Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Review the Latest Research

Full Disclosure

Vitamin B6, sometimes known as Pyridoxine, is one of the eight B vitamins. All B vitamins help convert the nutrients (carbohydrates) to fuel (glucose), which can be used to create energy. The B vitamins, sometimes called B-complex vitamins, can also help the body process fats and proteins. B-complex vitamins are required for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and the liver. They also aid in supporting the nervous system in functioning correctly.

The majority of B vitamins are water-soluble, which means that the body doesn't keep them in storage.

Vitamin B6 assists the body in creating a range of neurotransmitters—chemicals that transmit information from one nerve cell to the next. It is required for normal brain development and function. It also assists in producing the hormones norepinephrine and serotonin, which affect mood and melatonin and can help regulate the body's clock.

Alongside vitamins B12 and B9 (folic acid), B6 aids in controlling blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that may be linked to heart disease. The body requires B6 to take in vitamin B12 and create red blood cells and other immune system cells.

People are not expected to experience an excessive deficiency in B6; however, studies suggest that some people are mildly deficient, particularly older people and children. Certain medications can cause the body to have low levels of B6. The signs of a deficiency that indicate serious deficiencies include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • It isn't easy to concentrate
  • Memory loss in the short-term

Heart disease

It's not known what the effects of vitamin B6 could impact heart disease. People who don't get sufficient B6 from their diets are at risk of having a higher chance of developing heart disease. B6 is involved in reducing homocysteine levels in blood. The presence of homocysteine in the blood is believed to be linked to heart problems. However, researchers aren't able to determine exactly what causes this connection. They are also unsure how lowering homocysteine levels can reduce the chance of suffering from heart disease. As long as we don't know the best option, we should take sufficient B6 from food sources and take supplements if our physician recommends these.

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (morning sickness)

Numerous studies, including a huge double-blind placebo-controlled study found that taking a daily dose of B6 at 30 mg can help prevent morning sickness. However, other studies have not found any benefits. If you're pregnant, make sure you consult your physician before you take any medication, which includes vitamin B6.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

One study of a large size found that women who ingested 50 mg of vitamin B6 every day, along with a dose of 1,000 mg of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) and 2,500 mg of folic acid, decreased the risk of developing AMD, which is an eye condition that could cause loss of vision.


Vitamin B6 assists your body produce serotonin, an ingredient that affects mood. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression, and certain antidepressants are effective by increasing Serotonin levels. Some researchers believe that vitamin B6 may help to reduce the depression symptoms. It is important to conduct more research.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Some studies have shown that vitamin B6 can help alleviate PMS symptoms. However, the majority of the studies in question were not well planned, and studies that were well-designed did not show any benefit. While more research is being conducted, discuss with your doctor whether B6 may be suitable for you. Many who believe that B6 is effective in treating PMS claim it can take 3 to 6 months before you notice an improvement.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The first research suggested that B6 may help reduce inflammation and signs associated with carpal tunnel syndrome; however, the vast majority of studies have found no link.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

The low levels of vitamin B6 are associated with RA. Certain studies suggest that those suffering from RA might require greater amounts of vitamin B6 than ordinary people due to chronic inflammation, which can reduce B6 levels. A healthy, balanced diet, as well as taking a multivitamin, is recommended for anyone who suffers from a chronic illness such as RA. Discuss with your doctor before using B6 supplements.

Tardive dyskinesia

A handful of studies have revealed that vitamin B6 can help with signs of tardive dyskinesia compared to placebo. The condition is caused by prolonged use of antipsychotic medications, which causes involuntary movement of muscles, such as those in the mouth, tongue, jaw, face, legs, arms, fingers, toes, and fingers.

Dietary Sources

Foods that are good for vitamin B6 are:

  • Fortified ready-to-eat cereal
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Beef liver
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Brown rice
  • Bran
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Wheat germ
  • Bananas
  • Whole-grain flour

Available Forms

Vitamin B6 is found in multivitamins, such as liquid drops for children and chewable tablets, B complex vitamins, or it can be purchased separately. Vitamin B6 is available in a range of forms, including soft gels, tablets, and lozenges. It is also sold under the names pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate.

