What Are the Health Benefits of P5P?

Pyridoxal-phosphate, otherwise known as PLP, pyridoxal-5'-phosphate or P5P, is the active or coenzyme form of vitamin B-6. P5P contains three natural organic compounds -- pyridoxal, pyridoxamine and pyridoxine. Your body requires P5P for various functions including muscle growth and repair, neurotransmitter functions and energy metabolism. As a coenzyme, P5P also participates in many chemical reactions and catalyzes the conversion of many substances in your body. Manufacturers produce P5P supplements that purport to have several health benefits. You should, however, speak to a medical professional prior to consuming any P5P supplement.

A man is having a consultation with his doctor. Credit: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Functions of P5P

In your body, P5P plays a fundamental role in amino acid metabolism, heme biosynthesis, neurotransmitter biosynthesis, collagen formation and glucocorticoid action. Additionally, P5P helps to balance your sodium and potassium levels by regulating the electrical functioning of your nerves, heart and musculoskeletal system. Alone and together with other enzymes, P5P helps your body to build and break down amino acids and to change amino acids from one to another. Further, P5P facilitates the release of stored energy from your liver and muscles and facilitates the production of antibodies and red blood cells.

P5P and Cardiovascular Risk

According to "Vitamin B6 Therapy: Nature's Versatile Healer," written by John Ellis, P5P has the capacity to lower your body's levels of homocysteine. In your body, the amino acid homocysteine is not obtained from diet, but from another amino acid called "methionine." Homocysteine is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and P5P can reduce methionine levels in your body, resulting in lower production of homocysteine. Additionally, P5P can help protect your body from coronary heart disease, hypertension and cerebral vascular disease.

P5P and Cancer

According to "Cecil Medicine: Expert Consult," P5P deficiencies may contribute to pancreatic and cervical cancers. In many cases, women with cervical cancer present with a deficiency of vitamin B-6. Regarding pancreatic cancer, a study published in the "Journal of the National Cancer Institute" concluded that 26 percent of the pancreatic cancer cases studied may have been preventable with P5P supplementation prior to contracting the pancreatic cancer. Researchers have not published newer data involving these findings.

Dosage and Other Uses of P5P

According to "Vitamin B6 Therapy: Nature's Versatile Healer," P5P may help relieve symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, premenstrual syndrome, autism and certain types of anemia. The recommended dose of P5P varies based on the specific deficiency or medical condition you want to treat from 2.5 mg to 50 mg daily. You should, however, speak with a medical professional prior to taking any health supplement -- including P5P.

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