Vitamin B6 is really a group of three vitamin substances. They are pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. One form of pyridoxal, called PLP is an important coenzyme in your metabolism. PLP working with enzymes is involved with about 100 chemical reactions in humans as explained by Jane Higdon, Ph.D. of the Linus Pauling Institute. You can’t make vitamin B6 in your body, so you must obtain it from food or supplements. Magnesium is one of the six macrominerals that are required in greater than trace amounts. It is not only used by your body in it’s metabolism, it is a part of your body in bones, muscles and cells. Folic acid is also referred to as folate. It is another of the B-complex vitamins. Folates are the forms found in foods and folic acid is the form used in supplements and to fortify foods. This vitamin is required for the metabolism of some important amino acids and vital for the synthesis of DNA.
Cereals and Grains
Cereals and grains are a source of folates, magnesium and vitamin B6. Whole grains are always the best source for their natural vitamins and minerals. Since 1998, refined grain products have been fortified with folic acid. Fortifying or enriching grain products has greatly reduced the number of neural tube birth defects in babies. For this reason, folic acid should be used in supplement form by pregnant women to assure enough of this vitamin.
Liver and Meats
Meat, especially organ meats like liver, are good sources of both vitamin B6 and folates. Liver is not a popular food, but according to NutritionData, it does supply every one of the B-complex vitamins and is high in other nutrients as well. It provides many of the nine trace elements and supplies iron in a form that is more easily assimilated by your body than plant forms. Fish and seafood have magnesium and vitamin B6.
Vegetables and Fruits
Fresh leafy green vegetables contain folates and magnesium. Combined with a B6 rich whole grain, this will supply all three of these nutrients and many more. A green salad with a whole wheat roll makes a good diet lunch. Try to vary the greens in your salad to get even more vitamin variety. Dark greens are richer in vitamins and minerals. Add a glass of a magnesium rich mineral water to get a boost of this essential element. A desert of fresh fruit can add even more folates.
- Jane Higdon, Ph.D.; Linus Pauling Institute Oregon State University February, 2002; Updated by Drake Ph.D. and reviewed by McCormick, Ph.D.; November 2007
- Self NutritionData
- “The Merck Manual” Seventeenth Edition; Editors Beers, MD and Berkow, MD;1999