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Vitamin B6 Deficiency

more about Vitamin B6 Deficiency


Pyridoxine deficiency

  • Vitamin B6 plays an important role in many chemical reactions in the body.  It is needed for the formation of heme, which carries oxygen in blood.  It also helps with brain functions, reduces stress, lowers cholesterol, and prevents dental cavities.  Common sources of B6 are eggs, brewer's yeast, avocados, bananas, soybeans, whole grains, and walnuts.  Vitamin B6 deficiency is most often the result of Alcoholism, or from adverse reactions to various medicines.  It is an easily treatable problem.

  • Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency include sore mouth, sore tongue, weakness, and irritability.
  • Severe B6 deficiency can lead to low blood count and numbness and tingling in the hands, legs, and feet.  Some patients may even develop seizures.

  • Vitamin B6 deficiency often occurs in alcoholics because of their poor diet.
  • Deficiency of this vitamin also commonly occurs in people taking certain medications. The medications that most often cause Vitamin B6 deficiency are Isoniazid, Cycloserine, Penicillamine, and oral contraceptives.
  • Though not conclusive, some inherited diseases may be due to deficiency of Vitamin B6.  Patients with these diseases tend to improve when treated with B6 supplements.

  • A blood test that measures pyridoxal phosphate can be done to determine the amount of Vitamin B6 in the body.

  • This disease can be treated very easily with oral Vitamin B6 doses of 10-20 milligrams per day.
  • People on certain medications need to be given up to 100 milligrams a day.
  • Those with certain inherited conditions may even need 600 milligrams of Vitamin B6 per day.

  • People taking medications known to cause Vitamin B6 deficiency should take extra B6.
  • If taking Levadopa for treatment of Parkinson's Disease, avoid this vitamin unless recommended by your doctor.

  • Any of the vitamin B deficiencies can lead to similar symptoms.

  • Special considerations

- Vitamin B6 toxicity -- too much Vitamin B6 can lead to problems with sensation.  This condition may become permanent.  It usually only occurs in people taking very high doses of Vitamin B6.  However, rarely it occurs even with doses as low as 200 mg a day.





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