After magnesium, vitamin B6 is probably the most important nutrient that people with migraines can take. B6 is necessary for the production of serotonin, which is typically low among migraine sufferers. In addition, B6 is needed so your body can use dopamine, norepinephrine and GABA. Low B6 causes homocysteine levels to rise which contributes to increased migraine frequency and severity.
Our bodies need to convert B6 into pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (P5P) in order to use it. Some people cannot convert B6 into P5P and so taking B6 does not help their migraines. P5P is the bio-active form of vitamin B6 and is what Leaning Tree Naturals uses in all of our supplements because it is already in a form that everyone can use.
The B vitamins are water soluble and are not stored in your body, so they need to be constantly replenished. Many substances can prevent B6 from being absorbed, including alcohol, coffee, birth control pills food coloring, and more. In addition, the B vitamins are delicate and easily destroyed by microwaving, freezing, canning, and heat.
In a future post I will talk about the importance of vitamin B12 for people with migraines.