What it is
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin.
What it does
Vitamin B6 is converted to two coenzymes (PLP and PMP) that are involved in numerous chemical reactions, primarily related to protein metabolism.
The recommended intake for vitamin B6 is 1.7mg per day for men and 1.6mg per day for women who aren’t pregnant or lactating. Pregnancy and lactation can increase intake requirements for vitamin B6.
The safe upper limit for vitamin B6 intake is 100mg per day.
Likelihood of tracking completeness: Very low
Vitamin B6 is not a nutrient that food manufacturers are required to disclose on nutrition labels. The vast majority of food and beverage manufacturers do not voluntarily list vitamin B6 content on nutrition labels, so most branded products in the MacroFactor database lack information on vitamin B6. So, if you’d like to accurately track your vitamin B6 intake, you’ll need to make a point of mostly tracking “common foods,” which come from research-grade databases that have full nutrient reporting.
For more on when you can track using branded foods versus common foods when you’re trying to accurately monitor your intake of particular nutrients, you should check out this article.
Likelihood of insufficient intake: Low
Most adults meet the recommended intake targets of vitamin B6.
For more on nutrients with a greater likelihood of insufficient or excessive intake, you should check out this article.
Signs of deficiency or excessive intake
Signs of vitamin B6 deficiencies include microcytic anemia (small red blood cells with low hemoglobin concentrations), swollen tongue and lips, confusion, depression, and impaired immune function.
Peppers, liver, cabbage, watercress, zucchini, leafy green vegetables, okra, garlic, tuna, cauliflower, mushrooms, turkey, and salmon are all great sources of vitamin B6.
If you’d like to learn more about micronutrients generally, there’s a five-part series on the MacroFactor website you might enjoy.