How to Take It

A healthy diet will meet their daily requirements for vitamin B6 without taking supplements. Like any medication or supplement, make sure to consult with a health expert before providing vitamin B6 supplementation to your child.

Daily guidelines for vitamin B6 include:


  • Infants, 0-6 months: 0.1 mg (adequate intake)
  • Infants from 7 months to 1 year old: 0.3 mg (adequate intake)
  • Children aged 1 to 3 years old: 0.5 mg (RDA)
  • Children, 4-8 year old: 0.6 mg (RDA)
  • Children, 9-13 years 1-milligram (RDA)
  • Boys, 14-18 Years: 1.3 mg (RDA)
  • Girls between 14 and 18 to 18 years old 1.2 mg (RDA)


  • Women and men between the ages of 19 and 50: 1.3 mg (RDA)
  • Men aged 51 or older: 1.7 mg (RDA)
  • Women aged 51 and over: 1.5 mg (RDA)
  • Women who are pregnant: 1.9 mg (RDA)
  • Breastfeeding mothers: 2.0 mg (RDA)

Higher doses of the drug have been tested in a few studies. But, it is not recommended to use doses that exceed 100 mg daily without a doctor's approval. Massive doses of B6 can create nerve harm.


It is recommended to take supplements for dietary use at the direction of a qualified health professional due to the possibility of adverse reactions and interactions with medicines.

Very high doses, such as up to 200 mg of vitamin B6, may cause neurological issues, including loss of sensation in the legs and a lack of balance. Reducing high doses is usually the path to complete recovery in six months.

There have been reports of rare instances of allergic skin reactions caused by large doses of vitamin B6 supplements.

Other adverse effects could be:

  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • A loss of appetite

Possible Interactions

If these medications are treating you do not take vitamin B6 supplements without speaking with your doctor first.

Drugs that decrease levels of B6 within the body. If you're taking any of these medicines, ensure that you get enough B6 from your diet.

  • Cycloserine (Seromycin) is a drug used to treat tuberculosis.
  • Hydralazine (Apresoline) is used to lower blood pressure.
  • Isoniazid is which is a drug used for treating tuberculosis
  • Penicillamine is a medication used to treat RA
  • Theophylline (TheoDur) is used to combat asthma

Tetracycline, antibiotics All B complex vitamins, which include vitamin B6, affect the efficiency and absorption of the antibiotic tetracycline. Tetracycline is best taken at different times with vitamin B6 along with various B vitamins.

Antidepressant medication taking vitamin B6 supplements could increase the effectiveness of tricyclic antidepressants, such as nortriptyline (Pamelor), mainly for the elderly. Other tricyclic antidepressants are amitriptyline (Elavil), Desipramine (Norpramin), and imipramine (Tofranil).

On the other hand, antidepressants known as monoamine oxide inhibitors (MAOIs) can reduce the levels in the blood of vitamin B6. Examples of MAOIs are the phenelzine (Nardil) and the drug tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Amiodarone (Cordarone) Amiodarone (Cordarone): This medication, which is used to treat irregular heartbeat, makes your skin more prone to sunburn. Vitamin B6 taken with this drug could increase the chance of blisters, sunburn, or skin rash.

Chemotherapy medications: Vitamin B6 may reduce certain adverse reactions to 5-fluorouracil and doxorubicin, drugs that combat cancer. Discuss with your doctor before taking any supplements if you are going through chemotherapy.

Erythropoietin (EPO): Erythropoietin therapy, which is used to treat severe anemia, can reduce the vitamin B6 levels in red blood cells.

Levodopa (L-dopa): Vitamin B6 decreases the effectiveness of levodopa, the medication prescribed for Parkinson's disease. However, it doesn't appear to cause the same effects in combination with carbidopa. Your doctor might be able to determine the amount of B6 you need, which can help reduce the adverse effects of levodopa. It is recommended to take vitamin B6 with levodopa when under the guidance of your doctor.

Phenytoin (Dilantin): Vitamin B6 makes phenytoin a drug that treats seizures, but it is less effective.

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