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What Is The B6 Vitamin

Vitamin B6 May Help Morning Sickness

What Is Vitamin B6? | Vitamins

During pregnancy, anyone experiencing morning sickness is often prescribed a combination tablet of doxylamine an antihistamine and vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 has been shown to help with nausea while the doxylamine may reduce vomiting. A typical dose of the combination tablet is 10 mg to 25 mg, three times a day.

Tiredness And Low Energy

A vitamin B6 deficiency can leave you feeling unusually tired and sluggish.

A big reason is vitamin B6s role in helping make hemoglobin. Thats the protein in your red blood cells that helps carry oxygen throughout your body.

If your cells dont get enough oxygen as a result of too little hemoglobin, its called anemia. That can make you feel tired and weak.

There have been select cases of B6-related anemia in which taking the inactive pyridoxine hydrochloride form of the vitamin didnt help. However, supplementing with the bodys most active form of B6, called pyridoxal 5-phosphate , resolved the anemia (

27 ).

Nerve problems from B6 deficiency are reversible with adequate B6 intake. On the other hand, nerve problems from B6 toxicity may be more difficult to treat.

Summary Burning, shooting pains in your limbs, hands and feet can be caused by nerve damage from B6 deficiency or overdose.

What Happens If I Consume Too Much Vitamin B6

Taking more than 200mg a day of vitamin B6 for long periods is known to trigger peripheral neuropathy. This can be permanent, so make sure you never consume too much.16

High doses of vitamin B6 can also cause sores on the skin, sensitivity to sunlight, and digestive troubles, including heartburn and nausea.17

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What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin B6

When taking a supplement, it’s important not to take too much.

Taking 200mg or more a day of vitamin B6 can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs known as peripheral neuropathy.

This will usually improve once you stop taking the supplements.

But in a few cases when people have taken large amounts of vitamin B6, particularly for more than a few months, the effect can be permanent.

The effect of taking vitamin B6 at doses between 10 and 200 mg is unclear. So there’s not enough evidence to say how long these doses could be taken for safely.

Cracked And Sore Lips

Vitamin B6 Benefits, Deficiency &  foods Sources ~ Health Tips

Cheilosis, which is characterized by sore, red and swollen lips with cracked mouth corners, can result from B6 deficiency. Cracked areas may bleed and become infected.

In addition to being very painful, having cracked and sore lips can make activities like eating and talking difficult.

Correcting B6 deficiency with foods rich in the vitamin or a supplement may clear up these symptoms.

Notably, deficiencies of riboflavin, folate, iron and other nutrients can also cause this condition, as can sunny, dry or windy weather and other external factors .

Summary Sore lips with cracks in the corners of your mouth can be a sign of B6 deficiency. If thats the case, getting enough B6 through food or a supplement could heal your lips.

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If You’re Pregnant Or Could Get Pregnant

If you’re pregnant, trying for a baby, or could get pregnant, it’s recommended that you take a 400 microgram folic acid supplement daily until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.

Folic acid supplements need to be taken before you get pregnant, so start taking them before you stop using contraception or if there’s a chance you might get pregnant.

This is to help prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in your baby.

Some women have an increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect and are advised to take a higher dose of 5mg of folic acid each day until they’re 12 weeks pregnant.

This is important and unlikely to cause harm, as it’s taken on a short-term basis, but speak to your doctor first.

Get more advice about vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, including who should take a higher dose of folic acid.

Vitamin B6 Toxicity Symptoms

Additionally, too high of vitamin B6 intake can be dangerous and cause toxicity.

Symptoms of B6 toxicity can include nausea, headache, drowsiness, numbness or tingling, sensitivity to light, and gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and heartburn.

If you feel like you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend consulting with your medical practitioner.

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The Recommended Dietary Allowance

Since vitamin B6 is involved in many aspects of metabolism, especially in amino acid metabolic pathways, an individual’s protein intake is likely to influence the requirement for vitamin B6 . Unlike previous recommendations issued by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, the most recent RDA for vitamin B6 was not expressed in terms of protein intake, although the relationship was considered in setting the RDA . The current RDA was revised by the FNB in 1998 and is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin B6

Life Stage

Health Risks Of Vitamin B6

What is Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) good for? Foods High in Vitamin B6.

Taking vitamin B6 as a supplement is generally considered safe, as long as youre taking the recommended dosage. Adults shouldnt take more than 100 milligrams of a vitamin B6 supplement per day.

Taking too much can cause:

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • A lack of muscle control or coordination
  • Lesions
  • Fortified cereals
  • Non-citrus fruits.

For adults under 50, the recommended daily amount of vitamin B6 is 1.3 milligrams. Men over 50 should get 1.7 and women over 50 should get 1.5.

