From our earliest years, we are conditioned to believe that vitamins are good for us and that we need them in order to live a healthy life. Children’s vitamins are responsible for generating hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Adult vitamins, especially those targeting women, also make up a huge multi-million dollar industry.
Like millions of other people, I take a host of vitamins and a number of supplements. In addition to a senior men’s multi-vitamin, I also take vitamins, C, E, B6 and B12, largely because of my extensive research on the benefits of many vitamins and supplements.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water soluble vitamin that provides a number of benefits to the human body. Pyridoxine helps the body metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates along with the formation of red blood cells and certain neurotransmitters. Sufficient amounts of vitamin B6 has also been linked to the prevention and treatment of some chronic diseases. One source lists 9 benefits of vitamin B6:
- May improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
- May promote brain health and reduce Alzheimer’s risk.
- May prevent and treat anemia by aiding hemoglobin production.
- May be useful in treating symptoms of PMS.
- May help treat nausea during pregnancy.
- May prevent clogged arteries and reduce heart disease risk.
- May help prevent cancer.
- May promote eye health and prevent eye diseases.
- May treat inflammation associated with Rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating a healthy diet generally provides enough B6, but eating a good healthy diet is not the norm, so many take vitamin B6 to make sure they get enough.
Vitamin B12 is known as cobalamin. The main role of B12 involves the normal function of nerve cells and also vital for the creation of red blood cells and DNA synthesis. B12 is generally obtained from animal products and is often taken as a supplement or injection. One source lists 9 benefits of B12:
- Helps with red blood cell formation and anemia prevention.
- May prevent major birth defects.
- May support bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
- May reduce your risk of macular degeneration.
- May improve mood and symptoms of depression.
- May benefit your brain by preventing the loss of neurons.
- May give you an energy boost.
- May improve heart health by decreasing homocysteine.
- Supports healthy hair, skin and nails.
It sounds like taking vitamins B6 and B12 is a good thing, but like so many good things, may have its negative side, as reported:
A recent study explored B vitamin intake and the risk of hip fracture…
buy furosemide for dogs uk ‘An almost 50% increase’
During the 20 year study, there were 2,304 hip fracture cases that were not associated with cancer or major trauma, such as a vehicle accident.
As expected, the scientists saw a relationship between B vitamin supplementation and the risk of hip fracture. They write:
“The risk was highest in women with a combined high intake of both vitamins, exhibiting an almost 50% increased risk of hip fracture compared with women with a low intake of both vitamins.” …
Exactly how vitamins B-6 and B-12 might increase fracture risk is not known. The study authors theorize that it might be associated with some of the other side effects of ingesting high levels of B-6.
For example, some experts believe that high doses of vitamin B-6 produce neurological symptoms, such as ataxia (which affects coordination), as well as decreased muscle tone. These symptoms, the authors argue, might make falls more likely and therefore increase the risk of hip fractures.
Another theory the authors outline is that high levels of vitamin B-6 may “accelerate bone loss by counteracting the modulating influence of estrogens on steroid receptors.”
As for the role of vitamin B-12 in this relationship, the authors do not yet have any concrete theories.
So, how does one know if they are taking too much of these important vitamins? The average recommended maximum daily dose of B6 is around 100 mg, while the recommended daily dose of B12 is only around 2.4 mcg, however, the dosage for pregnant women is higher.