Vitamin B-6:Health benefits - Interactions

Vitamin B-6

B-6 is important for normal brain development and keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy.

Foods that provide vitamin B-6 include poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, bananas, and fortified cereals. Vitamin B-6 can also be taken as a supplement in the form of oral capsules or liquid.

People who have kidney disease or conditions that prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients from food are more likely to be vitamin B-6 deficient. Certain autoimmune disorders, some medications used to treat epilepsy, and alcohol dependence can also lead to vitamin B-6 deficiency. A deficiency can lead to a condition in which you do not have enough healthy red blood cells. This can result in anemia, confusion, depression, and a weakened immune system.

A vitamin B-6 deficiency is usually accompanied by deficiencies in other B vitamins, such as folic acid (vitamin B-9) and vitamin B-12.

For adults 50 and younger, the recommended daily amount of vitamin B-6 is 1.3 milligrams. After age 50, the recommended daily amount for women and men is 1.5 milligrams.

benefits Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in many bodily functions. It is involved in the metabolism of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, as well as the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hemoglobin. Vitamin B-6 has been shown to offer health benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and lowering the risk of certain chronic diseases. Although it is found in many common foods, some people may need to take a supplement to meet their daily recommended intake.

Vitamin B-6 is an essential nutrient that plays many important roles in the body. It is involved in over 100 enzyme reactions, including those involved in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Additionally, it helps to produce neurotransmitters that regulate mood and is also important for immune function. While most people can't get enough vitamin B-6 through a balanced diet, some individuals, such as those with certain medical conditions, may benefit from supplements.


Studies on the use of vitamin B-6 for specific conditions show that it:

  • Heart and blood vessel diseases and strokes. Some researchers thought that combining vitamin B-6 with folic acid and vitamin B-12 might help reduce the risk of diseases like heart problems and blood vessel problems by reducing the levels of an amino acid in the blood. However, recent studies show that this isn't always the case. A study found that consuming olive oil does not seem to reduce the risk or severity of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

  • Morning sickness.Vitamin B-6 might lessen the severity of morning sickness during pregnancy. If you experience persistent nausea and vomiting, your health care provider might prescribe vitamin B-6 supplements.

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).Some evidence suggests that vitamin B-6 might reduce symptoms of PMS; however, these studies are considered to be low quality.

  • Sideroblastic anemia.Vitamin B-6 is helpful in treating this genetic type of anemia.

Our take

Generally safe

Most people who eat a healthy diet will get enough vitamin B-6. However, for people with kidney diseases, malabsorption syndromes, and other conditions a vitamin B-6 supplement may be necessary.

Supplementing with vitamin B-6 is also helpful for treating a genetic form of anemia and preventing an adverse reaction to the antibiotic cycloserine (a prescription drug taken to treat tuberculosis).

Safety and side effects

Even if you consume too much vitamin B-6 through food, it appears to be safe.

In appropriate doses, vitamin B-6 is likely safe.

Taking too much vitamin B-6 from supplements can cause:

  • A lack of muscle coordination or control (ataxia) can occur.

  • Painful, disfiguring skin lesions

  • Heartburn and nausea

  • Some people are sensitive to sunlight and can get sunburned easily.

  • Numbness

  • The reduced ability to feel pain or extreme temperatures means that the plant can withstand harsh conditions.

Drug interactions

Before taking vitamin B-6, consult with your doctor if you are taking any medications. Possible interactions include:

  • Altretamine.Taking a vitamin B-6 supplement with this cancer chemotherapy drug might reduce its effectiveness, especially when combined with the cancer chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

  • Barbiturates.Taking a vitamin B-6 supplement with a drug that is a central nervous system depressant (barbiturate) might decrease the duration and intensity of the drug.

  • Anticonvulsants.Taking vitamin B-6 with fosphenytoin (Cerebyx Sesquient) or phenytoin (Dilantin Phenytek) might decrease the length of time and intensity of the drug.

  • Levodopa.Do not take vitamin B-6 while taking this medication to treat Parkinson's disease. This might reduce the effectiveness of the drug.

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