Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, performs more than 100 jobs many times a day. It functions primarily as a coenzyme, a substance that acts with enzymes to speed up chemical reactions in the cells. B6 forms red blood cells, helps cells make proteins, releases stored forms of energy, and manufactures brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin.
There is evidence that vitamin B6 plays a role in preventing and treating may ailments, including heart disease, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), epileptic seizures, depression and nerve inflammation. Mild deficiencies of B6 can raise homocysteine levels, increasing the risk of heart and vascular diseases.
Symptoms of severe deficiency, which is rare, are skin disorders, such as dermatitis sores around the mouth and acne. Be cautious when using this vitamin because long-term use of high doses may cause nerve damage.