Below is a map of my hilly route (mapmyrun.com, 2009). It is an awesome run up and down Fruitport road. Elevation ranges from 574 ft to 663 ft. The ascent is 112 ft and difference in elevation is about 90 feet or equivalent to a 9 story climb. The starting point once again is the Spring Lake Rite Aid. This course is getting even prettier as the leaves are starting slowly to turn color exposing a runner to an awesome display of fall colors. A 1:30 hours run that literally nourishes body and mind!
Now that we have taken care of nourishing the mind, how about some info on nourishing the body as well? After today’s stats we’ll cover vitamin B-6.
- Temperature: F 48
- Distance: 9 miles
- Time: 01:23:43
- Pace: Target 08:58
- Pace: Actual 09:18
- Running Goal: Hill Workout
- 15 minute post workout pulse: 88 ppm
- Calories Expanded: 1682 kcal
Why Vitamin B-6? (Higdon, 2002)
Vitamin B-6 plays a role in the regulation of homocysteine levels. Homocysteine levels are regulated by at least three vitamins,
- Vitamin B-12
- Folic acid, and
- Vitamin B-6.
Low vitamin B-6 intake is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), impaired immune function, and impaired cognitive function. A runner wants to obviously avoid CVD disease, but maintaining cardiovascular health with exercise is only one aspect of overall health. Diet and a person’s genes play a substantial role also. Because runners can temporarily tax the immune system, especially when starting a running program, making them more susceptible to colds and the flu, proper nutrient intake is very important. Vitamin B-6 plays vital roles in health such as nervous system function, red blood cell formation and function, niacin formation, hormone function, nucleic acid synthesis (Higdon, 2002). I will only cover the aspects of cardiovascular and immune function here.
What is vitamin B-6? Vitamin B-6 is a water-soluble vitamin. When nutritionists talk about vitamin B-6, they talk about three different forms pyridoxal (PL), pyridoxine (PN), and pyridoxamine (PM). However the most important form is the coenzyme PLP or pyridoxal 5’-phosphate in human metabolism (Higdon, 2002).
Vitamin B-6 Importance to Runners:
Cardiovascular Disease: Homocysteine levels in blood are associated with elevated risk of heart disease and stroke. Vitamin B-6 plays an important role in metabolizing homocysteine levels. It does so via two PLP dependent enzymes to convert homocysteine to another amino acid called cysteine. Thus if all systems are working correctly and the body gets enough of the essential vitamin B-6, then homocysteine levels are kept in check. Anytime a nutritionist refers to something being essential, they mean that the body can not make it and the nutrient has to be supplied through exogenous sources i.e. the diet.
Immune Function: Intake of vitamin B-6 is associated with the body’s ability to produce lymphocytes and interleukin-2. Lymphocytes are small white blood cells that play a very important role in the body’s defense mechanism and a deficit naturally is related to disease. Interleukin-2 plays an important role in the defense against foreign invaders such as microbes.
Good Sources of Vitamin B-6: (Higdon, 2002)
Food, Serving, Vitamin B-6 (mg)
- Fortified cereal, 1 cup, 0.5-2.5 mg
- Banana, 1 medium, 0.43 mg
- Salmon, wild, cooked, 3 ounces, 0.48 mg
- Turkey, without skin, cooked, 3 ounces, 0.39 mg
- Chicken, light meat without skin, cooked, 3 ounces, 0.51 mg
- Potato, Russet, baked, with skin, 1 medium, 0.70 mg
- Spinach, cooked, 1 cup, 0.44 mg
- Hazelnuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce, 0.18 mg
- Vegetable juice cocktail, 6 ounces, 0.26 mg
How Much (DRI) Vitamin B-6 is enough? (Gropper S., Smith J., Groff J, 2009)
- Males: 1-1.7 mg/day
- Females: 1-1.5 mg/day
- Pregnancy: 1.9 mg/day
- Lactation: 2.0 mg/day
How Much Vitamin B-6 Is Too Much?
The UL levels are only applicable to Vitamin B-6 derived from supplements. Adverse effects have only been seen in people who supplement with pyridoxine. There is no known toxicity from vitamin B-6 ingestion from food (Higdon, 2002).
Vitamin B-6 UL Levels: (Gropper S., Smith J., Groff J, 2009)
- Children: 30-80 mg/day
- Adults: 100 mg/day
- Pregnancy: 80-100 mg/day
- Lactation: 80-100 mg/day
Other Information Pertaining to Vitamin B-6:
Some medications, such as anti-tuberculosis meds, the chelator penicillamine and Parkinsonian drugs such as L-dopa might inhibit vitamin B-6 metabolism (Higdon, 2002).
Up next: hilly run on Monday of 11 miles and information about Folic Acid.
That is it for this run, have a great weekend.
Gropper S., Smith J., Groff J. (2009). Advanced Nutrition and human metabolism. (5th ed.). Belmont, California: Wadsworth Cengage Learning
Higdon J. (2004). Vitamin B6. Retrieved from