Some extra B6 may spell the difference between your diet program’s success or failure.
Part of the all-important B-complex family of vitamins, B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble micronutrient that can only be supplied through dietary means. B6 plays a critical role in the maintenance of optimal health because it helps to regulate the activities of roughly 100 enzymes that facilitate chemical reactions essential to normal body function. Its involvement in the body’s metabolic processes makes B6 a nutrient of particular interest to dieters.
B6 and Metabolism
B6 facilitates virtually all aspects of metabolism, which is the body’s conversion of the foods you consume into the energy your body needs to function properly. As most dieters know all too well, a sluggish metabolism makes the battle of the bulge even more difficult than it already is. Although B6 is important in all phases of metabolism, it is particularly critical to the metabolism of protein and the creation of the nonessential amino acids that the body must produce on its own. Pyridoxine is also necessary for the metabolism of glycogen, the carbohydrate storage molecule. Because of its key role in breaking down proteins, your need for B6 increases in proportion to the amount of protein in your diet.
Energy and Outlook
A lack of energy can quickly sabotage even the most well-intentioned diet. To succeed with any program of weight reduction, you must have the strength and stamina to adhere to your plan of action. B6 facilitates the conversion of carbohydrate-rich foods into glucose, which is then burned to produce energy, according to Karlene Karst, author of “The Metabolic Syndrome Program.” The vitamin also keeps the nervous system healthy, helping to combat the bouts of depression that also can prove detrimental to almost any diet.
Advice for Dieters
Although the normal diet usually contains adequate amounts of vitamin B6, some weight-loss programs may not supply sufficient amounts of the nutrient.
In people consuming low-calorie diets, vitamin B6 aids in blood glucose regulation by helping convert stored nutrients into energy the body can use. This helps increase metabolism. Vitamin B-6 also increases thyroid activity, which increases resting metabolic rate. Because of its importance in maintaining optimal energy levels and a healthy nervous system, dieters should take care to include adequate levels of B6 in their diets either through food intake or supplementation; it could spell the difference between the diet’s success or failure.
(This article has been adapted from Livestrong.com )