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Low B6 Linked To Inflammatory Conditions In U.S. Adults

by Byron J. Richards

Accumulated inflammation and wear and tear are key markers of health decline.  Many of us take a variety of nutrients to help reduce inflammation and enhance the repair of our bodies.  A new study highlights the fact that we should not overlook basic nutrition as a key aspect of our anti-inflammatory efforts.  The researchers found that those with low levels of biologically active B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) had the greatest amount of inflammation.

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The researchers became interested in this topic because earlier research had linked low B6 to a variety of inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.

The researchers studied the blood levels of B6 along with 13 different inflammatory markers in 2,229 adults, whose average age was 62.  The relationship between a lack of B6 and increased inflammation was crystal clear. 

A vitamin is called a vitamin because it cannot be made by your body from something else.  You must consume vitamins in your diet or take them as supplements.  The best form of vitamin B6 for supplementation is the biologically active form, pyridoxal-5-phosphate.  Cheap B6, called pyridoxine HCL, requires that your body donate energy to it to make it active, and some of the byproducts of that metabolic process can be neurologically irritating. 

B vitamins are typically lacking in the American diet due to food processing that depletes them from natural grain sources.  B6 is central to the metabolism of protein and is needed by all the neurotransmitters in your brain for optimal function.  Researchers have long sought to explain that the lack of B6 and vitamin C were intimately associated with cardiovascular disease.  This new study on B6 documents the systemwide influence vitamin B6 has on keeping inflammation in check. 

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