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Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate)

Dr. Robert Pastore
Last updated on
Fact Checked by Dr. Robert Pastore
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate)

What is this known for?

Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate is known for being the active form of Vitamin B6 and being an important coenzyme in the body. It's a necessary cofactor in the formation of various important neurotransmitters and also supports sleep/wake cycles.

Why are we using it in Power On?

Function #1: P5P participates in the formation of neurotransmitters

P5P is a critical coenzyme and an essential cofactor in the formation of several neurotransmitters (such as serotonin, melatonin, acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine). These neurotransmitters are all involved with the arousal/sedation states, and thus help support both the sleep/wake cycles (hence why P5P is both in On/Off).

Yarlagadda A, Clayton AH. Blood Brain Barrier: The Role of Pyridoxine. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2007;4(8):58-60.

Function #2: P5P increases dopamine synthesis

The enzyme that converts into dopamine (L-DOPA) is P5P reliant – it is thought that more P5P increases the activity of the enzyme in the hypothalamus, thus helping in the synthesis of dopamine. Adversely, a deficiency in P5P inhibits L-DOPA activity. This is important as dopamine is a neurotransmitter well-known for its role in cognition and focus.

Allen G, Neergheen V, Oppenheim M et al. Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate deficiency causes a loss of aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase in patients and human neuroblastoma cells, implications for aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase and vitamin B6 deficiency states. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2010:no-no. doi:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06742.x.

Mappouras D, Stiakakis J, Fragoulis E. Purification and characterization of L-DOPA decarboxylase from human kidney. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. 1990;94(2):147-156. doi:10.1007/bf00214121.

Function #3: Vitamin B6 helps regulate and synthesize GABA & Serotonin

Even a mild deficiency in Vitamin B6 may result in a down-regulation of GABA and serotonin synthesis. This deficiency would result in GABA activity disruption, leading to obstructed sleep as GABA is the central nervous system’s chief inhibitor neurotransmitter. Vitamin B6 supplementing can assist with preventing this.

Kennedy DO. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. Nutrients. 2016;8(2):68. doi:10.3390/nu8020068.

Why this form?

We use the biological form of this because it allows us to use a small dose and prevents any potential polymorphisms an individual may have in converting Vitamin B6 to its biological form P5P. This prevents the work of the body and allows the nutrient to immediately start doing its job.

Can be found in:

Beef liver, potato, salmon, tuna, turkey, avocado, chicken, spinach, banana, and chickpeas