In your body, P5P plays a fundamental role in amino acid metabolism, heme biosynthesis, neurotransmitter biosynthesis, collagen formation and glucocorticoid action. Additionally, P5P helps to balance your sodium and potassium levels by regulating the electrical functioning of your nerves, heart and musculoskeletal system. Alone and together with other enzymes, P5P helps your body to build and break down amino acids and to change amino acids from one to another. Further, P5P facilitates the release of stored energy from your liver and muscles and facilitates the production of antibodies and red blood cells.
Burning feet (diabetic neuropathy)
Feeling like the bottoms of your feet are painfully hot and prickly is a condition known as burning feet. Although there can be a number of causes, the pain results from damage to the nerves in the foot, whether due directly to frost bite or other injury, or indirectly as a result of poorly controlled diabetes, a stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout. The pain is often worse at night. P-5-P has been shown to reduce the nerve pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, one of the most common causes of burning feet. In a study combining P-5-P (vitamin B6) with another B vitamin (thiamin), 88% of participants experienced a reduction in pain after only 4 weeks, and their symptoms of peripheral neuropathy decreased by almost 50% .
Autism and Brain Function
The combination of magnesium and P-5-P seems to be especially effective in children with autism. Supplementation with these nutrients has been associated with improvements in social interactions, communication and overall functioning. In fact, some studies have indicated that children with autism are not good processors of plain vitamin B6, and should benefit from the active P5P form, as it does not require any conversion process. Other brain health uses are for depression, and to help prevent migraine headaches. It even plays a role in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease prevention through its ability to reduce homocysteine.
P5P and Cardiovascular Risk
According to “Vitamin B6 Therapy: Nature’s Versatile Healer,” written by John Ellis, P5P has the capacity to lower your body’s levels of homocysteine. In your body, the amino acid homocysteine is not obtained from diet, but from another amino acid called “methionine.” Homocysteine is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and P5P can reduce methionine levels in your body, resulting in lower production of homocysteine. Additionally, P5P can help protect your body from coronary heart disease, hypertension and cerebral vascular disease.
P5P and Cancer
According to “Cecil Medicine: Expert Consult,” P5P deficiencies may contribute to pancreatic and cervical cancers. In many cases, women with cervical cancer present with a deficiency of vitamin B-6. Regarding pancreatic cancer, a study published in the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” concluded that 26 percent of the pancreatic cancer cases studied may have been preventable with P5P supplementation prior to contracting the pancreatic cancer.