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09 July, 2013

Vitamin B6 & Melons

When thinking of the watermelon, it may bring to mind carefree days at the beach or spitting out seeds at a BBQ. It’s a summer fruit that’s full of good memories. Watermelons, as well as other melons, are rich in vitamin B6. The brain benefits from all the B vitamins. B6 is particularly important for regulating mood & preventing mental fatigue. The brain needs this water-soluble vitamin to produce serotonin, a transmitter that aids in relaxing & lifting spirits. In addition, vitamin B6 assists the body make hemoglobin, the part of your blood which carries energy-boosting oxygen to the brain & other organs.

Health Benefits of Melons

  • Depression Benefits: The proper amount of vitamin B6 may assist in warding off depression. Medline plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine & the National Institutes of Health, lists depression as a symptom of vitamin B6 deficiency.  In a study published in the Nov-Dec 2004 issue of “Psychotherapy and Psychomatics”, low levels of pyridoxal phosphate, a form of vitamin B6, were linked with depressive symptoms in 140 Danish people. A relationship between mood disorders & low levels of vitamin B6 and other nutrients were found in a more recent study published in the February 2012 issue of “Canadian Journal of Psychiatry”.
  • Memory Benefits: A few reports from the University of Oregon have indicated a connection between cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease and low levels of vitamin B, including B6. Higher levels of vitamin B6 and improved performance on memory tests have been linked to one observational study. Published in the August 2012 issue of the “Journal of Nutrition”, poor memory was linked to low levels of the vitamin.
  • Attention Benefits: Vitamin B6 aids in the production of serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are mood related compounds. When produced in the body, your brain becomes less sensitive to disruptive stimuli like noises. As well, vitamin B6 is required to manufacture oxygen-carrying hemoglobin; low levels could cause you to feel tired and inattentive. Reaching enough B6 may aid in clearing your mind, increasing your attention, and eliminate confusion and allow you to focus and get your work done.