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Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in pregnancy and breastfeeding 

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Chapter:
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Author(s):

Sir Peter Gluckman

, Mark Hanson

, Chong Yap Seng

, and Anne Bardsley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198722700.003.0010
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date: 17 August 2019

Vitamin B6 is required for the activity of a large number of enzymes with varied essential functions. Along with other B vitamins, it is involved in the metabolism of homocysteine to cysteine; if this reaction is disrupted, blood homocysteine levels rise, along with increased risks for cardiovascular disease, neuropsychiatric problems, and other adverse effects. Elevated homocysteine in pregnancy it is associated with anaemia, pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, and low birthweight. Vitamin B6 deficiency can also affect fetal brain development, as well as weight gain and linear growth in infancy. Although vitamin B6 is widely available in foods, mild to moderate deficiency is still common, even in developed countries. A #amp;#x2018;Mediterranean-style#amp;#x2019; diet is recommended to supply sufficient amounts of vitamin B6. In individuals with an adequate and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, supplementation is generally unnecessary.

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