Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate (P5P) is the active form of vitamin B-6 that acts as a coenzyme for synthesis of amino acids, sphingolipids, aminolevulinic acid, and neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. During transamination of amino acids, pyridoxal phosphate is transiently converted into pyridoxamine phosphate or Pyridoxamine.
Vitamin B-6 can be used as a dietary supplement in cases of deficiency. Reduced levels of P5P in the brain can cause neurological dysfunction.
Symptoms observed in severe vitamin B-6 deficiency include irritability, depression, and confusion.
Other symptoms include inflammation of the tongue, sores or ulcers of the mouth, and ulcers of the skin at the corners of the mouth.
What about the aging process of the human body? Can Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate help slow it down?
Slowing The Aging Process With Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate
The aging process is associated with glycation also known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
AGE's contribute to the formation of cataracts, atherosclerosis, kidney failure, wrinkling of the skin and in the development of various diseases.
AGE's are molecules that form when sugar molecules bind to proteins and lipids in the body. They also occur in the food that we eat, particularly when foods are cooked at higher temperatures.
Inflammation, a reaction designed to fight natural aggressions, itself causes tissue damage and, ultimately, signs of aging.
One way to reduce AGE's and inflammation in the body is by consuming specific nutrients, which include:
- Pyridoxal 5 phosphate (vitamin B-6)
- Benfotiamine (vitamin B-1)
Pyridoxal 5 phosphate has proven to help prevent the formation of new AGE's and binds with existing ones to help eliminate them from the body.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published a studied of 267 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and 475 free from coronary atherosclerosis (CAD-free), found that higher levels of Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate were correlated with lower levels of two indicators of systemic inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen.
The Journal of Nutrition published a study that included 2,229 adults enrolled in the Framingham Offspring study. Researchers compared blood levels of vitamin B-6 and 13 different indicators of inflammation.
Results of the study showed that people with the highest overall inflammation score based on the 13 different indicators had the lowest blood levels of vitamin B-6.
People with impaired liver function, celiac’s disease, older adults, and children with autism have shown to have low rates of conversion from the inactive to the active form (Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate) of vitamin B-6.
By consuming vitamin B-6 supplement in the active Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate form, conversion is no longer necessary, and the full benefits are available immediately after absorption.
Foods That Contain Vitamin B-6
- Dark Chocolate
- Collagen Protein
- Chaga Mushrooms
- Bone Broth
- Sweet Potatos
- Sunflower Seeds
Causes of Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate Deficiency
There can be numerous causes of Vitamin B-6 or P-5-P deficiency. Among others, these include:
- Contraceptives (birth control medications) - Cohort studies have found that the use of oral contraceptives are associated with B-6 deficiency
- Hydralazine - anti-hypertensive drug
- Hydrazide - herbacide often found in cigarettes depletes P-5-P
- Tartrazine - chemical known as "yellow No. 5" often added to processed foods and soda pop
- Pyrrole Disorder - genetic susceptibilities, increased oxidative stress or chronic infections
Testing For B-6 Deficiency
The metabolic enzymes ALT (alanine aminotrasferase) and AST (asparatate amino transferase) are vitamin B-6 dependent. Decreases in both ALT and AST metabolic enzymes is a good indicator of a vitamin B-6 deficiency.
A routine blood test with values less than 12 are good indicators of a B-6 deficiency.
Relationship With Other Nutrients
The B-vitamins work together in the body. Synergistically, they help with carbohydrate metabolism, and the nerves system. Deficiency of one can affect the whole process in keeping your body healthy and working efficiently.
Vitamin B-6 works synergistically with folate, vitamin B-12, and uses magnesium as a mineral co-factor.