Vitamin B6 is one of the most active of the B vitamins, taking part in many metabolic functions. These functions include releasing glycogen from the liver when our muscles need extra energy. B6 also assists in the metabolism of protein. Recently research has shown B6 to be essential in the regulatory functions of the female reproductive system via it's role in hormone production. In both men and women B6 has proven to be beneficial in preventing cardiac problems . And, studies show that B6 is beneficial in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.


Vitamin B6 is an important nutrient that supports more vital bodily functions than any other vitamin. This is due to its role as a coenzyme involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Vitamin B6 is also responsible for the manufacture of hormones, red blood cells, neurotransmitters, enzymes and prostaglandins. Vitamin B6 is required for the production of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that controls our moods, appetite, sleep patterns, and sensitivity to pain. A deficiency of Vitamin B6 can quickly lead to insomnia and a profound malfunctioning of the central nervous system.
Among its many benefits, Vitamin B6 is recognized for helping to maintain healthy immune system functions, for protecting the heart from cholesterol deposits, and for preventing kidney stone formation. Vitamin B6 is also effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, night leg cramps, allergies, asthma and arthritis.
Common symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency can include depression, vomiting, anemia, kidney stones, dermatitis, lethargy and increased susceptibility to diseases due to a weakened immune system. Infants suffering from Vitamin B6 deficiency can be anxious and irritable, and in extreme cases may develop convulsions.
Supplemental Vitamin B6 is a commonly used as a treatment for nausea, morning sickness and depression. Pregnant women have an increased need for supplemental Vitamin B6, as do patients suffering from heart disease or those undergoing radiation treatment. Persons on high protein diets require extra Vitamin B6, as do those taking antidepressants, amphetamines, oral contraceptives, and estrogen.
Natural foods highest in Vitamin B6 include brewers yeast, carrots, chicken, eggs, fish, avocados, bananas, brown rice, and whole grains. The RDA for Vitamin B6 is 2 mg per day. Most B-complex formulas contain between 10 to 75 mg. of Vitamin B6.
. Vitamin B6 supplements should not be taken by Parkinson's disease patients being treated with L-dopa as Vitamin B6 can diminish the effects of L-dopa in the brain.


Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is a family of compounds including pyridoxamine and pyridoxal which are found in animal products and pyridoxine which is found in plants. It is a water-soluble vitamin. About 70-80% of the vitamin in the body is located in muscle bound to glycogen phosphorylase, an enzyme involved in releasing glucose from glycoge. About 10 % is located in the liver.

Age (years) mg/day
Infants 0-0.5 0.3
0.5-1.0 0.6
Children 1-3 1.0
4-6 1.1
7-10 1.4
Females 11-14 1.4
15+ 1.6
Pregnant 2.2
Lactating 2.1
Males 11-14 1.7
15+ 2.0