In these cases, consuming B6 may clear up the rash quickly (10, 11). More recently, seizures due to B6 deficiency have been reported in adults. That’s because B6 is involved in the making of several neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). animal liver; brewer’s yeast; egg yolk; fish; lean meat (pork, poultry, beef); nuts; pulses like chickpeas, dhal, lentils, soybeans; raw rice bran; vegetables such as beans, beets, cauliflower, eggplant, green peas; wheat germ; whole grains and cereals such as unpolished rice and oatmeal. Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Muscle cramps, neck pain. MIC home page. Balch JF, Balch PA. Your body isn’t able to store very much B6. Musculoskeletal. The nerve damage may also result in clumsiness, balance problems and difficulty walking (26). animal liver; cauliflower; mushrooms; raw rice bran. Accessed 2009 March – June. To avoid deficiency, you need to consume it on a regular basis. Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press; 1996. It has several health benefits and uses, including as a supplement and ingredient in beauty…. Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute. A deficiency of biotin is rare because it can be produced in the intestines from food. Choline deficiency symptoms may include :: impaired fat metabolism and transport, which is symptomized by decreased blood levels of VLDL that the liver uses to transport fats; fatty build-up in the liver, which may lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, or fatty degeneration; raised levels of cholesterol or triglycerides; high blood pressure (hypertension); high levels of homocysteine in blood, leading to risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular and circulatory problems; respiratory distress in newborns or nerve degeneration or nerve-muscle imbalances due to insufficient acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that cannot be made without choline; anemia, as red blood cell formation needs phosphatidylcholine which cannot be made without choline; kidney hemorrhage or kidneys unable to concentrate urine; abnormal bone formation; impaired growth in newborns; fatigue; insomnia; infertility; impaired memory or brain function or senile dementia (shortage of acetylcholine in the brain has been associated with Alzheimer’s). Here is everything you need to know about these…, Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. The herpes zoster disease (shingles) can attack nerves causing numbness instead of pain commonly associated with shingles. If you have a B6 deficiency, your tongue may become swollen, sore, smooth, inflamed or reddened. Vitamin D 2,000 units a day was also shown to decrease diabetic neuropathy pain by 47% after 3 months. Research also suggests that taking 50–80 mg of B6 supplements daily may help with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as moodiness, irritability, anxiety and depression (18, 19). white material just beneath the peel of citrus fruits; celery; garlic; red onions; broccoli. avocadoes; bananas; cantaloupe; citrus fruits like oranges and lemons; dates; egg; nuts; papaya; poultry and pork; root vegetables like okra; salmon; shellfish; tuna; wheat bran; wheat germ; whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat; yeast; vegetables such as cabbage, green peas, leeks, red bell peppers, squash, string beans, tomatoes. Niacin deficiency symptoms may include :: most common symptoms are dry, cracked and scaly skin; pellagra, a condition characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia; feeling of lassitude or weariness; muscular weakness; loss of appetite; indigestion or gastrointestinal disturbances; depression, irritability, anxiety or confusion; severe deficiency can cause dementia. J Oral Pathol Med. Here are the top 12…. most flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals and prevent them from damaging cells and DNA; Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry: Association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and cognitive performance in middle-aged and older European men. Deficiencies of other nutrients, including folate and B12, can also result in this condition. These cases were most commonly found in pregnancy, alcoholism, medication interactions or liver disease (6, 28). If you eat only plant foods, you may need more B6 to make up for this difference (36). Vitamin B1 deficiency leads to beriberi, a condition characterized by :: excessive fatigue or muscular weakness; loss of appetite; vague aches and pains or tingling sensations; loss of sensation (numbness) in hands and legs; severe deficiency can cause nerve damage, leading to paralysis of the leg; heart abnormalities such as palpitations or enlarged heart; lung congestion and difficulty in breathing; gastrointestinal disorders such as indigestion or constipation; Crohn’s disease; recurrent canker sores (aphthous or oral ulcers); stunted growth; forgetfulness or mental confusion; nervous irritability or mental depression; vague fears or feelings of persecution; severe deficiency can lead to brain damage and a form of dementia (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome). Zarafonetis CJD. . Micronutrient Information Center: Coenzyme Q10. Am J Med 1947;3:211-23. Signs and symptoms of beriberi can include heart failure, muscle weakness, delirium or confusion, and a burning sensation in the hands and feet. alfalfa; animal liver; egg yolk; milk fortified with vitamin D; oatmeal; fatty salt-water fish like cod, halibut, tuna; sweet potatoes. The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 1995;32(1):14-21. berries such as blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackcurrants; citrus fruit such as grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines; fruits such as cantaloupe, kiwifruit, mangos, melons, persimmons, pineapple; onions; herbs