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Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, may be a lesser known vitamin but it is no less important than its more talked about relations. Vitamin B6 is essential for an effective nervous system playing a key role in the transmission of nerve signals though the body. The vitamin is also necessary for healthy skin, mucous membranes, and blood cells. Pyridoxine is used extensively in combination with other B vitamins in whole host of body functions and processes.

Food sources
Food sources of Vitamin B6 include chicken, tuna, trout, lamb turkey and salmon. Bananas are an excellant source of Viatmin B6 as well as a wide range of other vitamins and minears. Many nuts, beans and lentils also contain vitamin B6.

Daily requirement
The European Commission daily recommendation for Vitamin B6 is 2mg for both men and women. In the United States, the Vitamin B6 RDA is also 2mg. However, in the UK the figures is a little lower at 1.4mg for men and 1.2mg for women.

Deficiency in Vitamin B6 is usually caused by external factors such as smoking, drinking, medication or an underlying illness such as asthma or kidney disease. These factors either deplete, or adversely effect the absorption of, the vitamin, thereby causing a deficiency.

The initial symptoms of a Vitamin B6 deficiency are nausea, flaky skin, cracked lips, diarrhea, insomnia and changes in appetite. However, a prolonged deficiency can cause severe mood problems with anxiety, depression and restlessness likely.

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