Devoid of vitamin B6, your testosterone and dopamine levels plummet, dragging down your Alpha status. You’re left grappling with anxiety, struggling to glimpse the brighter side of life.
Sleepless nights, stress sensitivity, and soaring prolactin levels may follow suit. It’s a scenario no man desires!
Allow me to unveil the transformative potential of vitamin B6 in your journey to become an Alpha Energy Male.
Hans here! I increased my testosterone to 1254ng/dl and have been maintaining high T naturally. I’ve turned myself into an Alpha Energy Male.
An Alpha Energy Male with high energy, fast recovery, high sex drive, and confidence.
This is why I research obsessively, experiment and write, and have been doing so for the past decade.
Hope you enjoy and join me on this journey.
Why do we want to be an alpha energy male?
Being an alpha energy male is synonymous with possessing both high testosterone levels and abundant energy. Consequently, the question arises: what exactly is the significance of having elevated testosterone and energy levels?
Because high T and energy make us feel incredible and powerups our motivation, drive, confidence, and sexual function.
A life without high T and energy isn’t a life worth living.
Get to know vitamin B6 real quick!
Vitamin B6 is found in plant and animal sources. Plants contain mostly pyridoxine and animals contain mostly pyridoxal and pyridoxamine.
The bioavailability of vitamin B6 from animal products is quite high, reaching 100% for many foods (R). The presence of fiber reduces the bioavailability by 5-10% whereas the presence of pyridoxine glucoside reduces the bioavailability by 75-80%. This glucoside is found in a variety of plant foods, with the highest content occurring in the crucifers (R).
Pyridoxine and pyridoxamine need to be converted to pyridoxal, so that it can be activated to pyridoxal phosphate.
Pyridoxal 5 phosphate (PLP) is the active form of vitamin B6 and performs all of its important functions.
The conversion of pyridoxine to PLP is 5-10:1 and sometimes close to zero. Meaning you need 5-10mg pyridoxine to create 1mg PLP.
The enzyme that activates B6 requires vitamin B2 as a cofactor. So someone can actually have a PLP deficiency, even while supplementing large doses of pyridoxine.
Here are a few of PLPs’ functions:
PLP is crucial for energy production and functions as an enzyme cofactor and/or regulator for >140 enzyme-catalyzed reactions (that we know of).
It plays a role in glucose, amino acid and fat metabolism, assists in heme synthesis, creates NAD+ and increases glutathione.
Other benefits of vitamin B6 we’ll be covering
- Why do we want to be an alpha energy male?
- Get to know vitamin B6 real quick!
- Optimize Your Testosterone Levels with vitamin B6
- Vitamin B6 doesn’t actually bring down DHT levels
- The Impact of Vitamin B6 on Estrogen Levels and Receptors
- Supercharge your thyroid hormones with vitamin B6
- Discover the Stress-Reducing Effects of Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B6 and its impact on dopamine, other mood-boosting brain chemicals!
- Boost Your erections and sexual performance with vitamin B6
- Vitamin B6 on lowering prolactin levels
- Additional benefits of vitamin B6
- Best vitamin B6 sources
Optimize Your Testosterone Levels with vitamin B6
Testosterone levels are significantly lower if someone has a vitamin B6 deficiency (R).
Vitamin B6 is crucial for testosterone optimization.— Hans Amato || testosterone optimization (@HansAmato) August 4, 2023
Low B6 can dramatically lower testosterone production without lowering LH.
Best sources of B6? Animal foods (meat, organ meat, shellfish, etc.). pic.twitter.com/3GLLjQqRYE
With adequate B6, androgen clearance is reduced and the recycling of receptors from the nucleus back into the cytosol after initial translocation is increased. This means that testosterone and DHT can bind for longer to the androgen receptor and express their action better.
Vitamin B6 doesn’t actually bring down DHT levels
Only 2 in vitro studies show that B6 might inhibit 5AR.
The first in vitro study showed that a specific form of B6 can inhibit 5AR.
“Pyridoxine hydrochloride significantly increased the activity of 5 alpha-R, 3 alpha- and 17 beta-HSD, but pyridoxal hydrochloride had an inhibitory influence on 5 alpha-R and showed no effect on 3 alpha-HSD activity at the prostate level. Male rat anterior pituitary, basal hypothalamus or amygdala incubated with pyridoxal phosphate and pyridoxal hydrochloride showed modified enzymatic activities. Pyridoxal hydrochloride showed an inhibitory effect on 5 alpha-R in the rat pituitary and basal hypothalamus as well as in the rat prostate.” (R)
The only form that inhibited 5AR is pyridoxal hydrochloride, not pyridoxine or pyridoxal phosphate (P5P).
The next in vitro study (in skin cells) looked at the effect of vitamin B6 (specifically pyridoxine) on 5AR. As a side note, the skin has a lot of 5AR compared to other tissue.“vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) had no effect on 5a-reductase activity when added alone or together with azelaic acid.” (R)
As you can see, conflicting results. In the first study, pyridoxine promoted 5AR, whereas, in the 2nd study, it has no effect. It could be because, in the 1st study, they used pituitary, hypothalamic, amygdala and prostate cells whereas, in the 2nd study, they used skin cells.
