Vitamin B6

The three main chemical forms of vitamin B6 are pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. More bodily processes depend on it than almost any other nutrient. The vitamin B complex family, which also includes thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and folic acid, includes vitamin B6. Many biochemical processes in the body require these vitamins.

What Does Vitamin B6 Do?

More than 100 enzyme processes involved in metabolism involve vitamin B6. For instance, it aids in the production of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood. Additionally necessary for immune system health and proper brain development during pregnancy and early childhood is vitamin B6. It facilitates the body's protein digestion.

What Foods Provide Vitamin B6?

In particular, meats, poultry, fish, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and non-citrus fruits are rich sources of vitamin B6. Cereals, grain products, and some varieties of soy-based infant formula all contain pyridoxine, the primary form of vitamin B6 found in supplements and foods that have been fortified.

How Much Vitamin B6 Do I Need?

Your daily requirement for vitamin B6 is based on your age. The following table lists the recommended daily averages in milligrams (mg).

newborns through six months: 0.1 mg

- 7 to 12 month old infants: 0.3 mg

- Kids aged 1 to 3: 0.5 mg

- Kids aged 4 to 8: 0.6 mg

- 9 to 13-year-olds: 1.0 mg

- Teenagers aged 14 to 18: 1.2 mg

- For adults aged 19 and over, 1.3 mg

- Teenage girls and pregnant women: 1.9 mg

- Teenagers and women who breastfeed: 2.0 mg

What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Vitamin B6?

In babies and kids, it can lead to anemia and skin rashes. Adults who don't get enough vitamin B6 may experience depression, confusion, and immune system deterioration.

Since vitamin B6 is present in many foods, it is unlikely that you will become deficient in it unless you have another medical condition that interferes with your body's ability to absorb or utilize the vitamin. You might be at risk for a vitamin B6 deficiency if you take particular medications or have kidney disease.


A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin B6 is easily excreted in the urine. The liver only stores a small portion of it. While the half-life of pyridoxal and 4-pyridoxic acid is only about 10 hours, that of pyridoxine is approximately 25 days.

During pregnancy and lactation, plasma levels of vitamin B6 rise, and they fall as people age.


A lack of vitamin B6 can result from interactions between vitamin B6 and some medications. You might need to take vitamin B6 supplements if you take any of the following medications:

- The drug isoniazid

– Levodopa

– Penicillamine

- Cyclopendrin

the tetracyclines

- Hydrozine

Because your body may not be able to effectively eliminate pyridoxine if you have kidney disease, you may also be at risk for a vitamin B6 deficiency.

Mechanism of Action

More than 100 metabolic enzymes, such as those involved in the synthesis of amino acids and nucleic acids, the metabolism of glucose and lipids, and the synthesis of hemoglobin, all require vitamin B6 as a coenzyme. The biologically active form of vitamin B6 is pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), which serves as a coenzyme in a variety of processes like transamination, decarboxylation, dehydrogenation, and racemization.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), morning sickness, and heart disease are just a few of the conditions for which vitamin B6 has been researched. The majority of these studies, though, have been modest and inconclusive. The effectiveness of vitamin B6 for these conditions needs to be further studied.

How is it supplied?

There are injectable and oral forms of vitamin B6. Additionally, a topical cream is offered. Pyridoxine hydrochloride is the most common form of vitamin B6 supplements.