Vitamin B6

We recommend:

Nature’s Sunshine Vitamin B complex


What is it?

Vitamin B6 is a water soluble nutrient and is measured in milligrams. It’s part of the vitamin B complex and it has many functions in the body.

Function How it helps
Absorption and metabolism of proteins Vitamin B6 is the master vitamin for processing amino acids
Formation of red blood cells Promotes red blood cell production.
Hormone production and regulation B6 is needed to make the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine and it helps maintain hormone balance. It has been shown to reduce blood levels of oestrogen, this is therefore considered particularly significant with regard to its success in the treatment of PMT.
Brain and nervous system activity B6 is required for many brain functions, including the manufacture of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.
Cardiovascular Health

When B6 intake is inadequate homocysteine levels in the blood rise. Homocysteine has been shown to accelerate free radical damage to blood vessel walls and is considered to be one of the major risk factors in heart disease.


What is it used for?
Acne vulgaris Morning sickness Age-related cognitive decline Stress (as a component of B-complex supplementation)
Amennorrhea Premenstrual syndrome Pregnancy and postpartum support High homocysteine (in combination with folic acid and vitamin B12)
Asthma Amenorrhoea MSG sensitivity Schizophrenia
Anxiety and tension Osteoporosis (to lower homocysteine) Coronary arterial disease Alzheimer’s disease (in combination with iron and co-Enzyme Q10)
Chronic Headaches Dupuytren’s contracture Epilepsy psoriasis
Genetic anaemia Kidney stones Fibrocystic breast disease Hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid)
Autism Type 1 diabetes HIV support Diabetic neuropathy
Mouth ulcers Type 2 diabetes Hypoglycaemia


Best food sources
Potatoes Bananas Green beans
Whole cereal grains Turkey Lentils & beans (especially soy)


Liver Avocadoes Sunflower seeds


Deficiency Symptoms
Skin disorders Dizziness Impaired glucose tolerance
Sores in the mouth Mental confusion Hyperactivity
Anaemia Seizures Cracks in tongue and lips
Nervous tension & irritability Pre-menstrual symptoms Autism

Supplementation dosage range

The most common supplemental intake is 10–25 mg per day. However, high amounts (100–200 mg per day or even more) may be recommended for certain conditions.

Other information

Vitamin B6 increases the bioavailability of magnesium, therefore these nutrients are sometimes taken together.

High doses of single B-vitamins may deplete other B-vitamins; therefore if high doses are required, supplementation with a multivitamin or B-complex is advised.


Vitamin B6 is considered safe up to 200mg per day for short-term use and up to 100mg per day for long-term use. At higher levels (i.e. over 500mg) people may experience numbness in their hands and feet due to nerve damamge, in which case supplementation should cease immediately.

Pregnant and breast-feeding women should not take more than 50mg of vitamin B6 per day without a doctor’s supervision. Vitamin B6 reduces secretion of prolactin, a hormone involved in breast milk production, so avoid higher doses of B6 during the last trimester of pregnancy and while breast-feeding.

If you take Levodopa you should limit your intake of vitamin B6 to less than 10mg per day.

At the time of writing there were no other well-known negative drug interactions with vitamin B6.

Factors which deplete levels, impair absorption and/or inhibit activity:
Alcohol Antacids Stress
Kidney failure High protein intake Antibiotics
Oral contraceptives Vitamin B2 or magnesium deficiency Artificial food dyes
Chronic fatigue syndrome Diuretics Corticosteroids




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