Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine
In addition to its common name, you may find vitamin B-6 listed as pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal, pyridoxal-5-phosphate or pyridoxine hydrochloride.
Vitamin B6 is the generic name for six compounds referred to as vitamers with B6 activity. These are pryidoxine (an alcohol), pyridoxal (an aldehyde), and pyridoxamine which contains an amino group that includes their 5’ - phosphate esters. Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate is referred to as PLP and pyridoxamine 5’ phosphate PMP, are the active coenzyme forms of vitamin B6 [1,2].
Large proportions occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and grains in glycosylated forms, but they offer reduced bioavailability.
Vitamin B6 coenzyme contributes to a wide variety of bodily functions and is involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions. Mostly it is involved with protein reactions. Both PLP and PMP are involved in amino acid metabolism.
Deficiency can cause varied health issues affecting the skin, nerves, circulatory system and mucous membranes. Deficiency can surface in those with kidney failure complications, alcoholism, overactive thyroid problems, liver scarring, and those with problems absorbing nutrients. Certain medications and heart failure also contribute to B6 deficiency.
Mild deficiency of vitamin B6 Pyridoxine is common.
Where do humans get B6 Pyridoxine?
B6 is found in many foods with the richest contents in fish, beef, liver and other organ meats, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, and fruits other than citrus. About 75% of B6 from a varied diet is bio-available.
High concentrations can be found in seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame, flaxseeds, pumpkin and squash seeds), nuts (pistachio nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and peanuts), fish (salmon, tuna, yellow fin, halibut, swordfish and herring), light turkey meat, chicken, lean pork, prunes and other dried fruits such as raisins and apricots. Carrots, spinach peas, milk, cheese, eggs, and flour also contain B6 vitamins.
What are its uses?
- B6 Pyridoxine health benefits are many, including bolstering the immune system, maintaining good skin condition, protecting the heart, aiding proper nervous system function, relieving and aiding in emotional well-being, and maintaining normal hormone levels.
- Vitamin B6 has been studied and strong evidence exists for treating many conditions. Anemia (low amounts of healthy blood cells), certain seizures in newborns, vitamin B6 deficiency, the side effects of taking the drug Cycloserine and Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- B6 is also used in treating other conditions but not all the scientific data is conclusive about the effectiveness. These conditions include treating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, acne, dry skin and hair loss, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), Akathisia (restlessness an inability to sit still), Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, asthma, cancer prevention, carpal tunnel syndrome, central nervous system disorders, depression, diabetes, and fertility in women. There are many other treatment studies underway.
What are the interaction precautions of B6 Pyridoxine?
- Amiodarone (Cordarone) interacts with Pyridoxine B6 and it might increase sensitivity to sunlight. Taking vitamin B6 along with amiodarone (Cordarone) might increase the chances of sunburn, blistering, or rashes on bare skin exposed to sunlight. While taking this medication sunblock and protective clothing can help to prevent sunburn.
- Phenobarbital (Luminal) interacts with Pyridoxine B6. The body breaks down phenobarbital to get rid of it. Pyridoxine might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenobarbital, decreasing the effectiveness of phenobarbital (Luminal).
- Phenytoin (Dilantin) interacts with Pyridoxine B6. The body breaks down phenytoin to get rid of it, so Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenytoin. Taking pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and taking phenytoin might decrease the effectiveness of phenytoin (Dilantin) and increase the possibility of seizures. Do not take large doses of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) if you are taking phenytoin (Dilantin).
- Levodopa interacts with Pyridoxine B6. The body breaks down levodopa to get rid of it. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can increase the speed in which the body breaks down and disposes of levodopa, but this is only a problem if you are taking levodopa alone.
Most people take levodopa along with carbidopa (Sinemet). Carbidopa prevents this interaction from occurring. If you are taking levodopa without carbidopa do not take vitamin B6.
Herbs and Dietary Supplement Interactions
Vitamin B6 may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Vitamin B6 may affect blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Vitamin B6 may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Vitamin B6 may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may be altered in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.
Vitamin B6 can interact with the following herbs and supplements that treat the following; Alzheimer's, anti-asthma, antibacterials, anticancer, antidepressants, immune or nervous system, increase sun sensitivity, lower homocysteine levels, prevent vomiting, promote breast milk, stimulate red blood cell production, hormonal herbs and supplements, ion exchange phosphate binding resins, kidney herbs and supplements, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, osteoporosis, Parkinson's, sedatives, and skin herbs and supplements.
Before undertaking B6 supplementation, consult your healthcare professional and trained homeopathic council for recommendations and safety precautions.
Remember that the doses of both the B6 supplement and the herbs need to be considered when deducing the effects.
Inform your doctor if you have previously had any unusual or allergic reaction to B6 Pyridoxine or other medicines. Follow your healthcare professional’s instructions for safely taking the supplement.
Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to pyridoxine or products containing this substance.
Side Effects and Warnings
- B6 might interfere with blood sugar levels so caution is advised for people taking drugs for diabetes or effect blood sugar. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
- Vitamin B6 might cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised for people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
- Vitamin B6 may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs can be altered in the blood. This can cause altered effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. People using any medications should check the package insert, and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions
- Vitamin B6 can also interact with other medications that affect the immune or nervous system, that increase sun sensitivity, agents that lower homocysteine levels, agents that prevent vomiting, agents that promote breast milk, agents that stimulate red blood cell production, Alzheimer's agents, amiodarone, anti-anxiety agents, anti-asthma agents, antibiotics, anticancer agents, antidepressants, cycloserine, furosemide, hormonal agents, hydrazines, ion exchange phosphate binding resins, kidney agents, magnesium, osteoporosis agents, Parkinson's agents, penicillamine (Cuprimine®, Depen®), phenobarbital, phenytoin, and skin agents.
- High intakes of vitamin B6 from food sources have not been reported to cause adverse effects.
However, chronic administration of 1–6 gram oral pyridoxine per day for 12–40 months can cause severe and progressive sensory neuropathy characterized by ataxia (loss of control of bodily movements). This is an extremely high dosage.
Symptom severity appears to be dose dependent, and the symptoms usually stop if the patient discontinues the pyridoxine supplements as soon as the neurological symptoms appear. Other effects of excessive vitamin B6 intakes include painful disfiguring dermatological lesions, photosensitivity, and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and heartburn.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Oral doses not exceeding recommended daily intake are safe for breastfeeding women. Avoid high doses during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) oral dosage
Average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals.
Maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin B6
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 0.1 mg* 0.1 mg*
7–12 months 0.3 mg* 0.3 mg*
1–3 years 0.5 mg 0.5 mg
4–8 years 0.6 mg 0.6 mg
9–13 years 1.0 mg 1.0 mg
14–18 years 1.3 mg 1.2 mg 1.9 mg 2.0 mg
19–50 years 1.3 mg 1.3 mg 1.9 mg 2.0 mg
51+ years 1.7 mg 1.5 mg
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not refrigerate. Keep from freezing.
Store the dietary supplement in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
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