Vitamin B6 wasn’t considered a vital nutrient for a long time, but researchers finally discovered a host of benefits that this little vitamin is responsible for. It’s also one of the most common nutrient deficiencies, meaning a B6 deficiency is more common than any other vitamin deficiency.
One particular disorder that B6 can control after onset is the numbness, pain, weakness and tingling in the hands caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Long term deficiency is directly related to carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome, as you know, is a caused by a build up of fluid in the carpal tunnel and puts pressure on the nerve causing it to compress. Many suffers of this disability undergo surgery with limited improvements, but researchers have conducted studies and discovered that except for extreme cases, vitamin B6 can greatly help or even reverse the effects of this disorder.
Other vitamin deficiencies are commonly linked to certain diseases and disorders. Vitamin C deficiency is directly related to scurvy, niacin deficiency is the cause for pellagra, and lack of thiamine causes beriberi. For many years B6 wasn’t related to any disease until it was discovered that a deficiency is the underlying cause for carpal tunnel syndrome.
The RDA for vitamin B6 is only 2 milligrams per day, but researchers believe that’s way too low and should be raised to about 35 milligrams per day. They also suggest that supplements are absolutely necessary and that it’s virtually impossible to get too much by supplementing, unless you take a whole bottle at one time.
Have you ever heard of Chinese restaurant syndrome? Many people have ill-effects within 20 minutes of eating Chinese food because of the MSG (monosodium glutamate) added to Chinese food. Researchers conclude the majority of those reactions are due to a B6 deficiency.
If you avoid Chinese food due to getting a headache or feverish flushing after consumption of MSG laden foods, then it’s highly likely you’re deficient in B6. It may take years of deficiency for carpal tunnel syndrome to develop and indicate a lack of the nutrient, but a dose of MSG can tell you within minutes if you’re deficient and should be checked by a doctor.
B6 has a host of other benefits too. It can prevent the formation of kidney stones and has proven to be effective in treating people who suffer kidney stones regularly.
It boosts the immune system and studies suggest it may help cancer from recurring as it often does after treatment.
B6 requirements may be small compared to other nutritional requirements, but this little vitamin packs a wallop when it’s at its optimal levels.