Canadian Medical Guide > Vitamins & Mineral Food Supplement Guide

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin / Mineral Supplement Overview:
Vitamin B-6, otherwise known as pyridoxine, performs as a coenzyme to carry out metabolic processes that affect the body's use of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. It helps to convert tryptophan to niacin, and may be found in meat, fish, eggs, milk, and whole grain foods.

How Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Works in the Body:
Promotes healthy cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems
Supports healthy skin, hair, and normal red-blood-cell formation
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) assists in production of food energy
Possible anemia treatment
Treatment of cycloserine and isoniazid poisoning
Keeps normal homocysteine levels
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) functions as a tranquilizer
Important for Healthy nerve and muscle functioning
Blood cholesterol may decrease
Inflammation of arthritis and carpal-tunnel syndrome may be reduced
Reduction of PMS symptoms
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) may reduce asthma symptoms
Increases levels of serotonin to ease sleep

The following people may benefit from taking Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) supplements:
Those with increased nutritional needs
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Substance abusers
Long periods of excess stress
Estrogen and oral contraceptive users
Hyperthyroidism sufferers
Those with high homocysteine levels

Foods high in Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine):
Beef liver
Fortified cereals
Ground beef
Hazelnuts (filberts)
Sunflower seeds
Wheat germ

Using Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine):
Available as:
Liquid: the best form due to its high bioavailability and fast absorption. Always choose liquid as your first choice when supplementing your diet.

Tablets: available

Recommended Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Daily Intakes:
Men: 1.3 mg
Men (Over 50): 1.7 mg
Women: 1.3 mg
Women (Over 50): 1.5 mg
Pregnancy: 1.9 mg
Lactation: 2.0 mg

Medical Precautions: Consult your doctor if you have:
Stress resulting from illness, burns, accident, or recent surgery
Intestinal problems
Liver disease
Overactive thyroid
Sickle-cell disease

Over 55:
A marginal deficiency of this vitamin is more likely to occur.

Keep dosage within DRI.
Avoid large doses. May cause pyridoxine dependency syndrome in child.

Large doses may cause dependency in child.

Vitamin Supplement Storage:
Heat and/or moisture may alter the vitamin. Refrigeration is recommended.

Symptoms of Deficiency:
Symptoms include weakness, mental confusion, irritability, nervousness, inability to sleep, hyperactivity, anemia, skin lesions, tongue discoloration, and kidney stones.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Overdose:
Signs of Overdose:
Sustained periods of large doses may cause irreversible nerve damage. The excess of vitamin B-6 may also lead to kidney stone formation.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Side Effects:
Reaction or effect : What to do
Depression when taking with oral contraceptives : Stop use and consult your doctor.
Large doses may cause dependency : Keep doses within DRI.
Large doses for several months severe sensory neuropathy : Stop use and consult doctor immediately.

Interacts with : Combined effect
Estrogens or oral contraceptives : Reduces vitamin absorption rates.
Tobacco/alcohol : Reduces vitamin absorption rates.
Phenytoin : Large doses affect medicine absorption.
Levodopa : Keeps medicine from controlling Parkinson's symptoms.
Chloramphenicol, cycloserine, ethionamide, hydralazine, isoniazid, penicillamine, and immunosuppressants : Excretion of vitamin increased and may cause anemia or peripheral neuritis.


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