.
Therefore, the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease requires the administration of this particular vitamin as a prophylactic measure. Besides, Vitamin B6 drastically improves the cognitive functions of your brain as well as your memory in the most natural way possible.
Other key roles of vitamin B6
- takes part in the formation of red blood cells that carries oxygen and nutrients to the scalp
- macular degeneration in the eyes, which may cause vision loss, is prevented by adequate blood levels of vitamin B6
- prevents premature ageing of your skin
- provides relief from painful inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome
- helps with the detoxification of your liver
How much vitamin B6 should I take daily?
How much vitamin b6 you need in a single day depends on various factors such as your gender, age or special circumstances such as pregnancy and lactation.
- Adults should consume 1.3 to 1.7 mg per day in order to reap the benefits of vitamin b6.
- During pregnancy, this amount goes to 2mg per day.
- Newborns require as much as 0.1mg per day which can go up to 1mg for children age nine to thirteen years.
While the daily requirement of vitamin b6 can easily be reached by a well-balanced diet, most people fail to incorporate a healthy meal plan in their busy lifestyles. Furthermore, since vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, any excess gets excreted out of the body since the body is not able to store the surplus for future use.
What happens if my intake of B6 is too high?
However, excessive consumption of this vitamin through supplements may do more harm than good to your body as it may cause nerve damage. But this can happen only if you take it as an individual vitamin supplement. Therefore, there is no need to worry if you are taking multivitamins prescribed by your doctor.
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What are the foods that are high in B6 vitamins?
To have a sufficient amount of vitamin B6 in your system you need as much variety of food as possible. Eat more cereals, nuts, seeds, veggies, fruits, and a variety of animal protein. For example, whole grains and fortified cereals, pistachios and sunflower seeds are rich with this vitamin.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and beans are a good source of most of the B vitamins needed for the proper functioning of your body.
Similarly, fruits such as bananas and avocado are superb for your hair growth. those are, in fact, key ingredients of hair masks that fight hair fall. The best sources of vitamin B6 are animal proteins that come from fish such as tuna and salmon, chicken, turkey, and beef.
Is vitamin B6 good for hair growth?
- Vitamin B6, individually and in conjunction with other factors, has been known to have beneficial effects on hair health by increasing its thickness and strength.
- Studies show that Vitamin B6 when combined with zinc and azelaic acid can be used to inhibit the formation of DHT (which is primarily responsible for hair loss).
- This research proves that the topical application of the vitamin relieves the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.
- Studies show that hair loss during menopause can be controlled by the administration of vitamin B6.
- Alopecia in women can be reduced by the use of vitamin B6 according to this study.
The benefits of vitamin B6 for hair are scientifically proven by a number of studies. But it also plays many other roles in the body. The best way to ensure proper B6 intake is to simply adjust your diet since B6-rich foods are widely available everywhere.
This is where they have an edge over chemical cosmetic products available in the market. Keep in mind that balanced nutrition combined with the right hair care is enough to keep your strands strong. While also promoting hair growth if you do not suffer from any serious condition.
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