Are you getting enough of the get-slim vitamin?

Medical researchers make important discoveries about the connection between healthy eating and weight loss all the time and then every now and again they stumble across something really significant. That’s what happened when Brazilian researchers from the University of Sao Paulo set out to prove that fruits and vegetables speed weight loss; along the way they discovered just how important vitamin B6 is for sustained weight loss. They found that for each extra mg of B6, people can lose up to 3 pounds (1.36 kg).


B vitamins are associated with metabolism, stress reduction and reducing triglycerides stored in fat – all of which are essential for weight loss and B6 in particular has properties that can significantly boost weight loss. This is because B6 helps metabolise foods and turn the calories into energy, so when B6 levels are low more calories are stored as fat. However, when B6 levels are good more calories are burned as instant fuel. B6 has also been shown to help us sleep better and studies have shown that a good night’s sleep can increase the production of the hunger-killing hormone leptin by up to 15 percent and decrease production of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin by 15 per cent. Moreover, levels of cortisol are also lowered by a good night’s sleep – cortisol is the stress hormone that promotes excess abdominal fat by up to 45 per cent according to University of Chicago experts. Finally, without enough vitamin B6 your body can’t make enough feel-good brain chemicals, like serotonin, which are linked to an improved mood and an increased sense of well being – all of which are factors that are linked to a decreased risk of comfort eating.


To boost your chance of weight loss aim to eat foods rich in vitamin B6, e.g. bananas, brown rice, sunflower seeds, baked potatoes and oily fish and you can also include a supplement of vitamin B6 (total 50mg per day including whatever is in your multivitamin and mineral). Always get the B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (rather than the cheaper form of pyridoxine) because this is the biologically active form of B6 and your body can use it more efficiently. (See the Resources Page for information on how to get a good vitamin B6 as pyridoxal-5-phosphate).

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