such as fennel, parsley, peppermint; rose hips; radishes, turnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes (baked with skin); vegetables like asparagus, beet greens, chard, garden cress, green peas, lettuce, tomatoes, winter squash, zucchini. Vitamin deficiency symptoms may include :: loss of appetite; nausea; anemia due to loss of red blood cells; weak immune system; eye problems such as cataracts or degeneration of the retina; angina (severe chest pains) in males; weakness in muscles and limbs, and sometimes muscle cramps, stiffness or spasms; damage to nerves characterized by numbness and tingling or burning sensations in the arms, legs, hands or feet; lack of coordination of muscle movements characterized by jerkiness, clumsiness or instability; digestive tract problems such as liver or gallbladder disorders that result in poor absorption of food; miscarriages, uterine or testicular deterioration, decreased fertility. Pregnant women tend to experience hot feet due to hormonal changes that raise the body’s temperature as well as the added burden on the feet due to the natural weight gain and an increasing body fluid. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment for panic disorder. The role of B6 in combating such mood issues is being tested in a variety of conditions. London, UK: Carlton Books; 2005. Accessed 2009 Jul 05. dairy products; egg yolk; kidney; meat (beef, lamb, pork, poultry, venison); seafood like clams, scallops and shrimp. It’s known for its oily, flaky appearance and may cause swelling or white patches (9). Accessed 2009 March – June. [PubMed abstract] Hayflick SJ. Ulene A. Dr. Art Ulene’s complete guide to vitamins, minerals and herbs. Vitamin B12 is an important water-soluble vitamin, and deficiency is common. B1, or thiamine, deficiency can also lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which manifests as vision disturbances, mental confusion, and unsteady walking. New York, NY: Avery Publishing; 2000. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency symptoms may include :: gum or periodontal disease; hypertension (high blood pressure); arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis; heart problems like angina, arrhythmia, congestive heart failure; stomach (gastric) or duodenal ulcers; high blood sugar; kidney or renal failure; impaired immune function; higher risk of cancer. Homocysteine is a byproduct created during protein digestion. This is caused when the body is unable to maintain the nervous system properly. Fibrocystic FCM drug therapy is often supplemented with vitamin complexes containing vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, PP and ascorbic acid, as well as vitamin E. Vitamin E is assigned a special role in therapeutic measures in the fight against the disease. vital for normal cell growth, and basic functioning of every cell; powerful antioxidant; vital for effectiveness of the immune system and anti-aging; works with, and protects vitamin E in the body from damage; helps prevent and treat cancer, and decreases rate of recurrence; may reduce side effects of chemotherapy; some data supports its use in treatment of kidney or renal failure; may lower and stabilize blood sugar; shown to improve heart function, mobility, and quality of life in muscular dystrophy patients; widely used in cases of heart disease and clogged heart arteries to help prevent cardiovascular disease; may help improve heart function after major heart surgery; research indicates that it lowers high blood pressure; reduces adverse side effects of beta blocker drugs used to treat high blood pressure; reduces adverse effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs; shown promise in helping people with Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia to function better; promising results have been seen when used for Parkinson’s disease; evidence that it alleviates or prevents migraine; may relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome; anti-histaminine abilities helps it to alleviate allergies and asthma; used in treatment of periodontal (gum) disease; may help prevent and heal stomach and duodenal ulcers; may relieve candidiasis (yeast infection or thrush); helps increase sperm count and motility; has shown promising results in boosting well-being and life span of AIDS patients. Deficiency of B6 can cause nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. The glossy, smooth surface of the tongue is due to the loss of papillae. Vitamin deficiency (vitamin B12, ... Guillain-Barre syndrome ... or spinal fluid may be suggested to help diagnose the cause of burning feet. One reason B6 deficiency may result in skin rashes is that the vitamin helps synthesize collagen, which is needed for healthy skin. Hereditary diseases: Refsum disease, Fabry disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, porphyria , Denny-Brown’s syndrome and ataxia-teleangiectasia. important for lowering risk of heart attacks and strokes by preventing build-up of homocysteine in the blood; lowers homocysteine level which decreases risk of dementias and osteoporosis related bone fractures; considered a brain food; involved in production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that regulate the brain in areas like appetite, mood, sleep; needed for energy production; needed for metabolism of amino acids and synthesis of proteins; important for DNA replication and healthy cell growth and function; especially critical during stages of rapid cell replication and growth; essential for proper development of the fetus during pregnancy and protects against birth defects; important in red blood cell formation and to prevent anemia; promotes healthy skin and nails; protects the linings in body cavities like the mouth and intestinal tract; supplements may be used to treat ulcers of the leg; preliminary studies suggest that folate may help