Best Vitamin B6 Supplements: Top 10 Vitamin B6 Brands Reviewed

Best Vitamin B6 Supplements

As an important micronutrient, vitamin B6 is a popular dietary supplement that can be found in the range of each brand of health supplements and also on the shelves of almost every supplement store.

The food contains three natural forms of vitamin B6 - pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxal. Each of them is converted in the body to the coenzyme compound pyridoxal-5-phosphate by activating various metabolic reactions, and different metabolic energy is being used up.

According to unconfirmed data and lack of formal research, it is believed that 50 mg of P-5-P is the equivalent of 200-500 mg of pyridoxine hydrochloride. One of the biggest advantages of pyridoxal over pyridoxine is its greater efficiency at lower doses. 

This makes taking it safely, while pyridoxine at high doses of 500 milligrams or more can cause side effects. Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is the only active coenzyme form of vitamin B6, which is directly involved in the enzymatic processes. 

As we have previously summarized, pyridoxal is most easily converted into pyridoxine-5-phosphate.

Top 5 Best Selling Vitamin B6 Supplements

Product

Name

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NOW Supplements, P-5-P 50 mg with Coenzyme B-6 + Mg Bisglycinate, 90 Veg Capsules


#1

Now Foods P-5-P (Vitamin B6)
Life Extension Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate 100 Mg Vegetarian Capsules, 60-Count, packaging may vary

#2

Life Extension Vitamin B6
Source Naturals Coenzymated B-6 25mg P-5 Pyridoxal-5 Phosphate Fast-Acting, Quick Dissolve Vitamin Supports Amino Acid Metabolism - 120 Lozenges

#3

Source Naturals Coenzymated B-6
Nature's Way Vitamin B-6, 50 mg per serving

#4

Nature's Way Vitamin B-6
Thorne Research - Pyridoxal 5'-Phosphate - Bioactive Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Supplement for Energy Production and Neurotransmitter Synthesis - 180 Capsules

#5

Thorne Research Pyridoxal 5'-Phosphate

What Is Vitamin B6

As an important micronutrient, vitamin B6 is a popular dietary supplement that can be found in the range of each brand of health supplements and also on the shelves of almost every supplement store.

What you see on the label is almost always the name vitamin B6, and for most people, this is enough. They are not aware of the specifics of the vitamin and its various forms, whether synthetic or organic.

Vitamin B6 became the object of research in the 30s of the XX century, as initially some of its forms were found. After that its presence in some foods has been found, as forms vary depending on the source. Pyridoxine was discovered first. 

It could be found mostly in plant-based foods and is relatively stable, as heat treatment does not damage it greatly.

After pyridoxine two other forms have been found - pyridoxamine and pyridoxal, which are contained in animal sources, but which can also be easily amenable to the impact of heat treatment, as not a small percentage of it are lost beyond retrieve.

Natural Forms of Vitamin B6

The food contains three natural forms of vitamin B6 - pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxal. Each of them is converted in the body to the coenzyme compound pyridoxal-5-phosphate by activating various metabolic reactions, and different metabolic energy is being used up.

There are also other several known forms of vitamin B6, which, however, are not typical natural sources. Such a form is the pyridoxic acid, which is a catabolite of pyridoxine and is discharged through urine.

The compound of pyridoxine and hydrochloride is the most commercial and popular form of vitamin B6, which has stability and long life of the outer coat. This synthetic form is easily assimilated by most people but needs conversion that requires energy. This conversion is expressed in two metabolic steps.

First, pyridoxine should be phospholized combining its molecule with phosphate. This is done with the use of the enzyme pyridoxal kinase, and according to controversial statements of scientists, this enzyme is activated by magnesium, while others argue that it is zinc

In both cases, the body uses essential minerals for the metabolic process. Namely zinc and magnesium are two of the most difficult to get and easiest to lose minerals, as their deficit is very frequent.

After the phosphorylation pyridoxine phosphate has to become pyridoxal-5-phosphate by oxidation from an enzyme that depends entirely on the presence of vitamin B2. It is remarkable that with low levels of vitamin B2 this process drops by almost 60%. 

The reason for this is that the preferred form of the body is a pyridoxal, and in this form, the body needs a metabolic process until it reaches the coenzyme form. One of the biggest advantages of pyridoxal over pyridoxine is its greater efficiency at lower doses. 

This makes taking it safely, while pyridoxine at high doses of 500 milligrams or more can cause side effects. Of course, pyridoxine is not to blame in this case, but its antagonists are, and they are generated by metabolic reactions.

The possible side effects are peripheral or sensory neuropathy, which is expressed in the form of numbness in parts of the body. According to unconfirmed data and lack of formal research, it is believed that 50 mg of P-5-P is the equivalent of 200-500 mg of pyridoxine hydrochloride.

Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is the only active coenzyme form of vitamin B6, which is directly involved in the enzymatic processes. It is not a common natural form that is found in food but is converted by the three natural sources through the use of metabolic energy. 

As we have previously summarized, pyridoxal is most easily converted into pyridoxine-5-phosphate. There are disputes about the ability of P-5-P to be absorbed orally through the gastrointestinal tract.

According to the opinion of the scientific panel to the European Food Agency, P-5-P would have lower bioactivity than pyridoxine hydrochloride because the phosphate molecule can destroy the only way the coenzyme vitamin passes through the small intestine and this is through dephosphorylation.

Despite that, studies on patients (in vivo) have shown better results with the reception of P-5-P as compared to the intake of pyridoxamine, as health benefits that are typical of the effect of pyridoxine hydrochloride have been demonstrated. 

Although there are no comparative studies between the P-5-P and pyridoxine hydrochloride, no result has shown the low bioavailability of the coenzyme B-6.

A Brief Look at the Advantages of P-5-P

  • The true bioactive coenzyme form, which can be actively involved in over 140 metabolic processes and enzymatic reactions;
  • It avoids the need for oxidation, which is dependent on vitamin B2, which is dependent on magnesium. Thus the effect of B6 does not depend on the absence of two other micronutrients;
  • It avoids phosphorylation that is dependent on zinc and magnesium and would be reduced by their deficiency. This is important because the two minerals are often deficient;
  • A purer form, without the waste from metabolic reactions, which may cause side effects;
  • It avoids the risk of sensory neuropathy;
  • Convenience due to intake of smaller doses with increased needs;
  • There is no established typical toxicity of pyridoxine hydrochloride even in high doses (1000 mg).

What for Is Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate Useful

  • It is needed for the transfer of amino acids due to its effect as a cofactor on transaminase which may degrade the amino acids in the body;
  • It affects the enzymes that control the reactions between the amino acids, such as the conversion of the amino acid L-methionine in the amino acid L-cysteine. The lowered levels of P-5-P in the body have a negative effect on this process. The vitamin has an impact on the conversion of selenomethionine into selenohomocystein;
  • It influences the process of conversion of L-tryptophan into niacin (vitamin B3);
  • Pyridoxal phosphate is used in the process of decarboxylation of amino acids, wherein they are converted into physiologically active amines. Such processes are the conversion of histidine to histamine, tryptophan to serotonin, glutamate, and GABA, and dihydroxyphenylalanine into dopamine;
  • It improves the condition of water retention caused by a deficiency of vitamin B6;
  • It improves the absorption of magnesium and has a beneficial effect on magnesium deficiency;
  • Prevention of arteriosclerosis and high levels of homocysteine, as the low levels of P-5-P, are directly associated with the high levels of homocysteine;
  • The enzymes that control the metabolism of sphingolipids, a class of lipids involved in the construction of cell walls, are dependency on it;
  • An indirect effect on gluconeogenesis, a metabolic process, which produces glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. The importance of P-5-P is connected with its effect on the transaminase and its effect on the enzyme glycogen phosphorylase, which is needed for the gluconeogenesis;
  • It demonstrates favorable results in carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, rheumatism, bursitis, and edema;
  • It demonstrates positive results in the prevention of the progression of the neuropathy induced by diabetes. In other studies, vitamin B6, in the form of pyridoxamine, does not show the same effects. It is necessary to note that there have been used extremely high doses of P-5-P for 16 weeks and there have been no marked side effects. A study by the same authors and object, which will use lower doses (300 mg daily), awaits;
  • A positive effect in combination with magnesium in autism and other deviations in children. In autistic children, there is an observed functional improvement and regression with high doses in the range of 250-500 mg daily. The ratio of the improved condition and the worsened condition while taking on P-5-P e near 10:1, which confirms the thesis of the pioneer in that autism study, Dr. Bernard Rimland, for the need for vitamin B6, and rather its coenzyme form. Pyridoxine hydrochloride has never demonstrated similar results.

Conclusion

Despite the disputes concerning the absorption of pyridoxal-5-phosphate, the data on the positive effects of the coenzyme form is more than demonstrative; it shows qualities that are lacking in the two other popular forms - pyridoxine and pyridoxamine.

It is certain that in some cases P-5-P would be the more appropriate choice, while in others it will not matter whether the coenzyme form of the ordinary, economical and accessible pyridoxine hydrochloride, are taken.

If the goal is prevention and needs for increased doses as a result of training activity, the cheapest form of vitamin B6 will suffice.

On the other hand, if vitamin B6 should be used for specific needs or medical conditions that require high doses, then the qualities of P-5-P are undoubtedly incomparable, and it will be the appropriate choice.

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