P5P – highly bioavailable form of vitamin B6


Pyridoxal 5-phosphate is an active form of vitamin B6 that drives about 168 important enzyme processes in our body. Among these important roles, P5P facilitates, among other things, a process known as deamination - which is responsible for converting exogenous amino acids into endogenous amino acids. P5P also helps in transferring certain nutrients - such as magnesium - through the cell membrane, which helps to increase the rate of absorption of this mineral. Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate is a necessary compound for our health, but it happens that we suffer from its deficiency, even without realizing it. Find out more about what P5P is, how you can obtain this ingredient and how our bodies use it.

1. What is pyridoxal 5-phosphate?

Pyridoxal 5-phosphate (P5P) is an active form of vitamin B6 coenzyme that can be directly used by the body without conversion. There are several compounds that are commonly referred to as B6, including pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine and their corresponding 5-phosphate forms. They are considered to be vitamers of pyridoxine, and our body is capable of interconversion between them. This means that pyridoxine can be converted to pyridoxal 5-phosphate and then back to pyridoxine. Each of these compounds plays unique roles in our body, but only P5P has the active role of coenzyme. Pyridoxal 5-phosphate controls the amino acid metabolism, helps in the production of neurotransmitters and is a cofactor for over 150 enzymes in our body.

2. Bio-available vitamin B6

The most commonly used active ingredient in most vitamin B6 supplements is pyridoxine hydrochloride. This compound can be used by the body to support a number of enzymatic processes attributed to P5P, but must first be transformed. This conversion occurs almost immediately in the liver and releases several metabolites of pyridoxine into our bloodstream, with pyridoxal 5-phosphate being the most preferred [2]. Very limited research on this conversion process suggests that 30 minutes after oral ingestion of pyridoxine, up to 40% were passed to the bloodstream in the form of various metabolites. This shows how effective this conversion process is in our body. Very limited studies have been carried out on the differences in the efficacy of pyridoxal 5-phosphate relative to pyridoxine compounds, such as pyridoxine hydrochloride. Some, quite limited, data suggest that people with liver problems may benefit from taking the active form of this compound. One study found that plasma pyridoxal 5-phosphate increased by almost 60% after administration of the active form of P5P compared to the administration of pyridoxine hydrochloride. [3]

Vitamin B6 - sources and actions
Vitamin B6 - sources and actions

3. Health benefits resulting from P5P supplementation

Considering the effect of pyridoxal 5-phosphate on health, it is best to consider the benefits of using all of the B6 vitamins. While many healthcare professionals consider P5P the best form, there is still not much research to support this thesis. P5P is simply a more effective form of pyridoxine and avoids the hepatic conversion processes needed to create an active form of the enzyme. This is probably beneficial for people with impaired liver function. Ultimately, in the case of P5P, the idea is that it is a bio-optimized form of vitamin B6, which our body can use immediately, without additional "treatment". Below you will find some of the many advantages of pyridoxal 5-phosphate.
It reduces inflammation of the body!Pyridoxal 5-phosphate levels are inversely proportional to markers of inflammation, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) Interkulin 6 (IL-6) and interferon gamma (INF-γ). These markers are commonly used to accurately determine the level of inflammation in response to certain conditions, such as IBS (irritable-bowel syndrome), malignant tumors, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Any treatment that effectively reduces these markers is likely to have anti-inflammatory effects at the cellular level. One of the studies showed that the levels of these compounds were significantly (p = 0.01) lower in patients with rheumatoid arthritis after administration of 100 mg / day of vitamin B6. These levels were measured as inversely correlated with the measured serum levels of P5P [4].

It reduces inflammation of the body!

Pyridoxal 5-phosphate levels are inversely proportional to markers of inflammation, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) Interluken 6 (IL-6) and interferon gamma (INF-γ). These markers are commonly used to accurately determine the level of inflammation in response to certain conditions, such as IBS (sensitive-bowel syndrome), malignant tumors, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Any treatment that effectively reduces these markers is likely to have anti-inflammatory effects at the cellular level. One of the studies showed that the levels of these compounds were significantly (p = 0.01) lower in patients with rheumatoid arthritis after administration of 100 mg / day of vitamin B6. These levels were measured as inversely correlated with the measured serum levels of P5P [4].