prevent breast, cervical and pancreatic cancer; may improve symptoms of vitiligo (loss of skin pigment) when used with vitamin B12. Accessed 2009 Jun 20. That can make you feel tired and weak. . Lynda Chisholm Headaches burning feet-RA, B12,sugar in normal limits. Fortunately, B6 deficiency is generally easy to avoid as long as you have healthy eating habits that include a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats and fish. Additionally, continually taking too much of the inactive form of B6 (pyridoxine HCl) from supplements can also cause neuropathy. . important for conversion of food to energy; helps the functioning of the digestive system; required for production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system; needed for production of genetic DNA in cells; promotes functioning of the nervous system; promotes healthy looking skin; may help treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD); niacinamide may prevent diabetes; high doses under medical supervision have been used to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increase HDL or good cholesterol; helps to slow development of atherosclerosis and reduce risk of heart attack; niacinamide may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis; may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related mental decline. I told Dr if I cut out sugar symptoms disappear. This article examines the benefits of B-complex vitamins, as well as dosage and…. However, supplementing with the body’s most active form of B6, called pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (PLP), resolved the anemia (16). Human pantothenic acid deficiency produced by omega-methyl pantothenic acid. Keep your new habit changes as simple as possible. animal liver; fish like cod, halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, snapper, trout. When homocysteine is elevated, it can damage blood vessels and nerves (30, 31, 32, 33). Here are 9 signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Other vitamin deficiency symptoms may include :: rickets which causes soft bones, skeletal deformities or retarded growth in children; osteomalacia resulting in muscular weakness and soft bones; muscle or bone pain (including low back pain); frequent bone fractures; osteoporosis; higher risk of periodontal disease in adults over 50 years old; rheumatoid arthritis; increased risk of diabetes due to insufficient insulin produced; increased risk of high blood pressure; hypocalcemia (low blood calcium level) characterized by muscle cramps, twitching nerves or muscles, numbness and tingling of fingers and toes, irregular heart contractions, and irritability. Breakfast cereals boast impressive health claims, but many are high in sugar and refined carbs.   Always consult your doctor before taking vitamin B6 for HFS. Replenishing B6 treats glossitis, provided that a deficiency is the only cause. Common deficiency symptoms include a rash, dermatitis, red, swollen tongue, numbness, tingling or burning in the hands or feet, anemia, fatigue, and mental changes. constipation and other chronic gastro-intestinal disorders; nervousness; frequent headaches; general fatigue; depression; irritability; weeping or moist eczema; premature wrinkling of skin; premature grey hair. Possible signs and symptoms of B6 deficiency include skin rashes, cracked lip corners, a glossy tongue, mood changes, impaired immune function, tiredness, nerve pain, seizures and elevated homocysteine levels. There have been select cases of B6-related anemia in which taking the inactive pyridoxine hydrochloride (HCl) form of the vitamin didn’t help. In addition, it’s often added to fortified foods like breakfast cereals and nutrition bars. Other vitamin deficiency symptoms may include :: easy bruising and small spots of bleeding under the skin (which appear as pink spots on the skin); swollen or painful joints or bones; slow-healing wounds and fractures; nosebleeds; spongy, swollen, bleeding gums and loose teeth; teeth decay easily; dry brittle hair; dry rough scaly skin; anemia; fatigue or lethargy or muscle weakness; loss of appetite; recurrent colds and infections; atherosclerosis; possible weight gain due to slower metabolism. Garden City Park, New York: Avery Publishing; 1990. Other B vitamin deficiencies such as B1, B6, and B3 can cause neuropathy as can vitamin … Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, B-Complex Vitamins: Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage, 9 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin B-12 for Any Diet, Top 12 Foods That Are High in Vitamin B12. Some people affected with seborrheic dermatitis may have higher requirements for B6. Accessed 2009 Jun 18. Notably, deficiencies of riboflavin, folate, iron and other nutrients can also cause this condition, as can sunny, dry or windy weather and other external factors (13, 14). Sometimes people have rapid, uncontrollable shaking (convulsions) or lose consciousness. More recently, it’s been found that B6 has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other symptoms include abnormal (exaggerated) reflexes, as well as diminished sensation and weakness in the legs and arms. Folic acid deficiency symptoms may include :: megaloblastic macrocytic anemia characterized by breathlessness, heart palpitation, insomnia, irritability, forgetfulness, lethargy, stomach disorders, pallor and sensitivity to cold; chronic muscular fatigue or general weakness; affects production of neurotransmitters, leading to symptoms of irritability, hostility, non-senile dementia, confusion, insomnia, mental fatigue, depression, and nervous system problems of the hands and legs; skin disorders like seborrheic dermatitis and vitiligo (loss of pigment leading to white patches on the skin); gastrointestinal tract problems like periodontal disease, gingivitis, mouth and peptic ulcers, and digestive