Vitamin B6

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Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B complex group. Several forms of the vitamin are known, but pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) is the active form and is a cofactor in many reactions of amino acid metabolism, including transamination, deamination, and decarboxylation. PLP also is necessary for the enzymatic reaction governing the release of glucose from glycogen.

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History

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble compound that was discovered in the 1930s during nutrition studies on rats. In 1934, a Hungarian physician, Paul Gy├Ârgy discovered a substance that was able to cure a skin disease in rats (dermititis acrodynia), this substance he named vitamin B6.[1][citation needed] In 1938, Lepkovsky isolated vitamin B6 from rice bran. Harris and Folkers in 1939 determined the structure of pyridoxine, and, in 1945, Snell was able to show that there are two forms of vitamin B6, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. Vitamin B6 was named pyridoxine to indicate its structural homology to pyridine. All three forms of vitamin B6 are precursors of an activated compound known as pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), which plays a vital role as the co-factor of a large number of essential enzymes in the human body.

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