Vitamin B6
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Vitamin B6 Usage

Written by FoundHealth.


Effect of Vitamin B6 on Cervical Cancer

Read more about Cervical Cancer and Vitamin B6.

Effect of Vitamin B6 on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

More than 25 years ago, researchers noted that people with carpal tunnel syndrome seemed to be deficient in vitamin B6.2 This led to widespread use of B6 as a treatment for carpal tunnel....

Read more about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Vitamin B6.

Therapeutic Uses

The results of a large double-blind, placebo-controlled study suggest that vitamin B 6 at a dose of 30 mg daily may be helpful for treating nausea in pregnancy (morning sickness). 1 Vitamin B 6 has been proposed for numerous other uses as well, but without much (if any) scientific substantiation. For example, the two most famous uses of vitamin B 6 , carpal tunnel syndrome and premenstrual syndrome PMS , have no reliable supporting evidence at all, and the best-designed studies found it ineffectivefor either of these purposes. 2 Higher intake of vitamin B 6 reduces the level of homocysteine in the blood, a substance that might accelerate cardiovascular disease (heart disease, strokes, and related conditions.) However, there is as yet no meaningful evidence that reducing homocysteine is beneficial, and considerable evidence that it is not. See the full Homocysteine article for more information.

A series of studies suggests that vitamin B 6 may be helpful for the treatment of TD. In the first study, a 4-week, double-blind crossover trial of 15 people, treatment with vitamin B 6 significantly improved TD symptoms as compared to placebo. 3 Benefits were seen beginning at 1 week of treatment. The subsequent follow-up study tested the benefits of vitamin B 6 used over a period of 26 weeks in 50 people with tardive dyskinesia, and once again the supplement proved more effective than placebo. 4 For the following other conditions, current evidence for benefit with vitamin B 6 remains incomplete and/or contradictory: allergy to monosodium glutamate (MSG), asthma , 5 depression , 6 diabetes of pregnancy , 7 HIV infection, 8 photosensitivity , 9 preventing kidney stones , 10 11 12 schizophrenia , 13 seborrheic dermatitis , 14 tardive dyskinesia and other side effects of anti-psychotic drugs , 15 and vertigo . 16 Despite some claims in the media, vitamin B 6 has not shown benefit for enhancing mental function . 17 One study failed to find B 6 at a dose of 50 mg daily helpful for rheumatoid arthritis (despite a general B 6 deficiency seen in people with this condition). 18 Vitamin B 6 , alone or in combination with magnesium , showed some early promise for the treatment of autism , but the best designed studies failed to find it effective. 19 Additionally, current evidence suggests that vitamin B 6 is not effectivefor treating diabetic neuropathy 20 21 or eczema , 22 or for helping control the side effects of oral contraceptives . 23


  1. Vutyavanich T, Wongtra-ngan S, Ruangsri R. Pyridoxine for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 173(3 Pt 1):881-4.
  2. Diegoli MS, da Fonseca AM, Diegoli CA, Pinotti JA. A double-blind trial of four medications to treat severe premenstrual syndrome. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 62(1):63-7.
  3. Lerner V, Miodownik C, Kaptsan A, Cohen H, Matar M, Loewenthal U, Kotler M. Vitamin B(6) in the treatment of tardive dyskinesia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Am J Psychiatry. 158(9):1511-4.
  4. Lerner V, Miodownik C, Kaptsan A, et al. Vitamin B 6 treatment for tardive dyskinesia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;68:1648-1654.
  5. Collipp PJ, Goldzier S III, Weiss N, et al. Pyridoxine treatment of childhood bronchial asthma. Ann Allergy. 1975;35:93-97.
  6. Bell IR, Edman JS, Morrow FD, et al. Brief communication. Vitamin B 1 , B 2 , and B 6 augmentation of tricyclic antidepressant treatment in geriatric depression with cognitive dysfunction. J Am Coll Nutr. 1992;11:159-163.
  7. Bennink HJ, Schreurs WH. Improvement of oral glucose tolerance in gestational diabetes by pyridoxine. Br Med J. 3(5974):13-5.
  8. Tang AM, Graham NM, Saah AJ. Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. Am J Epidemiol. 143(12):1244-56.
  9. Ross JB, Moss MA. Relief of the photosensitivity of erythropoietic protoporphyria by pyridoxine. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1990;22:340-342.
  10. Parivar F, Low RK, Stoller ML. The influence of diet on urinary stone disease. J Urol. 155(2):432-40.
  11. Murthy MS, Farooqui S, Talwar HS, Thind SK, Nath R, Rajendran L, Bapna BC. Effect of pyridoxine supplementation on recurrent stone formers. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 20(9):434-7.
  12. Curhan GC, Willett WC, Speizer FE, et al. Intake of vitamins B6 and C and the risk of kidney stones in women. J Am Soc Nephrol. 1999;10:840-845.
  13. Ananth JV, Ban TA, Lehmann HE. Potentiation of therapeutic effects of nicotinic acid by pyridoxine in chronic schizophrenics. Can Psychiatr Assoc J 1973;18:377-383.
  14. EFFERSØE H. The effect of topical application of pyridoxine ointment on the rate of sebaceous secretion in patients with seborrheic dermatitis. Acta Derm Venereol. 34(3):272-8.
  15. DeVeaugh-Geiss J, Manion L. High-dose pyridoxine in tardive dyskinesia. J Clin Psychiatry. 39(6):573-5.
  16. Lewy A, Fox N. Clinical notes; new instruments and techniques: pyroxidine (B6) used in the treatment of vertigo. Arch Otolaryngol. 1947; 681-683.
  17. Malouf R, Grimley EJ.. The effect of vitamin B 6 on cognition. Cochrane DatabaseSyst Rev. 2003;(4):CD004393.
  18. Chiang EP, Selhub J, Bagley PJ et al. Pyridoxine supplementation corrects vitamin B6 deficiency but does not improve inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2005;7:R1404-11.
  19. Rimland B, Callaway E, Dreyfus P. The effect of high doses of vitamin B6 on autistic children: a double-blind crossover study. Am J Psychiatry. 135(4):472-5.
  20. Cohen KL, Gorecki GA, Silverstein SB, Ebersole JS, Solomon LR. Effect of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) on diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy. J Am Podiatry Assoc. 74(8):394-7.
  21. McCann VJ, Davis RE. Pyridoxine and diabetic neuropathy: a double-blind controlled study. Diabetes Care. 6(1):102-3.
  22. Mabin DC, Hollis S, Lockwood J, David TJ. Pyridoxine in atopic dermatitis. Br J Dermatol. 133(5):764-7.
  23. Villegas-Salas E, Ponce de León R, Juárez-Perez MA, Grubb GS. Effect of vitamin B6 on the side effects of a low-dose combined oral contraceptive. Contraception. 55(4):245-8.

1 Comment

Posted 11 years ago

If your pregnant, it would also be wise to take vitamin b6. According to studies, women taking b6 morning sickness, develops less or no nausea than those who don't. Ask your doctor about it. Visit to learn more.

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