Pyridoxal-phosphate goes by a lot of names: P5P, PLP, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate. But you may also better know it for its association with Vitamin B-6; P5P is actually the active form of vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 does a lot of heavy lifting in the body: its various functions include support for muscle development and maintenance, neurotransmitter functions, and energy metabolism.”
P5P also works as a coenzyme that supports a range of biochemical reactions in the body, and supports the synthesis of many substances in the body.”
P5P and Vitamin B6
There’s a lot going on with P5P at the cellular level, but the potential benefits of P5P are wide-reaching. It’s no understatement to say that P5P is an essential part of the body functioning.
You may know, for example, that all B vitamins are crucial in supporting the body’s ability to convert food to energy. B vitamins are also involved in the metabolism process and supports healthy-looking skin, eyes, hair, and supports liver function. They also help the nervous system function properly.”
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin B6 specifically “helps the body make several neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another. It is needed for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin, which helps regulate the body clock.”
Just a few of its functions include: “amino acid metabolism, heme biosynthesis, neurotransmitter biosynthesis, collagen formation and glucocorticoid action.” If that isn’t enough, it also works on balancing sodium and potassium and regulating the nervous, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems.
P5P also helps release stored energy from your muscles and liver and helps to produce antibodies and red blood cells.
Research on P5P Benefits
P5P benefits have been verified by scientists and doctors alike. The Mayo Clinic found that, under the care of a medical professional, P5P supplements were useful in treating sideroblastic anemia, which is a condition wherein the body does not produce enough red blood cells. The Mayo Clinic also concluded that when P5P deficiency occurs because of diet, disease, or drugs, P5P supplements can be effective in raising the body’s levels.
Additionally, the Mayo Clinic has stated that while they still need to conduct further research on the topic, there is “some evidence that taking pyridoxine by mouth may improve PMS symptoms, such as breast pain, depression, or anxiety in some women.”
P5P and Movement Disorders
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a study that examined the effects of P5P on patients suffering from tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements like twitching or blinking) as a result of taking antipsychotic medications. The study concluded that patients who took P5P as part of the study experienced a 40% decrease in symptoms. In other words, taking P5P resulted in a “less severe tardive dyskinesia.”
P5P and Cardiovascular Health
According to John Ellis’ book, “Vitamin B6: Nature’s Versatile Healer,” P5P may have “the capacity to lower your body’s levels of homocysteine.” An elevated level of homocysteine is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but P5P may help reduce levels of it in the body.
Foods to Eat
Vitamin B6 is found easily in many foods. Just some of the foods you can add to your diet to increase the amount of B6 (and therefore, P5P) you are eating include proteins like chicken, turkey, tuna, lentils, and beans; dairy products like milk and cheese; grains such as brown rice, bran, and wheat germ; and vegetables like spinach and carrots.
P5P is also available to take as a supplement. It is frequently found as part of multi-vitamins or on its own. The Natural Healthy Concepts store has a wide variety of P5P supplements, ranging from capsules and tablets to dissolvable powders.
Do you take B6 supplements to support a healthy diet? What difference does it make?