It strengthens the immune system

Thirty patients in Taichung General Veterans Hospital participated in one Taiwanese study. These patients were divided into three groups; people not receiving supplement B6, receiving 50 mg / day B6 and those receiving 100 mg/day B6. [5] After 14 days of treatment, the researchers measured a wide range of Vitamin B markers. Both the 50 mg/day and 100 mg/day groups showed a significant increase in serum P5P levels and the number of immune cells, such as total lymphocyte count (TLC) and CD3, CD4, CD8 and CD19 cells. These studies suggest that vitamin B6 is an effective way to treat generalized immunity improvement.

It helps to maintain a positive mood, promotes relaxation

Some of the more significant studies on vitamin B and its role in reducing anxiety and hypertension were carried out with an emphasis on women in the premenstrual period. In one such study, the effect of supplementation with magnesium and vitamin B6 on several mood factors in 126 women was examined. Among people receiving supplementation with magnesium / vitamin B6 there was a significant decrease in the symptoms of depression, water retention and anxiety [6]. Another study showed positive results and noted that the reduction in PMS symptoms was slightly more significant in the magnesium / vitamin B6 group than the group that received the magnesium compound alone. [7]

It lowers risk of developing lung cancer

Cancer is generally considered a disease correlated with inflammation in the body. The scientifically proven ability of vitamin B6 to reduce proinflammatory markers makes it a medium that can have great potential in preventing the development of cancer. One sample collected blood from 1770 volunteers. Among 899 subjects, lung cancer later developed. There was a significant inverse correlation between the serum vitamin B6 level and the level of cancer development. The less vitamins there were - the more advanced the changes were. Simply put, lower levels of vitamin B6 mean better chances of lung cancer - the lower the level, the greater the chance. [8]
There are not many studies that would provide data comparing the efficacy of different types of vitamin B6. Many people suggest that the use of activated pyridoxal 5-phosphate can probably provide better bioavailability compared to more common forms, such as pyridoxine hydrochloride. There have been several limited studies that check this thesis, and below there is a brief overview of their results

Reduction of epileptic seizures, better control of attacks

It is known that some types of epilepsy are caused by genetic mutations that prevent a person from producing enough B6. One such disorder, called pyridoxal-dependent pyridoxal epilepsy, begins to cause disorders immediately after birth. [9] Children experiencing this type of seizure do not respond to normal antiepileptic drugs and receive high doses of P5P to control and reduce the number of seizures. This type of genetic dysfunction can be traced to the oxidative pyridoxine 5-phosphate (PNPO) gene [10]. This condition is very rare and in practice illustrates the potential role of vitamin B6 in maintaining our nervous system in good condition. In one study on the role of vitamin B6 supplementation in children with active epilepsy, the study groups were divided into pyridoxine and other pyridoxal phosphate receiving groups. These studies showed that PLP was often more effective in reducing epileptic seizures, especially in those cases in which infective contractions were noted. This study also showed that many patients not responding to pictidoxine reacted to pyridoxal phosphate, especially in long-term analysis [11].

A healthy formation of red blood cells

Part of the process through which our body passes to produce healthy erythrocytes (red blood cells) begins in our bone marrow. Sometimes these immature red blood cells enter the blood stream en masse - they are characterized by abnormal iron rings around the mitochondria. This condition is known as sideroblastic anemia and almost always occurs in combination with low levels of pyridoxine. Treatment with pyridoxine supplementation in this disease has been shown to be effective, but only in about 50% of cases. It has also been found that large doses of pyridoxine are often needed to generate the desired response in patients. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that it is related to the natural conversion process of pyridoxine to pyridoxal phosphate. In one single case, a 72-year-old woman with sideroblastic anemia did not respond to treatment with pyridoxine, but noted an immediate and significant improvement after taking pyridoxal 5-phosphate. [12] In another case of pyridoxine-responsive anemia, researchers found that P5P was able to produce more positive effect in measurable markers in smaller amounts of pyridoxine itself. In this one-person study of pyridoxine-dependent anemia, researchers found that a 25 mg / day P5P dose was significantly more effective than a pyridoxine dose of 300 mg / day. More research is needed to confirm the view that P5P can be fully used compared to other B6 panamers.

