Micronutrient series: Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxal, is an essential vitamin that the body needs to carry out more than 100 enzyme reactions involved in metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy as well as immune function.1

Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency range from anemia, itchy rashes, scaly skin on the lips, cracks at the corners of the mouth, and a swollen tongue. Additionally, depression, confusion, and a weak immune system can be indicative of low vitamin B6 intake.1

Therefore, just like the rest of the micronutrients discussed so far, it is equally important to know what foods contain vitamin B6 and how much you should be consuming on a daily basis. Below is a table of the RDA for vitamin B6.

RDA for Vitamin B6

AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
Birth to 6 months0.1 mg*0.1 mg*
7–12 months0.3 mg*0.3 mg*
1–3 years0.5 mg0.5 mg
4–8 years0.6 mg0.6 mg
9–13 years1.0 mg1.0 mg
14–18 years1.3 mg1.2 mg1.9 mg2.0 mg
19–50 years1.3 mg1.3 mg1.9 mg2.0 mg
51+ years1.7 mg1.5 mg

*Adequate intake. *Mg = milligrams. Source: National Institutes of Health

Selected Food Sources of Vitamin B6

Foods containing vitamin B6Milligrams (mg) per servingPercent DV*
Chickpeas, canned, 1 cup1.165
Beef liver, pan fried, 3 ounces0.953
Tuna, yellowfin, fresh, cooked, 3 ounces0.953
Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces0.635
Chicken breast, roasted, 3 ounces0.529
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25% of the DV for vitamin B60.425
Potatoes, boiled, 1 cup0.425
Turkey, meat only, roasted, 3 ounces0.425
Banana, 1 medium0.425
Marinara (spaghetti) sauce, ready to serve, 1 cup0.425

The above is an abbreviated list of foods. For full list click here. *Daily Value

Stay tuned for our final blog post in the micronutrient series on Vitamin D.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn how our expert nutritionist can help you achieve your goals!

Author: Jon Esposito MA, CSCS, CISSN, USAW

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