Vitamin B-6

  • Vitamin B6 is one of eight B vitamins, also known as pyridoxine. This group of vitamins is important for proper cell functioning. They help with metabolism, keeping cells healthy, and creating healthy blood cells.
  • Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water. The body does not store vitamin B6 and releases extra vitamins through the urine, so people need to get enough vitamin B6 regularly.


Vitamin B6 has many functions, and it plays an important role in over 100 enzyme reactions. One of its important roles is in supporting the body to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, for energy.

This vitamin is also involved in:

  • Strengthening immunity
  • Brain development in pregnant women and infants.
  • Creating neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin.
  • Creating hemoglobin, which is a constituent of red blood cells that carries oxygen molecules.

Brain function

  • Vitamin B6 supports the formation of neurotransmitters, which are important chemical messengers in the brain. It also coordinates energy use in the brain.
  • Some research believes that vitamin B6 deficiency may be associated with cognitive decline.
  • According to the Office of dietary supplements, studies have suggested that older adults with higher blood levels of vitamin B6 have a better memory.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that taking vitamin B6 supplements improves cognition the people with or without dementia.

Nausea during pregnancy

  • Taking pyridoxine may play a significant role in mild symptoms of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
  • It also believes that taking a combination of pyridoxine and doxylamine could help with moderate symptoms of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
  • Based on the research, it is recommended that vitamin B6 supplements are safe, over-the-counter treatment for nausea during pregnancy.

Protection from air pollution

  • According to a study, it is indicated that vitamin B6 may beneficial in protecting people against the adverse effects of air pollution by reducing the impact of pollution on the epigenome.
  • The researchers hope their consequences may lead to new measures to prohibit epigenetic changes that can result from exposure to air pollution.


  • Low plasma vitamin B6 concentrations may be associated with an increased risk of certain kinds of cancer, For example, people in the highest quintile had a 20% less chance of colorectal cancer.
  • ¬†However, the small number of clinical trials completed to date has not shown that vitamin B6 supplementation can help prevent cancer or reduce its impact on mortality.
  • Vitamin B6 supplements may reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Sources of Vitamin B-6

  • chickpeas (1 cup) gives 1.1 mg
  • beef liver (3 ounces) gives 0.9 mg
  • potatoes (1 cup) contributes 0.4 mg
  • banana (medium) provides 0.4 mg
  • tofu (half a cup) gives 0.1 mg
  • nuts (1 oz) provide 0.1 mg
  • yellow fin tuna (3 oz) provides 0.9 mg
  • roasted chicken breast (3 oz) provides 0.5 mg

Other sources of B6 include:

  • fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals
  • salmon bulgur
  • cottage cheese
  • squash
  • rice
  • raisins
  • turkey
  • marinara sauce
  • ground beef
  • waffles
  • onion
  • spinach
  • watermelon


  • Deficiency of vitamin B-6 may develop if a person has poor intestinal absorption or an individual is on synthetic estrogens, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, or some other long-term medications.
  • Many deficiencies in vitamin B6 are combined with low levels of other B vitamins, such as vitamin B 12 and B-9.
  • Long-term, excessive alcohol intake may eventually result in a vitamin B6 deficiency, as can diabetes and hypothyroidism.

Signs and symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency include

  • Peripheral neuropathy with a tingling sensation, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet
  • Depression
  • confusion
  • poor immune system
  • Anemia
  • seizures

In rare cases, vitamin B6 deficiency may result in pellagra a syndrome, like

  • may develop seborrheic dermatitis
  • inflammation of the lips, known as cheilosis
  • Inflammation of the tongue, (glossitis)
  • In children up to one year of age, seizures may persist even after treatment.
  • Some deficiencies, like peripheral neuropathy, can be in long term. In which the body makes abnormal red blood cells (sideroblastic anemia)

Dosage in certain conditions

  • In starting, 200-600 mg of vitamin B6 is given. The dose is decreased to 30-50 mg per day after optimal response.
  • For vitamin B6 deficiency:

In adults, the optimal dose is 2.5-25 mg daily for three weeks,  then the dose is tapered. For women who are taking birth control pills, the dose is 25-30 mg per day.

  • For an eye disease that results in vision loss (age-related macular degeneration):

50 mg of vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxine has been used daily in combination with 1000 mcg of cyanocobalamin and 2500 mcg of vitamin B-9 for about 7 years.

  • For hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis):

A unique supplement containing 250 mg of aged garlic extract, 300mcg of B-9, 100mg of L-arginine, 100 mcg of vitamin B12, 12.5 mg of vitamin B6 regularly for 12 months has been used.