1) Pyridoxal hydrochloride inhibited 5AR in the pituitary, hypothalamus, amygdala and prostate, whereas 2) pyridoxine boosted 5AR and 3) pyridoxal phosphate had no major effect.
The 2 main forms that you can buy are pyridoxine hydrochloride and pyridoxal phosphate, so even if pyridoxal hydrochloride inhibited 5AR, you can’t buy it anyway.
Don’t be fooled that DHT is bad for you, I’ve done many articles showing that DHT is actually good for you:
- Testosterone (and DHT) on prostate cancer: we’ve been LIED to!
- Why DHT doesn’t cause hair loss
- Toxic DHT: can DHT ever be too high
- The truth on DHT: what the research shows
There are actually 4 ways how vitamin B6 can increase DHT.
Vitamin B6 can increase DHT by:
- Promoting thyroid function
- Lowering inflammation
- Lowering prolactin
- Increasing NADPH
Read more on vitamin B6 and DHT here.
The Impact of Vitamin B6 on Estrogen Levels and Receptors
Vitamin B6 can help to lower excess estrogen through 3 main mechanisms.
- Increasing the SAM/SAH ratio (methylation cycle)
- Inhibit fatty acid synthesis
- Desensitizing the estrogen receptor actions
#1 Vitamin B6 helps promote the methylation cycle to increase the SAM/SAH ratio. More SAM can be used as a cofactor for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). COMT increases the breakdown and detoxification of estrogen.
#2 Vitamin B6 inhibits the synthesis of new fats, by inhibiting the fatty acid synthase (FAS) complex (R). FAS works in synergy with estrogen to promote its actions and inhibiting FAS drastically reduces the actions of estradiol (R).
#3 When a hormone binds to a receptor, it activates transcription to exert its effects. High concentrations of vitamin B6 suppress the activation of transcription, while vitamin deficiency enhances responsiveness to estradiol (R).
Supercharge your thyroid hormones with vitamin B6
Of the many nutrients required for proper thyroid function, B6 is one of them. Low levels of vitamin B6 reduce thyroid hormone production (R). Interestingly, as you’ll see in this graph, although serum TSH is low, pituitary TSH is very high. This elevated TSH often goes in conjunction with high prolactin. This is also why you don’t want to only look at TSH on a blood test, but also at T4 and T3.
Low thyroid hormones lead to all kinds of issues such as low testosterone, low DHT, excess fat gain, constipation, dry and brittle hair, nails and skin, sluggish digestion, low energy, brain fog, low IQ, and much more.
Discover the Stress-Reducing Effects of Vitamin B6
Being in a high stress state isn’t normal. You don’t have to rely on Ashwagnahda, magnesium, theanine or lemon balm to be calm. Low vitamin B6 (and other nutritional deficiencies) are likely the cause of high stress hormones and poor stress tolerance.
Cortisol in the blood enters target tissues by passively diffusing across the cell membrane. Once inside the cell, steroids bind reversibly to cytosolic receptor proteins to form steroid-receptor complexes.
This complex then undergoes activation. After activation, the steroid receptor complex associates tightly with the nucleus where it modifies DNA transcription.
The activity of the cortisol receptor was enhanced by vitamin B6 deficiency (R). So even if you have normal cortisol levels, you might still be hyperresponsive to it due to overactivation of the cortisol receptor.
Noradrenaline and adrenaline (catecholamines) involved in stress
Excess catecholamines can contribute to:
- Noise sensitivity
- Feeling overwhelmed by your surroundings
- Poor sleep (taking a long time to fall asleep and not getting into proper deep sleep)
- Poor stress tolerance and over-responding to stress
- Feeling awkward in social settings (too afraid to speak your mind)
- Premature ejaculation
Do you feel easily stressed or always on edge? Is caffeine a no-go as it pushes you over the edge quickly?— Hans Amato || testosterone optimization (@HansAmato) August 10, 2023
You might be deficient in vitamin B6.
Low B6 can lead to significantly elevated noradrenaline and adrenaline, which causes anxiety and stress. pic.twitter.com/pqGtyrJNIH
The reason for this increase in noradrenaline is due to significantly reduced levels of the autoreceptor, alpha 2 adrenoreceptors (R). When something (e.g. noradrenaline, clonidine, Kratom, polygala, etc.) binds to the alpha 2 adrenoreceptors, it reduces noradrenaline and adrenaline production and release.
This means that low vitamin B6 reduces the expression of the alpha 2 adrenoreceptors, which leads sky high catecholamines, and enhances stress sensitivity.
Vitamin B6 and its impact on dopamine, other mood-boosting brain chemicals!
Vitamin B6 increases the production of multiple neurotransmitters such as GABA, dopamine, serotonin, etc. Basically, low mood can be caused by low vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin and GABA.— Hans Amato || testosterone optimization (@HansAmato) August 10, 2023
Low B6 can this lead to anxiety and poor mood due to low neurotransmitters. pic.twitter.com/du2gwJVTZy
Vitamin B6 helps with the synthesis because it helps to create BH4.
