Good Dietary Sources of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 can be found in a myriad of food sources. In fact, it is a nutrient that can be found in almost foods. Of course, some food sources contain more of the vitamin than others.
Keep in mind that when vitamin B6 is exposed to heat or ultraviolet light it can quickly be destroyed, and rendered inert. Because of this, a significant portion of pyridoxine is often lost through cooking foods. In fact, nearly half of vitamin B6 may be destroyed while cooking foods. Additionally, the more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 your body will need.
To ensure that you are consuming enough pyridoxine and getting all the health benefits of vitamin B6, be sure to eat a variety and mix of the following foods that are high in vitamin B6.
- Lean, white meats like poultry and pork are good sources.
- Organ meats, like liver and kidney are some of the best food sources of vitamin B6.
- Many fish contain significant amounts of vitamin B6.
- Some of the best fish sources of the nutrient include tuna, halibut, cod, and salmon.
Fortified, Whole Grain Sources
- Fortified whole grains and foods made from enriched grains are among the best dietary sources of vitamin B6.
- Any food made from fortified or enriched grains are good, including breads, cereals, and other baked goods.
Nuts and Legumes
- Legumes, such as beans, soybeans, and peanuts can provide a good amount of pyridoxine.
- Some particularly good seed and nut sources are sunflower seeds and walnuts.
- Dark green, leafy vegetables are a good way to get vitamin B6. This includes vegetables such as broccli, brussel sprouts, peas, and spinach.
- Other excellent vegetable sources are sweet potatoes and carrots.
- Melons, such as watermelon and cantaloupe contain a good amount of pyridoxine.
- Bananas and mangoes are another delicious way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin B6.
Daily Requirement of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is a standard which defines how much of a nutrient is needed each day for various people. For vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), the RDA is:
- 0.1 milligrams per day for infants 0-6 months old.
- 0.3 milligrams per day for infants 7-12 months old.
- 0.5 milligrams per day for children 1-3 years old.
- 0.6 milligrams per day children 4-8 years old.
- 1 milligram per day for children 9-13 years old.
- 1.2 milligrams per day for females 14-18 years old.
- 1.3 milligrams per day for males 14-50 years old.
- 1.3 milligrams per day for females 19-50 years old.
- 1.5 milligrams per day for females over the age of 50.
- 1.7 milligrams per day for males over the age of 50.
Also, during pregnancy, the RDA is raised to 1.9 milligrams per day, and while breastfeeding the RDA for women is raised to 1.6 milligrams per day.
A vitamin B6 deficiency is rarely seen, as it can be found in nearly all foods. However, the risk of a deficiency is higher for people who may not be adequately absorbing nutrients via the digestive system. This can occur in people who are suffering from chronic diarrhea and those chronically abuse alcohol.
The RDA values are established by the National Academy of Sciences.