Vitamin B6: The Anti-Stress, Healthy Heart Vitamin

by | Updated: July 3rd, 2012 | Read time: 1 minute

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a B-complex vitamin essential for maintaining healthy nerve and muscle cells and assisting with the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material. Vitamin B6 is considered an "anti-stress" vitamin because it provides immune support and may improve the body's ability to withstand stressful situations.

Working together with vitamins B9 and B12, vitamin B6 helps maintain healthy homocysteine levels. This is particularly important because elevated homocysteine levels are associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Food sources of vitamin B6 include chicken, turkey, salmon, soybeans, avocado, bananas, carrots and sunflower seeds. Slight deficiency is common in the U.S. Be sure you're getting the RDA of 1.3 mg (adults between 18 and 50), 1.5 mg (women over 50) or 1.7 mg (men over 50).