Vitamin B6 and Fertility

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Vitamins, minerals and other substances found in the foods we eat serve a host of important functions in the body.  As for infertility, whether it affects men or women, inadequate intake of nutrients could end up in difficulty conceiving a child.  There are a lot couples out there who are left with no success in getting pregnant.  If you are one among them, you may check on your vitamin B6 intake.  B6 is a water soluble vitamin that is found in a variety of foods.  We are all aware of the importance of adequate nutrients in order to keep the body healthy.  Vitamin B6 is one of those important nutrients that influences fertility in more ways than one.  Increasing intake of food rich in vitamin B6 or taking supplements will improve the prospects of pregnancy.  Studies have shown that vitamin B6 plays a pivotal role in fertility.

Vitamin B6 and menstrual cycle:

Menstrual cycle consists of two phases – the follicular phase and the luteal phase.  The luteal phase sets in after ovulation, when the body is ready for implantation of a fertilized egg.  If this phase does not hold out long enough, the egg cannot implant, leading to breaking down of the uterine lining, resulting in an early miscarriage.  This problem is triggered by inadequate levels of hormone involved in this process.  However, vitamin B6 can raise the levels of progesterone, a key hormone in making the body ready for pregnancy.

Vitamin B6 and homocysteine:

Adequate amounts of vitamin B6, along with vitamin B12 and folate, keep levels of homocysteine low.  Homocysteine is a hormone and at higher levels it can cause heart disease.  Researchers observed that excess levels of homocysteine in sperm are associated with poorer-quality embryos and lower chances for successful conception.

Vitamin B6-rich foods and fertility outcomes:

Having a vitamin B6-diet enhances the chances of getting pregnant.  Vegetable oils like olive oil, vegetables, fish, and legumes contain rich quantities of vitamin B6.  Adequate dietary intake of vitamin B6 boosts the presence of vitamin B6 in the blood and follicular fluid.  It has been found out that Mediterranean diet is rich in vitamin B6, so couples who prefer Mediterranean diet are more likely to get pregnant. 

Vitamin B6 deficiency on fertility:

Vitamins help in the growth, repair, and protection of the entire physical and physiological functioning.  Among the vitamins, vitamin B6 ability in aiding fertility is proven beyond doubt.  In the unlikely event, if your body lacks this cardinal vitamin, you are likely to suffer from the following maladies:

Vitamin B6 plays a significant role in keeping the balance of different hormones in our body; as a result deficiency of vitamin B6 will lead to hormonal imbalance, especially an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone – two hormones that are vital for fertility.

Another problem with vitamin B6 deficiency is an irregular menstrual cycle owing to the imbalance of hormone.

Medical studies have shown that people who have vitamin B6 deficiency are also likely to suffer from bloating due to excess retention of water in their bodies.

Lack of vitamin B6 may also trigger psychological issues such as mood swings.  This again is attributed to hormonal imbalance.

Vitamin B6 deficiency also results in poor sperm and affects female egg quality, making the hormone essential for both men and women.

Role of vitamin B6 in boosting fertility:

Let’s look into vitamin B6’s role in boosting fertility.

  1. Balances estrogen and Progesterone: Consuming foods rich in vitamin B6 keeps adequate level of hormones estrogen and progesterone, reproduction largely depend on these two hormones.
  1. Increases cervical mucus: In order for the sperm to reach the egg, an easy transportation is needed, cervical mucus does just that.  Vitamin B6 helps in the production of cervical mucus.
  1. Strengthens the luteal phase: Luteal phase of the menstrual cycle is known to get strengthened by vitamin B6.  It makes your uterus more receptive to the factors of pregnancy.  Having adequate amounts of vitamin B6 in your body helps in the production of hormones that make the uterine lining stronger and increases the levels of progesterone, thereby increasing the chances of conception.
  1. Restores libido: It has been proven that vitamin B6 can increase or restore libido, thus increasing the sex drive.  This is due to the presence of the hormone progesterone.

Sources of vitamin B6:

Vitamin B6 can be found in a wide variety of foods.  The following are some of the foods from which you can have your daily source of vitamin B6:

  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Wheat germ
  • Soya bean
  • Walnuts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Bananas
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Potatoes

If you are wondering how much vitamin B6 should be taken to boost the chances of conception, then here’s the answer.  However, fertility dosage of vitamin B6 varies for men and women.  From your diet you are likely to get the required amount of vitamin B6.  Make sure your diet is nutritious and healthy.  Men should get 1.4mg of vitamin B6 and women should get 1.4mg.  If you are taking vitamin B6 via supplements, the dose is the same that of the dietary intake.

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