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by Jennifer Hopper •

NUTRITION SCIENCE

Is vitamin B6 the key to your happiness?

Why is vitamin B6 a big deal? The ‘B-Team’, or the group of eight vitamins that make up the B complex of essential nutrients, can have a profound effect on your overall health. And vitamin B6 (otherwise known as Pyridoxine) is one you should definitely make sure is part of your daily diet. Pyridoxine may not have the high profile of others in the B complex group, like folate (B9), riboflavin (B2) or thiamin (B1), but this little nutrient is no runner up when it comes to the effect it has over your health and well being. In fact, vitamin B6 is a mighty metaboliser - playing a key role in the conversion of protein, fat and carbohydrates into energy. And it plays a role in the creation of red blood cells, too. But B6’s biggest claim to fame? Creating neurotransmitters. It’s the creation of these neurotransmitters that is B6’s superpower and the key to stabilising your mood. It’s why B6 is one little nutrient you’d be quite literally sad to do without. How does B6 work? Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that regulate a countless array of functions in your body. The neurotransmitters that B6 is responsible for are those that regulate your emotions - including serotonin (responsible for mood regulation, body temperature, and appetite), dopamine (responsible for mood regulation and muscle movement) and gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. GABA has a calming effect on the brain and body because it blocks specific signals from the central nervous system, easing anxiety and excitability. GABA also comes out at night, promoting sleepiness and readying the body for rest. With a list of big emotional responsibilities like that, you can understand why not having enough B6 can have a huge impact on how you’re feeling and sleeping! So, how can you make sure you’re getting enough B6? A fresh, wholefoods diet is the best source of B6 as it is readily available from a wide variety of sources including meat and fish and starchy vegetables like potatoes. It can also be found in bananas, avocados and pistachio nuts. But for those people who struggle to put together regular balanced meals or who wish to obtain B6 from a vegan or wholly organic source, a quality supplement like Activated Nutrients Top Up for Women, Men and 50+ contain more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6. Scientifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of busy women, men and seniors, just one teaspoon of Top Up will make sure you're never short on this essential nutrient and you have everything you need to keep calm and carry on!   Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash