Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, helps:

  • the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food
  • the body form hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body

Good sources of vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods, including:

  • pork
  • poultry, such as chicken or turkey
  • some fish
  • peanuts
  • soya beans
  • wheatgerm
  • oats
  • bananas
  • milk
  • some fortified breakfast cereals
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Chickpea
  • Beef liver
  • Poultry

How much vitamin B6 do I need?

The amount of vitamin B6 adults (aged 19 to 64) need is about:

  • 1.4mg a day for men
  • 1.2mg a day for women

You should be able to get all the vitamin B6 you need from your daily diet.

The bacteria that live naturally in your bowel are also able to make vitamin B6.

What happens if I take too much vitamin B6?

When taking a supplement, it’s important not to take too much.

Taking 200mg or more a day of vitamin B6 [LK2] can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs known as peripheral neuropathy.

This will usually improve once you stop taking the supplements.

But in a few cases when people have taken large amounts of vitamin B6, particularly for more than a few months, the effect can be permanent.

The effect of taking vitamin B6 at doses between 10 and 200 mg is unclear. So there’s not enough evidence to say how long these doses could be taken safely.

Important Tips

You should be able to get the vitamin B6 you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take vitamin B6 supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

Do not take more than 10mg of vitamin B6 a day in supplements unless advised to by a doctor.

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