BH4 is a cofactor for phenylalanine and tyrosine hydroxylase. Phenylalanine (an amino acid) is converted to tyrosine, by phenylalanine hydroxylase. And tyrosine to L-dopa, by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). TH is the rate-limited enzyme in dopamine synthesis.
Once L-dopa is created, it needs to be converted to dopamine by dopa decarboxylase, which requires vitamin B6.
So as you can see, vitamin B6 is crucial for dopamine synthesis.
Taking vitamin B6 in a bright environment (preferably sunlight) will further help to maximize dopamine production (especially when combined with phenylalanine or tyrosine).
Noradrenaline is created and released from the locus coeruleus in the brain as well as the adrenal glands. Brain noradrenaline is involved in motivation, drive, libido, focus, etc. Noradrenaline released from the adrenal glands is involved in energy production, but too much can contribute to hypertension, cold hands and feet, stress intolerance and so on.
Interestingly, low vitamin B6 leads to high levels of noradrenaline and adrenaline release from the adrenal glands, but low levels in the hypothalamus.
This could cause feelings of anxiety, fear, stress intolerance and low libido, poor motivation and brain fog at the same time.
Vitamin B6 can help to restore this. Increase brain noradrenaline to boost focus, libido, motivation and drive, while lowering adrenal noradrenaline to reduce anxiety, fear, cold hands and feet, etc.
GABA is a chemical messenger and inhibitory neurotransmitter found in the brain. It helps calm the nervous system by blocking certain impulses between nerve cells, immediately slowing down brain activity. This, in turn, has a calming effect that can help relieve stress, anxiety, and fear.
Vitamin B6 is a cofactor in the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) that converts excitatory glutamate into inhibitory GABA.
As you can see in the graph below, someone with a vitamin B6 deficiency will have higher glutamate and low GABA and a high glutamate-to-GABA ratio. This can predispose you to anxiety, overstimulation, struggle to sleep, etc.
Tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP by tryptophan hydroxylase using BH4 (which vitamin B6 can increase). 5-HTP is then converted to serotonin by the vitamin B6-dependent enzyme aromatic-L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC).
3mg/kg intravenous vitamin B6 massively increased melatonin in children (R).
However, supplementing 100mg of pyridoxine in men didn’t increase melatonin (R). Perhaps it could be because vitamin B6 had to build up in the body first.
Vitamin B6 is still very important for sleep as PLP (the active form of vitamin B6) is higher in people with normal sleep duration (R).
Vitamin B6 on other neurotransmitters
Vitamin B6 also increases the production of the following:
- Taurine – an inhibitory amino acid that helps to increase testosterone, dopamine, mood and much more. Read more about the Alpha benefits of taurine.
- Histamine – histamine helps with motivation, libido, energy, etc.
- D-serine – acts on the NMDA receptor to promote focus, memory, recall, etc.
- Acetylcholine – involved in focus, memory, etc.
Boost Your erections and sexual performance with vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 can help to improve erections by:
- Increasing brain noradrenaline
- Increasing nitric oxide (NO) (by increasing BH4)
- Lowering inflammation
- Lowering homocysteine
Giving men who are PDE5 inhibitors (e.g. Viagra or Cialis) non-responders vitamin B6 and folic acid, improves their erectile function (R).
In summary, vitamin B6 can help to increase libido (noradrenaline), improve erections (NO) and help against premature ejaculation (GABA and serotonin).
Vitamin B6 on lowering prolactin levels
Both pyridoxine HCL and pyridoxal phosphate can lower prolactin in dopamine-dependent and independent mechanisms (R). It can also be helpful to prevent worsening of prolactinoma.
In vitro pituitary cells, pyridoxal phosphate dose-dependently lower prolactin levels.
Men treated with antipsychotic drugs (dopamine antagonists) tend to get very high prolactin. In this study, these men were given 300mg of vitamin B6 every 12 hours for 16 weeks. As a result, prolactin dropped from 95.52 to 30.43 μg/L over 16 weeks (R).
In short-stature children, vitamin B6 infusion lowered prolactin by 42% (from 26 to 16ng/ml) (R).
Another study found that infusing 300mg of vitamin B6 dropped prolactin by 50% (R).
Additional benefits of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 has been shown to:
- Increase selenium absorption and is involved in selenium metabolism in various proteins.
- Selenium improves thyroid function, glutathione production and much more.
- Improve asthma (R).
- Improve carpal tunnel syndrome at doses up to 200mg daily, equivalent to ∼20-40mg PLP. Part of its relief might come from that it’s also mildly analgesic (R).
- Increase metabolism and excretion. Stack vitamin B6 with taurine, succinic acid and dihydromyricetin before drinking and you’ll get zero hangover.
- Improve dermatitis (R).
Best vitamin B6 sources
As you know I prefer animal sources of vitamin B6 even though vegans don’t necessarily have less serum PLP than omnivores.
The richest sources of vitamin B6 include fish, beef liver and other organ meats, potatoes, and fruit (other than citrus such as bananas and avocados).
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