Vitamin B6


Vitamin B6 is a family of chemically-related compounds including pyridoxamine and pyridoxal which, are found in animal products and pyridoxine which is found in plants and fortified foods and supplements. Vitamin B6 is used in various aspects of the body such as, the metabolism, the cardiovascular system, the immune system, hormones and hormone development and the nervous system. Having the proper levels of vitamin B6 can help to improve the body’s glucose tolerance, help to treat atherosclerosis, alleviate premenstrual syndrome and help to treat morning sickness in pregnant women.


Metabolism: Like most complex B vitamins, vitamin B6 is involved in the functioning of enzymes involved in the releases of energy from food. The coenzyme forms of vitamin B6 are pyriodoxal 5’ phosphate and pyridoxamine 5’ phosphate, these are necessary for roughly 100 enzymatic reactions. The reactions include the synthesis and breakdown of amino acids, the conversion of amino acids to carbohydrate or fat and the conversion of one fat to another.

Cardiovascular system: Vitamin B6 is essential for the manufacture of fat-derived substances called prostaglandins. These substances are involved in processes such as blood pressure regulation and heart function. Vitamin B is also necessary for red blood cell formation.

Nervous system and the brain: Having adequate levels of vitamin B6 is crucial for the healthy development and function of the nervous system.  It is involved in the manufacture of several neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another, in the body including serotonin, GABA, dopamine and noradrenaline, it also plays an important role in regulating mental processes and mood.

Hormones:  Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in modulating the effects of hormones, including male and female sex hormone as well as adrenal hormones. This vitamin helps to make serotonin, and norepinephrine, which influence our mood and melatonin, which helps regulate our body clock.

Forms Available

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Activity = 82%)

Recommended Intake


  • Up to 6 months old: 0.1 milligrams per day (mg/day)
  • 7 to 12 months old: 0.3 mg/day

These are based on Adequate Intake (AI) values.



  • 1 to 3 years old: 0.5 mg/day
  • 4 to 8 years old: 0.6 mg/day
  • 9 to 13 years old: 1.0 mg/day

Adolescents and Adults

  • Males 14 to 50 years old: 1.3 mg/day
  • Males 51 years old or older: 1.7 mg/day
  • Females 14 to 18 years old: 1.2 mg/day
  • Females 19 to 50 years: 1.3 mg/day
  • Females 51 years old or older: 1.5 mg/day


These values may vary depend on weight, height, health, and any medical conditions.



In the Elderly: Low vitamin B6 levels are common among elderly people and can lead to an increased risk of several disorders including heart disease.

Brain and Nervous systems: Deficiencies of vitamin B6 can cause mental symptoms of irritability, weakness, drowsiness, depression and poor appetite. Vitamin B6 deficiencies can caused convulsions in young children. Women who are pregnant and have vitamin B6 deficiencies can affect the development of a baby’s nervous system, the deficiencies can also contribute to water retention, morning sickness and birthing difficulties.

Immune System: The autoimmune response system is greatly affected by vitamin B6 deficiencies. There is a wide variety of immune system affected such as, quality and quantity of antibodies and the number of infection – fighting white blood cells.It is extremely common to see a vitamin deficiency in those with HIV, research has shown that while the CD4+ and CD8+ cells were not affected, other aspects of the immune systems in HIV patients were affected by vitamin B6 deficiencies.

Cardiovascular disease: Vitamin B6 deficiencies can raise the risk for one to develop cardiovascular disease. Theories for the development of atherosclerosis link high levels of a compound known as homocysteine to damage the cells lining the arteries. Homocysteine develops when there is a deficiency of vitamin B6 and can lead to defects in wall formation of the arteries. Heart attacks and low levels of vitamin B6 have also been linked together.

Sources in the Diet

Some of the richest sources of vitamin B6 are chicken, fish, pork, eggs and milk. Long-terms storage, canning, roasting or stewing of meats can cause a loss in vitamin B6, cooking reduces the B6 amounts because the vitamin becomes lost within the water it’s cooked in. Some other non-meat sources of vitamin B6 are bananas, avocadoes, spinach, raisins, green peas and potatoes.

Recent Studies and Articles

Vitamin B6 and colorectal cancer

Vitamin B6 deficiency study

Challenges Presented

Physical Characteristics: White powder, readily soluble in water

Formulation Notes: Can be agglomerated or coated. Moderate stability.

Watson Products

PYRIDOX. 33.3% PALM , 44 LB (20 KG.) CARTON


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  4. [] – Dole Nutrition Institute. The Dole Nutrition Handbook. Printed in the United States of America; Rodale Inc. 2010.
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