Vitamin B6 is absolutely essential for the development of the corpus luteum - this gland is produced in the ovary after the egg has been released and it is what makes the hormone progesterone. Therefore B6 is necessary for balanced hormones and preventing progesterone deficiency. Progesterone deficiency can provoke symptoms during the luteal/premenstrual phase and cause miscarriages. If you have the signs of progesterone deficiency you can supplement with B6 and increase the amount of B6-rich foods in your diet. All B vitamins help you body to metabolize the nutrients in the food you eat, as well as break down fats and proteins, however B6 is particular important for hormonal health.
Signs of B6 and progesterone deficiency
So, how do you know if you’re progesterone deficient? These are some of the obvious signs. If you have more than one of these symptoms, this could point to progesterone deficiency.
- Brown spotting before or after your period
- A short luteal phase - a normal luteal phase is between 12-15 days long, shorter than that and you may have progesterone deficiency - this could look like having too frequent periods
- PMS symptoms like moodiness, tender breasts, bloating and acne
- Infertility issues - achieving and maintaining a pregnancy - especially experiencing miscarriage
- If you take your basal body temperature each day you’ll see a very low temp rise post-ovulation and then a very fast fall before your period
- If you check your cervical fluid you might see a lot of cervical fluid continuing through your luteal phase after ovulation
There are many reasons the modern woman might be low on B6 and therefore progesterone deficient. The opposite side of this hormonal imbalance is, of course, estrogen excess or estrogen dominance. It’s not always about not getting enough B6 in your daily diet, it can be about how prepared your body is to use B6 effectively. It is very easy to become deficient in B vitamins, and that deficiency has the most profound impact on reproductive health.
Causes of B6 and progesterone deficiency
- Stress - when we’re stressed our bodies use up lots of progesterone hormone to make more cortisol, the stress hormone. So you might have enough B6 to make progesterone, enough progesterone, but then you’re so stressed you still become deficient. Lack of sleep can have the same impact.
- Over-exercising - working out too much, especially tackling hardcore cardio during the second half of your cycle can cause internal stress that has the same impact on your cortisol and progesterone levels.
- Alcohol - B vitamins are destroyed by frequent alcohol intake. Even if you supplement and eat B6-rich foods, alcohol will cause you to lose most of it.
- The birth control pill - oral contraceptives are known to deplete many vitamins, including B6. This is because the Pill prevents proper absorption of vitamins by impairing gut health.
Good sources of B6 from food
You can take a B vitamin complex as a supplement and take additional B6 on top, but the best way to get B6 is from foods rich in this vitamin.
- Wild-caught tuna fish
- Grass-fed beef
- Sweet potato
As you can see many of the main sources of B6 are from animal proteins, which makes vegetarians particularly vulnerable to B6 and progesterone deficiency.
As well as B6 supplements, if you are facing progesterone deficiency you can also consider using Vitex or progesterone cream to increase progesterone and decrease estrogen excess, and therefore rebalance your hormones.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, are you progesterone deficient?
Second, have you had a miscarriage?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good period karma and share this article on social 😉
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