Pregnant people should aim for 1.9 milligrams of vitamin B6 per day.

Eating a healthy, varied diet will provide most people with the right amount of vitamin B6. Severe vitamin B6 deficiency is rare. But people with certain conditions, including kidney disease, malabsorption syndrome, and drinking problems might need vitamin B6 supplements.

Additionally, people keeping a strict vegetarian diet may need to take a vitamin B6 supplement or eat foods fortified with it.

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Harvard University: Vitamin B6.

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The Health And Brain Benefits Of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is important for heart health, the digestive tract, muscular function, energy, and a whole lot of other bodily processes, too.

Our bodies use B vitamins to convert the food we eat into the energy we need to function. Together the complex of eight B vitamins are important for metabolism, brain and liver function, growth, and building blood cells, as well as for maintaining healthy hair, skin, and vision.

More specifically, vitamin B6 one of the eight plays key roles in keeping the brain and nervous system functioning properly, says Sonya Angelone, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Vitamin B6 is involved in production of hemoglobin, the protein in blood that carries oxygen throughout the body.

Vitamin B6 is also needed for proper brain development and function . It helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine . Vitamin B6 also helps the body make melatonin, which is important in helping regulate your internal clock and your sleep.

Toxicity Of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is toxic at doses that are 1000 times the RDA. Daily doses of 2 to 5 grams of pyridoxine can produce difficulty in walking, and tingling sensations in the legs and soles of the feet. Continued consumption of the toxic doses results in further unsteadiness of walking, difficulty in handling small objects, and numbness and clumsiness of the hands. Where vitamin B6 supplementation is stopped, recovery begins after 2 months. Complete recovery may occur after 2 to 3 years of discontinuing consumption of the vitamin B6 supplements .

D.A. Bender, in, 2013

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May Improve Mood And Reduce Symptoms Of Depression

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in mood regulation.

This is partly because this vitamin is necessary for creating neurotransmitters that regulate emotions, including serotonin, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid .

Vitamin B6 may also play a role in decreasing high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which have been linked to depression and other psychiatric issues .

Several studies have shown that depressive symptoms are associated with low blood levels and intakes of vitamin B6, especially in older adults who are at high risk for B vitamin deficiency .

One study in 250 older adults found that deficient blood levels of vitamin B6 doubled the likelihood of depression (

12 ).

A controlled two-year study in approximately 300 older men who did not have depression at the start found that those taking a supplement with B6, folate and B12 were not less likely to have depressive symptoms compared to the placebo group .

Summary Low levels of vitamin B6 in older adults have been linked to depression, but research has not shown that B6 is an effective treatment for mood disorders.

Medical Definition Of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Vitamin B6: A group of closely related chemical compounds with related names — pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine — that are transformed within the body to yet another form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal phosphate, that acts as a coenzyme.

The vitamin B6 group is especially important to the function of the central nervous system, skin, and blood. Vitamin B6 is involved in the formation of red blood cells since pyridoxal phosphate is the rate-limiting substance in making heme, a component of hemoglobin, the key oxygen-carrying pigment in red blood cells.

The diet rarely lacks vitamin B6. Most foods contain it. However, deficiency of vitamin B6 within the body may occur due to poor absorption of it from the intestine or inactivation of it by some drugs . Other causes of vitamin B6 include alcoholism and conditions such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes that increase the metabolic demand, creating a relative shortage of vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 deficiency causes convulsions in infants and anemia in adults. An outbreak of convulsions in infants followed the inadvertent destruction of vitamin B6 in infant formulas. Several genetic syndromes also involve problems with vitamin B6.

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B6 May Help To Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease

Science indicates that vitamin B6 functions may include reducing the risk of heart disease and preventing artery clogging.

Those who are deficient in B6 have been shown to be at almost twice as much risk of developing heart disease in comparison to those with high readings .

Researchers believe this occurs because B6 helps to lower homocysteine levels. This amino acid is commonly found within the body, however elevated amounts are associated with a number of diseases, including heart disease .

In this randomized trial, scientists used 158 participants whose siblings had heart disease. They split the group into two and supplemented half with a daily serving 125mg of vitamin B6 and 5mg of folic acid. This trial continued for 2 years and, by the end the participants who took the vitamin had lower homocysteine levels and were at lower risk of heart disease .

Key Point: Science shows hat supplementing with B6 may help to lower the risk of heart disease over time

Uses In Traditional Medicine

Many vitamin B6-rich foods have long been used in traditional medicine for their powerful effects on health and wellness. While these foods contain a wealth of other micronutrients and health-promoting properties that makes them especially beneficial for use in holistic medicine, their vitamin B6 content undoubtedly contributes to many of their favorable effects on health.

