One of the ingredients in POP Sleep supplements is B6. Some people have asked us why that’s there if this is seen as a melatonin supplement. Just like most supplements out there, POP Sleep contains more than one ingredient. To provide additional health and sleep benefit, it’s not unusual to find vitamin B6 in sleep aids. Let’s talk about what this vitamin is and how it can affect your sleep.
What is B6?
B6 is a vitamin that can be naturally found in foods like fish, beef liver, potatoes, and chickpeas (1). Without B6, our bodies would struggle with metabolism, immune function, forming red blood cells, and even brain development during pre-natal growth1. Overall, there are eight B-vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12, Folic acid). If we don’t get enough B6, then we might develop anemia, skin rashes, mood changes, reduced appetite, enlarged tongue, fatigue, and nerve pain2.
What is B6 Good For?
B6 helps over 100 enzymes do their job. This includes things like breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, boosting the immune system’s ability to fight off infection, and maintaining normal levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine, which can cause heart issues if too much homocysteine is in the body3.
So what does that look like? Well, if you can’t break down fats, carbs, and protein, then you risk damaging your nerves, muscles, and digestion. With a weak immune system, you’ll have a harder time fighting off any disease or infection. If B6 levels are very low, then you might even experience confusion and/or depression.
Why take B6 with melatonin?
A recent study found that B6 may actually strengthen melatonin biosynthesis4. To put that in normal human terms, B6 helps the body actually create more melatonin…naturally! Researchers of this study dived 30 rats up into two groups. One group received a B6 injection every other day for two months, and the other group didn’t receive any B6. They found that the level of melatonin in the blood had increased by 35.95%. Another study looked at the combination of B6 and melatonin in 40 participants with mild-to-moderate insomnia. They observed statistically significant improvements in sleep quality scores after just two weeks of the participants taking this combination. Sleep onset and total sleep duration were both positively influenced. In a nutshell, combining B6 with melatonin may be beneficial in mild-to-moderate insomnia5
Are there any risks or side effects of B6?
If too much B6 is consumed (doses of 500 mg or more daily), possible side effects like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, and headache may occur. Just like with anything else we put into our bodies, we need to be mindful of our needs and our limitations. The recommended dosing of vitamins and nutrients vary based on age and sex. If you have any questions or are considering increasing your B6 intake through supplements, make sure to consult with your physician first.