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Pyridoxine hydrochloride is a coenzyme that is also known as vitamin B6. A coenzyme is a molecule that creates a link with an enzyme, activating it. This compound has many health benefits, and is needed for red blood cell production and amino acid metabolism, the process of breaking up amino acids to create other compounds in the body. Supplements are available for those who need to increase their B6 consumption due to genetic disorders or poor absorption through the stomach, though this vitamin is present naturally in many foods.
Vitamin B6 is found naturally in meat, eggs, fish, and other foods. It is present in bananas, potatoes, and sunflower seeds as well. Cooking and storing foods can decrease the amount of pyridoxine hydrochloride by as much as 50%, however, so eating foods in their natural state is a more effective way to consume this vitamin.
In order for amino acids to be metabolized and be used to make hormones, immunoglobulin, and heme, pyridoxine hydrochloride must be present. Immunoglobulin is an antibody that fights viruses and bacteria in the body. Heme is chemical compound that contains iron, and which provides the color in red blood cells. If the body does not have enough B6, then the central nervous system will malfunction and a person may have difficulty sleeping due to a lack of different compounds that require amino acids.
In addition to amino acid metabolism, pyridoxine hydrochloride promotes red blood cell production. It is necessary to maintain the proper balance of potassium and sodium in the blood, which is necessary for the normal production of red blood cells. Lack of vitamin B6 has been linked to anemia, low levels of red blood cells.
Some studies have found that an increase in B6 consumption may be beneficial to women. Early evidence suggests that it may help treat some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is also sometimes recommended in low doses for women taking birth control pills, who may be more likely to have a vitamin B6 deficiency. In selected cases, it has even helped with gestational diabetes, or diabetes that occurs due to pregnancy.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 is 2 mg per day for men and 1.5 mg per day for women. Most people receive all the vitamin they need from foods, but some may not. Higher doses of vitamin B6 are not recommended as they have been linked to neurological problems.
A deficiency in pyridoxine hydrochloride is usually caused by poor absorption through the gastrointestinal tract, stomach, and intestines. It may also be due to drugs that can inactivate the vitamin and some genetic disorders that prevent metabolism. Symptoms of a pyridoxine hydrochloride deficiency include an inflamed tongue, sore lips, and peeling skin. Other more severe symptoms include confusion, nerve damage, and insomnia.