Grass-fed beef, for example, is one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin B6 and is believed to strengthen the blood and enhance red blood cell production according to Ayurveda. Its also thought to relax the mind, satisfy the stomach and improve liver function.

Similarly, pistachios are another vitamin B6-rich food that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to promote spleen health. They also help support the liver, heart and gallbladder and are thought to treat conditions like jaundice, which is caused by excess levels of a yellow pigment called bilirubin.

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Diagnosis Of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

  • History and physical examination

  • Response to vitamin B6 supplements

The diagnosis of vitamin B6 deficiency is based on symptoms, the presence of conditions that can cause the deficiency, and response to vitamin B6 supplements.

Blood tests may be done, but no routine blood test can clearly confirm the diagnosis.

Top 10 Foods Highest In Vitamin B6

What Is Pyridoxine Vitamin B6 – Functions, Benefits Of, Foods High In Pyridoxine Vitamin B6 Per Day

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for processing amino acids in the body, which form the building blocks of proteins and some hormones. It is involved in red blood cell metabolism, proper functioning of the nervous and immune systems and various other bodily functions.

A long-term deficiency in vitamin B6 can lead to skin inflammation depression, confusion, convulsions, and even anemia. Recent studies also suggest that a diet low in vitamin B6 increases the risk of heart disease.

Conversely, too much vitamin B6 taken from supplements can lead to nerve damage in the arms and legs.

Foods high in vitamin B6 include fish, chicken, tofu, pork, beef, sweet potatoes, bananas, potatoes, avocados, and pistachios. The daily value for vitamin B6 is 1.7mg per day.

Below is a list high vitamin B6 foods sorted by a common serving size, see the nutrient ranking of all foods high in vitamin B6 to sort by 100 grams or 200 calories.

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Natures Way Vitamin B

Though its one of the most common brands youll find at a brick and mortar retailer, Natures Way actually makes a pretty solid vitamin B6 supplement.

It delivers 100 mg per capsule, and the supplement design is pretty clean. Aside from cellulose and gelatin for the capsule, the only other ingredient is magnesium stearate.

What Side Effects May I Notice From Receiving This Medicine

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
  • seizures

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention :

  • headache
  • tiredness
  • upset stomach

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Vitamin B6 Helps Prevent Anemia

“Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of hemoglobin a protein that supplies the cells with oxygen,” says Lina Velikova, MD, PhD, a clinical immunologist and a medical advisor at Supplements101.

Lower than normal hemoglobin levels is one of the causes of anemia, a condition characterized by low levels of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, so without adequate red blood cells, one can feel weak and fatigued.

Maintaining an adequate intake of vitamin B6 can help prevent anemia.

Ranking The Best Vitamin B6 Supplements Of 2021

Foods rich in Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin thats used in a huge range of biological functions and helps maintain heart health, DNA integrity, and cognitive function.

It works in conjunction with the other B vitamins to promote your bodys health, right down to the molecular level.

Deficiency in vitamin B6 is often accompanied by deficiencies in other B vitamins, and it seems to be a particularly common problem in older adults.

Looking to keep your B6 levels high so your body is operating at its very best? Our researchers have selected the best vitamin B6 supplements on the market and ranked them below.


Pure Encapsulations provides its B6 in a metabolized form thats more bioavailable and bioactive. The company exploits the fact that vitamin B6 isnt one distinct chemical its a category of related compounds.

Their P5P 50 format comes in a high dosage of 50 mg per capsule. This combined with the greater bioactivity of the compound makes it well-suited for people who know they need to correct a substantial vitamin B6 deficiency.

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How Much Folate Do I Need

Adults need 200 micrograms of folate a day. A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol μ followed by the letter g .

There are no long-term stores in the body, so you need to eat folate-containing foods frequently.

Most people should be able to get the amount of folate they need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

May Help Treat Nausea During Pregnancy

Vitamin B6 has been used for decades to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

In fact, its an ingredient in Diclegis, a medication commonly used to treat morning sickness .

Researchers are not entirely sure why vitamin B6 helps with morning sickness, but it may be because adequate B6 plays several vital roles in ensuring a healthy pregnancy .

A study in 342 women in their first 17 weeks of pregnancy found that a daily supplement of 30 mg of vitamin B6 significantly reduced feelings of nausea after five days of treatment, compared to a placebo .

Another study compared the impact of ginger and vitamin B6 on reducing episodes of nausea and vomiting in 126 pregnant women. The results showed that taking 75 mg of B6 each day decreased nausea and vomiting symptoms by 31% after four days .

These studies suggest that vitamin B6 is effective in treating morning sickness even in durations of less than one week.

If youre interested in taking B6 for morning sickness, speak with your doctor before starting any supplements.

Summary Vitamin B6 supplements in doses of 3075 mg a day have been used as an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

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