upsets; swollen or sore or smooth red tongue (glossitis); cervical dysplasia, leading to greater risk of cervical cancer from factors such as smoking and HPV infection; premature grey hair; higher blood levels of homocysteine and risk of heart disease; deficiency can slow overall growth rate of infants and children; low birth weight or premature infants, and neural tube defects resulting in severe brain or neurological damage of the fetus. It can also be indicative of a number of underlying problems. Hemminger A, Wills B. Vitamin B6 Toxicity. Without enough B6, you don’t make adequate amounts of the calming neurotransmitter GABA, so your brain may become overstimulated. bran; mushrooms; spinach; whole grains (such as brown rice and whole wheat). Most people get enough B6 in their diet, but if you are deficient in other B complex vitamins, such as folate and B12, you’re more likely to be deficient in vitamin B6 as well (1). 1991 Sep;20(8):389-91. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. Vitamin B6 deficiency is one cause of a red, itchy rash called seborrheic dermatitis. ... Axonopathy may result from nutritional deficiencies (most commonly, of thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, or vitamin E) or from excess intake of vitamin B6 or alcohol. Vitamin deficiency symptoms may include :: brittle nails and hair; one of the most obvious signs of insufficient biotin is thinning of hair which may lead to total hair loss (alopecia); dry scaly scalp or face, especially in infants (cradle crap), and in adults in various parts of the body (seborrheic dermatitis); mental depression; insomnia; intestinal tract symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting; fatigue or extreme exhaustion due to impaired energy production; muscle pain or cramps related to physical exertion; nervo-muscular symptoms like seizures, numbness and tingling of extremities, and movements characterized by lack of muscle tone and coordination. The Perfect Storm: Copper Deficiency Presenting as Progressive Peripheral Neuropathy. Accessed 2009 May 16. Fux M, Levine J, Aviv A, Belmaker RH. Just keep in mind that other factors, such as your eating habits and physical activity, are also typically involved in diseases linked with high homocysteine and must be addressed. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008 Feb;87(2):424-30. This vitamin is essential to red blood cell, nervous … Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial. Prescription for nutritional healing: A practical A-Z reference to drug-free remedies using vitamins, minerals, herbs & food supplements. 49 Likes, 1 Comments - College of Medicine & Science (@mayocliniccollege) on Instagram: “ Our Ph.D. A B6 face cream has helped some people improve symptoms from seborrheic dermatitis (12). This means that it may play a role in helping prevent chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer (5, 7, 8). These cells regulate immune function, helping it respond appropriately. Increased homocysteine levels have been linked with several health issues, most notably heart disease and stroke, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute: Inositol. Paresthesia can also be a symptom of vitamin deficiency and malnutrition, as well as metabolic disorders like diabetes, hypothyroidism, and hypoparathyroidism. buckwheat; dry beans such as red beans, black beans, pinto beans; fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, apricots, blackcurrants, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, guavas, lemons, oranges, papaya, pears, prunes; herbs such as bilberry, hawthorn, ginkgo, licorice, pine bark, rose hips, yarrow and milk thistle; green tea; red wine; parsley; peppers; romaine lettuce; tomatoes; brassica (or crucifer) vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, cress, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, pak choi, swedes, turnips. regulates normal clotting of blood and prevents excessive blood loss from injuries; acts as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful free radicals that damage cell membranes; needed for formation of cartilage, bone and dentine; decreases calcium loss and helps maintain bone mass; helps prevent and treat osteoporosis. Deficiency. bananas; bell peppers; chick peas; potatoes (baked with skin); prune juice; raw rice bran; turnip greens; spinach. alfalfa; animal liver; carrots; egg yolk; garbanzo beans; green beans and peas; cereals (oats, oatmeal, rye, wheat); safflower oil. constituent of lecithin, a key building block of cell membranes, important for cell formation and growth; needed for proper functioning of the cell membranes; needed for production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is vital for brain and nerve function; essential for optimal brain functioning, learning and memory; needed for nerve-muscle transmission; may help nervous system disorders like Parkinson’s disease; regulates the gallbladder and helps prevent gallstones; regulates liver function, and is beneficial for liver damage related to hepatitis and cirrhosis; for fat and cholesterol transport and metabolism as an energy source; natural lipotropic agent that minimizes excess fat in the liver; lowers blood homocysteine levels, which helps prevent cardiovascular problems; works with betaine to reduce chronic inflammation that is linked to disorders such as osteoporosis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, nerve problems from B6 toxicity may be more difficult to treat. