- Helping with amino acid and protein metabolism
- Enabling red blood cell metabolism
- Helping the nervous system function efficiently
- Helping the immune system function efficiently
- Converting tryptophan (an amino acid) to niacin (a vitamin)
- Enabling the breakdown of glycogen to glucose
- Aiding in the metabolism, transportation, and distribution of selenium
- Assisting in the metabolism of calcium and magnesium
|Age Group (in years)||Recommended Dietary Allowance|
|1-3||0.5 milligrams (mg)||0.5 mg|
|4-8||0.6 mg||0.6 mg|
|9-13||1.0 mg||1.0 mg|
|14-18||1.2 mg||1.3 mg|
|19-50||1.3 mg||1.3 mg|
|51 +||1.5 mg||1.7 mg|
Vitamin B6 Deficiency
Vitamin B6 Toxicity
- Poor coordination
- Skin sores
- Sensitivity to sunlight
Major Food Sources
Vitamin B6 Content
|Breakfast cereal, fortified 25%||¾ cup||
(check Nutrition Facts label)
|Beef liver, pan fried||3 ounces||0.9|
|Potato, boiled||1 cup||0.4|
|Chicken breast, roasted, no skin||3 ounces||0.5|
|Chickpeas, canned||1 cup||1.1|
|Turkey, meat only, roasted||3 ounces||0.4|
|Ground beef, 85% lean||3.0 ounces||0.3|
|Spaghetti sauce||1 cup||0.4|
|Waffles, ready to heat||1 waffle||0.3|
|Mixed nuts, dry roasted||1 ounce||0.1|
|Rice, white, enriched||1 cup||0.1|
|Tuna, fresh||3 ounces||0.9|
|Raisins, seedless||½ cup||0.1|
|Spinach, frozen, boiled||½ cup||0.1|
|Tofu, raw||½ cup||0.1|
Populations at Risk for Vitamin B6 Deficiency
- People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol
- People with poor kidney function
- People with autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis
Vitamin B6, Homocysteine, and Heart Disease
Areas of Research That Have Not Been Supported by Clinical Data
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)—There has been much anecdotal evidence that vitamin B6 can help relieve the symptoms of PMS—depression, irritability, bloating, mastalgia. However, clinical trials have failed to support this idea.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome—There is no evidence to support the idea that B6 can ease carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tips for Increasing Your Vitamin B6 Intake
- Sprinkle kidney beans or garbanzo beans on a salad
- Opt for a fortified breakfast cereal—one that is high in fiber—in the morning
- Slice a banana into your oatmeal or cereal
- If you take a vitamin supplement, make sure it contains vitamin B6
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org
American Society for Nutrition http://www.nutrition.org
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B6. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/. Updated September 15, 2011. Accessed May 20, 2014.
Homocysteine and cardiovascular disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 4, 2013. Accessed May 20, 2014.
Pyridoxine. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 18, 2013. Accessed May 20, 2014.
Vitamin B6. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=15&topicID=114. Updated August 2013. Accessed May 20, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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