Vitamin B6

Definition

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water so the body cannot store them. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. Although the body maintains a small pool of water soluble vitamins, they have to be taken regularly.

Lack of Vitamin B6 in the body is uncommon. It can occur in people with kidney failure, liver disease, or drinking problem.

Function

Vitamin B6 helps the body to:

Food Sources

Vitamin B6 is found in:

Fortified breads and cereals may also contain vitamin B6. Fortified means that a vitamin or mineral has been added to the food.

Side Effects

Large doses of vitamin B6 can cause:

Deficiency of this vitamin can cause:

(Vitamin B6 deficiency is not common in the United States.)

Recommendations

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamins reflects how much of each vitamin people should receive on a daily basis. The RDA for vitamins may be used to help create goals for each person.

How much of each vitamin is needed depends on a person's age and gender. Other factors, such as pregnancy and illnesses, are also important. Ask your health care provider which amount is best for you.

Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin B6:

Infants

*Adequate intake (AI)

Children

Adolescents and adults

The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods.


Review Date: 2/2/2019
Reviewed By: Emily Wax, RD, CNSC, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

This information should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. © 1997- 2007 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.