Vitamin B6

Vitamin B-6 is an important compound found in many foods. Because it plays such a vital role in the body taking it as a supplement is wise for those who don’t get enough in their diets.

Benefits:

  • Improves overall attentiveness and has been used to help treat ADHD [4]
  • Increases dream vividness and dream recall [1]
  • Decreases Risk of Parkinson’s disease by up to 50% [2]
  • Prevents heart disease [3]
  • Alleviates hangovers and morning sickness [5]
  • Decreases the risk of cancer [6]

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What Is Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B-6 is a water soluble compound that is known to come in several different forms.  It was discovered in 1934 by a Hungarian physician, Paul Gyorgy. He named it B-6 after curing a skin disease in rats with the compound. We now know that vitamin B-6 can be obtained from a variety of foods including meats, whole grain products, vegetables, nuts, and bananas. Vitamin B-6 is sold as a supplement all over the world because of its many benefits.

Vitamin B6 Dosage Information

Below is a chart for recommended daily intake for vitamin-B6. If you are lacking this amount in your diet then it is strongly recommended that you take a supplement. Vitamin-B6 deficiency is linked to many disorders including atrophic glossitis, angular cheilitis, and other neuropathic disorders. [7] You can view the amount of vitamin-B6 present in different foods here. Even though it is perfectly safe to go over these recommended dosages the US FDA has set 100mg/day as the tolerable upper limit. [8]

How Does Vitamin B6 Work?

Vitamin B-6 has many different jobs in multiple places throughout the body. Its functions include:

  • Macronutrient metabolism
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Synthesis of certain neurotransmitters
  • Histamine synthesis
  • Hemoglobin synthesis
  • Gene expression
  • Facilitates gluconeogenesis

Safety and Side Effects of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B-6 is regarded as completely safe and there has never been a documented adverse effect from food sources.  At doses above recommended intake from oral supplements side effects have occasionally included nausea, loss of appetite, headache, and sleepiness. Long-term usage at doses exceeding 500mg/day has been linked to certain brain and nerve disorders.  Be cautious if you are taking vitamin-B6 with Amidarone, Phenobarbital, or Phenytoin as B-6 could decrease their effectiveness and lead to additional side effects.

Vitamin B6 FAQ

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Vitamin B6. If you have a question that’s not on this list, send it to us at [email protected] and we will answer it for you.

Should I Use Vitamin B6?

If you lack Vitamin B-6 in your diet or are looking to improve your overall health then there’s no reason not to take a Vitamin B-6 supplement. At normal doses side effects are virtually non-existent. It’s only nootropic property is increased alertness and concentration but with no side effects and limited interactions, it makes an excellent addition to many nootropic regimens.

What Are Some Notable Vitamin B6 Studies?

One study conducted in 2008 examined the effects of vitamin-B-6 supplements on children with clinical ADHD symptoms.  The study used 40 students displaying symptoms that included hyperactivity, hypermotivity, and lack of attention. In almost every case where the student was subject to the B6 regimen for over two months hyperactivity, hypermotivity was reduced and attention rose. The study believes the improvement was due to B-6’s ability to treat magnesium deficiency which is a common cause of the observed symptoms. [4]

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Cited Studies

1.  Ebben, M., Lequerica, A., & Spielman A. (2002). Effects of pyridoxine on dreaming: a preliminary study. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 94(1), 135–140.

2.  Increased intake of vitamin B6Sheet”. http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng.asp?n=69580-vitamin-b-folate-parkinson-s-disease. Retrieved 2006-08-11.

3. TLC Cooking “Benefits of Vitamin B6″

4. Mousain-Bosc M et al. (2006). “Improvement of neurobehavioral disorders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. I. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.”. Magnesium Research 19 (1): 46–52. PMID 16846100.

5.  THE MYSTERIOUS VITAMIN B6. By Dr. Russ Ebbets. Off The Road Column

6.  Larsson, S. et.al. JAMA 2010; 303:1077-1083.

7. Andrews’ Diseases of the Skin, 10th Edition, Elsevier.

8. The EFSA Journal (2008) 760, 1-13