Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine in children
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a vital nutrient in children. The term "vitamin B6" actually includes various interchangeable compounds with different functions. Vitamin B6 is essential in the processing of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. The body needs vitamin B6 to produce many important chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, histamine, and heme. Deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare in children with a well-varied diet. Some children are born with defects in normal metabolic pathways that require higher intake of vitamin B6. One of these disorders leads to seizures in infants. Other symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency include peripheral neuritis (i.e., tingling of the fingers and toes), dermatitis (i.e., skin rashes), and anemia. High doses of vitamin B6 are generally felt to be safe but may lead to dizziness, clumbsiness, and/or loss of sensation in the hands and feet.
What is vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a group of vitamins responsible for many important body functions. Vitamin B6 is important for the creation of many body chemicals including neurotransmitters and the oxygen-carrying protein heme.
What are the symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency and who gets it?
- Vitamin B6 deficiency in rare in adequately nourished children.
- The vitamin is found in a variety of food types including cereals, meat, fish, poultry and some vegetables.
- Vitamin B6 deficiency is most often associated with a metabolic disorder that requires extra vitamin B6 intake.
- Some medications increase the risk of vitamin B6 deficiency (i.e, isoniazid, corticosteroids, antiseizure meds).
Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency are often non-specific but include:
- Seizures in infants
- Peripheral neuritis (i.e., tingling of the fingers and toes)
- Skin rashes - often around the mouth and face)
- A red, tender tongue
- Anemia (microcytic type - small red blood cells)
What are the symptoms of vitamin B6 excess?
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluable vitamin and therefore excess intake of vitamin B6 leads to an increase in urine excretion of the vitamin. Vitamin B6 is generally safe, even in large amounts, however some children may develop loss of sensation in the hands and feet, or clumsiness.
Last Updated (Thursday, 06 October 2011 12:06)