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1995; 152:1084-1086. . American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008;88 38-50. Folic acid and folate are two forms of vitamin B9. main role of vitamin D is to maintain the right level of calcium in blood; promotes adequate levels and use of calcium and phosphorus to ensure healthy skeletal growth and development of bones and teeth; builds bone density to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures; prevents and treats rickets and osteomalacia; may be needed for normal brain cell growth; may slow age-related decline in mental agility; stimulates production of insulin which is needed to handle blood sugars; protects against high blood pressure; recent research suggests vitamin D may protect against cancer and heart disease; research also indicates ability to regulate inflammatory response and prevent autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, psoriaris, and irritable bowel diseases; long-term supplementation may decrease risk of multiple sclerosis. This may happen because large amounts of inactive B6 can compete with and block the active PLP form of B6 in your body (27). Vitamin E, which is found in Nuts, seeds, salmon, avocados, kiwi, and wheat germ. Use the built-in search function to find specific data. Muscle pain and tenderness and difficulty rising from a squatting position have also been observed (6) . A B6 deficiency, as well as folate and B12, can result in an abnormally high blood level of homocysteine, as these B vitamins are needed to help process homocysteine (29). February 2016. Use the built-in search function to find specific data. Here are some of the top foods that naturally supply B6, as well as common serving sizes (35): Notably, the forms of B6 in animal sources and fortified foods and supplements are generally better absorbed than the form found in plant foods. . Vitamin B deficiencies can cause a wide range of symptoms. Some describe it as a “pins and needles” feeling. The rash can appear on your scalp, face, neck and upper chest. People with autoimmune disorders (in which the immune system turns against itself), can have increased destruction of B6, which increases the need for the vitamin (2). Gerli S, Mignosa M, Di Renzo GC. 4. egg yolk; lecithin (usually derived from soybeans); soybeans and soybean products. May 5, 2018 at 8:36 am beans; chicken eggs; dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt); fish; lean meat; vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chard, collard greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, turnip greens; venison. helps in the utilization of pantothenic acid; important for healthy skin and hair pigment; may restore grey hair to original color when used with inositol, folic acid and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), if greying was due to stress or deficiency in the B vitamins; has been used, together with biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and sometimes vitamin E, to restore hair; early studies show may help treat vitiligo (loss of color or pigmentation in some areas of skin); may prevent accumulation of abnormal fibrous tissue; assists formation of red blood cells; acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism and utilization of protein; helps maintain intestinal flora. Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Peripheral neuropathy, often shortened to neuropathy, is a general term describing disease affecting the peripheral nerves, meaning nerves beyond the brain and spinal cord.Damage to peripheral nerves may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function depending on which nerves are affected; in other words, neuropathy affecting motor, sensory, or autonomic nerves … supports production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system; critical for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production; optimizes brain function and learning capacity; promotes mental alertness and memory; fights depression; may be associated with reduced risk of cataracts; may slow the progression of atherosclerosis; needed for blood cell formation; crucial for a healthy nervous system; coordinates interaction of nerves and muscles; needed for normal muscle tone of the heart, stomach and intestines. promotes healthy skin through proper fat production; needed for healthy hair and nails; helps treat seborrheic dermatitis; prevents hair loss in some men, and is used to treat some forms of baldness; needed for DNA replication and cell division and growth; needed for healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow; needed for synthesis of fatty acids; important for metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for energy; helps regulate blood sugar level; improves glucose tolerance and benefits patients with Type II diabetes; decreases triglyceride levels; may lower LDL cholesterol level and risk of atherosclerosis when used with chromium; helps prevent intestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease and inflammatory or irritable bowel disorders; assists the utilization of the other B-complex vitamins. Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia, increased weight, vitamin B6 deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency. important in fat and cholesterol metabolism; mild lipotropic agent that removes fats from the liver and lowers blood cholesterol; found to improve fertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, with weight loss and increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels; used to help prevent plaque build-up and arteriosclerosis; needed for hair growth and strong healthy hair; helps maintain healthy skin; has been used to prevent and treat eczema; considered a brain food as it helps nourish the brain; needed for formation of lecithin, a key building block of cell membranes that protects cells from oxidation and forms the protective sheath around the brain; essential component of myelin that coats nerves and regulates nerve transmission; has helped improve nerve function in diabetics; has a calming effect and may help treat depression, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 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