Pyridoxal phosphate chemical structure
Pyridoxal phosphate chemical structure

4. P5P deficencies

According to SIB ExPASy Bioformatics (ExPASy), pyridoxal 5-phosphate is a cofactor of 168 unique enzymes. [14] To show you the scales of the phenomenon; Magnesium is registered by ExPAS as a cofactor for 208 unique enzymes. This paints a picture of P5P being an essential nutrient used by our body for a wide range of processes. With such a wide involvement, it is almost unnecessary to describe the symptoms of deficiency of pyridoxal 5-phosphate, as they can be very numerous. As in the case of magnesium. Among the clinically examined cases of patients with low P5P levels, there seems to be a strong relationship between seizures, anemia, irritability, hypersensitivity of hearing, depression, skin problems and weakened general immune function. [15] Vitamin B deficiency is widely regarded as rare in isolated cases, as a rule it coexists with other deficiencies. This type of deficiency can be present for many years without obvious symptoms.

Pyridoxal 5-phosphate and magnesium

Vitamin B6 has been assessed by scientists as particularly synergistic in combination with magnesium. It is believed that pyridoxal 5-phosphate is responsible for facilitating the intercellular transport of magnesium. Although many experiments have been carried out to investigate this hypothesis, many of these studies did not determine which type of compound B6 was used, nor did they study the efficacy of contrasting B6 vitamins. Continuing, we assume that pyridoxal 5-phosphate is in many cases a better form of vitamin B6.

Increased amount of magnesium in plasma

In one of the studies in which women who were just before the period took part, those who were given 100 mg of vitamin B6 a day for one month had higher levels of magnesium in the plasma. [16] Researchers noticed a doubling of magnesium levels after a 4-week period. They considered these results to be quite strong evidence that vitamin B6 is actively involved in the transport of minerals, such as magnesium, through cell membranes. In another study, the researchers found that only high doses of vitamin B6 (> 1000 mg) were able to show a clear increase in magnesium in cells [17]. Considering neurological damage was observed in doses of 2000mg and higher, this type of therapy is not indicated. P5P Plus

It reduces the symptoms of PMS

In another study in premenstrual women, it was found that in combination with vitamin B6 and magnesium, PMS symptoms were reduced (consistent with the definition of the American Psychiatric Association). Researchers found that magnesium and vitamin B6 in combination are more effective in reducing the symptoms of PMS than for magnesium alone - although both were significantly more effective than placebo. [18] In another study, the researchers divided 44 women into groups receiving magnesium, vitamin B6, magnesium and vitamin B6 or placebo. The researchers concluded that a small synergistic effect was observed in magnesium absorption in the group receiving B6 + magnesium combination therapy [19]. It is worth noting that the researchers decided to use magnesium oxide as a test compound. This type of magnesium is very poorly absorbed and is not recommended for treatments aimed at increasing the total magnesium concentration in the body.


Pyridoxal 5-phosphate is an important compound that drives about 168 unique enzymatic reactions in our body. This wide range of interactivity is likely to a certain extent boils down to almost every aspect of our health. P5P is one of 6 vitamin B6 form, including pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal and their respective phosphorylated forms. Supplements of vitamin B6 are most often produced from the compound pyridoxine hydrochloride. Some limited studies suggest that in many cases direct P5P supplementation may affect serum levels when pyridoxine fails to cope. Pyridoxal 5-phosphate is considered to have a synergistic relationship with magnesium. Limited research confirms this opinion; suggesting that P5P facilitates the transport of minerals through cell membranes. This action suggests that the combination of pyridoxal 5-phosphate and supplements, such as magnesium malate or magnesium glycinate, may increase the total effective dose. Serum P5P levels have been found to be accurate indicators of many types of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and some blood disorders. Providing a healthy level of vitamin B6 can help strengthen your health and keep fit for many years.


  1. http://enzyme.expasy.org/cgi-bin/enzyme/enzyme-search-cf?Pyridoxal_5%27-phosphate
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC371643/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/675385
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20571496
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16670691
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4161081/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208934/
  8. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/186079
  9. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/10730/pyridoxal-5-phosphate-dependent-epilepsy
  10. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/PNPO
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1720393/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1588335/
  13. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2141.1965.tb00087.x/full
  14. http://enzyme.expasy.org/cgi-bin/enzyme/enzyme-search-cf?Pyridoxal_5%27-phosphate
  15. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/#h5
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7271227
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3959594
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208934/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10746516


Tags: b6, p-5-p, p5p, pyrodoxine, vitamin b

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