When looking to balance your hormones, it’s important to consume enough foods that properly nourish your body, especially those high in vitamin B.
And Vitamin B6 is actually one of the most important in the set of B vitamins, as it helps regulate your hormones.
Being deficient in B6 can cause irregular menstrual cycles, a progesterone imbalance, as well as poor egg and sperm development. B6 can also help lengthen the luteal phase of your cycle and regulate blood sugar levels.
How much do you need?
Recommended daily amounts for total vitamin B is between 100 and 200mg’s per day. At one point I actually started charting my daily meals on SparkPeople.com and realized that even my intake on a whole foods diet was falling quite short of 100mg’s. I just wasn’t eating enough of the right foods. The RDA for B6 is about 1.9 mg for women and 1.3mg for men with the upper limit of intake at about 100mgs per day.
To boost your intake with food, include more
- whole grains, properly soaked
- legumes (beans, lentils, etc), properly soaked
- grassfed meat,
- wild caught fish,
The B vitamins are also water soluble, meaning that you eliminate what you don’t use and they are not stored in the body long term like the fat soluble vitamins.
It’s also important to consume foods as close to their natural state as up to 90% of vitamin B6 can be lost during the processing from whole to ‘processed’. Eating a varied diet is also very important since different foods contain different nutrients, this way you guarantee to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Supplements can also be a good idea, and most women who are actively trying to conceive should be on a great whole foods/raw pre-natal vitamin already. But the amount of B6 in them are not enough to help boost your body’s stores of the nutrient, sometimes only giving you a few milligrams a day.
The FDA recommended amount of vitamin B6 in a multi-vitamin is only 2.5 mg’s.And it’s hard to know how much to supplement with since the RDAs are based only on how much of a nutrient is needed to prevent certain health issues. So looking at the RDA of B6 for instance, you’d want to make sure you got at least 1.9mgs with diet and supplementation.
Personally, I’ve taken a B complex vitamin (B vitamins should be taken together for better absorption) along with a pre-natal vitamin when I need to. I’ve found recommendations to start supplementing with an additional 25-50 mg’sof vitamin B complex per day and increase it after a couple of months if you’re still having problems.
(taking to much of any specific nutrient long term can also cause an imbalance of your overall nutrient stores as well, so be sure to talk to your health care provider)
Many things in our diet and lifestyle also use up the vitamin B you consume:
- Drinking caffeinated beverages
- Taking chemical hormones, (i.e. The Pill)
- Eating to much protein
- Eating white flour and refined bread products
- Eating to much sugar, and you may think you don’t eat many sweets, but simple sugars are in most processed foods!
So by reducing the ways that cause our bodies to use up the vitamin B we’ve been able to get throughout the day while we also increase the right foods in our diet we can give our bodies what they need to help support hormone balance.
And while increasing your daily intake of Vitamin B, please note that it could take at least a couple of months to really notice a difference as it can take some time to balance the hormones.
****2013 update – I currently recommend taking a methyl B vitamin and tend to stay away from any type of folic acid (should be folate instead). I take a sublingual folate/B12 after finding out I also have a mutated copy of my C677T gene (known as MTHFR). The one I take is available on amazon.