If you’re looking for the best vitamin B6 supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Vitamin B6 Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Vitamin B6 Supplements
|#1||Nature’s Way Vitamin B6||More Info|
|#2||Nature Made Vitamin B6||More Info|
|#3||NOW Foods Vitamin B6||More Info|
|#4||Nature’s Bounty Vitamin B6||More Info|
|#5||Bulk Supplements Pure Vitamin B6||More Info|
|#6||Life Extension Vitamin B6||More Info|
|#7||Solgar Vitamin B6||More Info|
|#8||Source Naturals Vitamin B6||More Info|
|#9||BlueBonnet Vitamin B-6||More Info|
|#10||Solaray Vitamin B-6||More Info|
What is Vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble member of the B-complex vitamin family. It’s made of the components pyridoxine, pyridoxine and pyridoximine. The type most used in supplements is pyridoxine.
Like the other B vitamins, vitamin B6 works best in the presence of other B vitamins. For example, B6 needs to be present for the body to absorb B12. It helps the body produce the hydrochloric acid in the stomach that’s necessary for digestion and supports the functioning of lineolic acid. Pyridoxine is a coenzyme that helps the body break down and use fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and it is necessary for the body to make red blood cells and antibodies.
Vitamin B6 allows the liver and muscles to release their stores of glycogen for energy and helps convert the amino acid tryptophan into niacin. Vitamin B6 helps the body synthesize both DNA and RNA and makes sure they function properly. It is vital for a healthy immune system.
The balance of sodium and potassium is mediated by the presence of vitamin B6. This balance controls bodily fluids and the functioning of the muscles and nerves.
People need vitamin B6 every day, for it is excreted in the urine within eight hours after it’s taken and is not stored in the liver the way some other vitamins and nutrients are.
The best sources of vitamin B6 are animal proteins such as chicken, turkey, shrimp, salmon and dairy products. Beef liver is especially rich in the vitamin. Because of this, vegetarians and vegans would benefit from vitamin B6 supplements. People who are fasting or on a diet also benefit from vitamin B6 supplementation, as do pregnant or nursing women, people undergoing radiation therapy, heart patients, older people and women who use oral contraceptives.
Alcoholics or heavy drinkers, people with autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, and people with renal disease often have trouble absorbing vitamin B6 and need supplementation. Patients who have undergone bariatric, or weight loss surgery need supplemental vitamin B6 as well as supplementation of other nutrients, especially if they’ve had bypass surgery.
People who are deficient in vitamin B6 often suffer from hypoglycemia and are especially sensitive to insulin. Other symptoms are hair loss, edema during pregnancy, cracks that appear around the eyes and mouth, arm and leg cramps and numbness and nerve pain.
Arthritis, frequent urination, temporary paralysis of an arm or leg, some types of anemia, irritability, depression, anxiety and problems with short term memory are other signs of B6 deficiency. Children may be slow to learn, and a deficiency that’s allowed to continue into the latter stages of pregnancy can result in stillbirth or infant death.
The amount of B6 a person needs depends on their age, sex and physical condition. The usual amount needed by newborns and babies up to six months old is 0.1 milligrams and gradually rises throughout childhood. Adults age 19 to 50 need 1.3 mg, though men aged 51 and older need more B6 than do women. The people who need the highest levels of vitamin B6 are pregnant and nursing teenagers and women. The upper limit for babies hasn’t been established, but it ranges from 30 mg for children one to three years old to 100 mg for adults.
Benefits of Vitamin B6
The benefits of vitamin B6 include the control of atherosclerosis, since the vitamin helps the body metabolize cholesterol. It helps with nervous disorders, morning sickness and a form of anemia where the red blood cells are abnormally small. Eczema, alopecia, diarrhea, pancreatitis, ulcers, muscle weakness and hemorrhoids are eased by supplemental B6.
Patients have reported that B6 eases the discomfort of burning feet and carpal tunnel syndrome and resolves some types of kidney stones. It’s also used to treat acne, diabetes and tooth decay. Women take vitamin B6 to both help the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and to enhance their fertility, though studies are inconclusive.
Shoulder-hand syndrome, which is a disorder where the patient suffers constant, severe pain in their arm and shoulder accompanied by muscle atrophy and thinning bones also responds well to vitamin B6. The seizures of developmentally disabled children have been helped by vitamin B6 supplementation.
Older adults who take vitamin B6 supplements along with small doses of vitamin B12 and folic acid were given some protection against age-related macular degeneration, a condition where areas of the center of the retina are damaged and lead to problems with vision. Since vitamin B6 helps the body synthesize the neurotransmitter serotonin, it may help with depression.
Are There any Side Effects?
People can take fairly large doses of vitamin B6 without ill effects, since it is excreted from the body. However, some people experience nausea and vomiting, stomach pains, tingling in their appendages, headache, painful skin lesions, photosensitivity and sleepiness. People who take very high doses for a long period of time can suffer nerve damage. This might manifest as:
- Decreased sensitivity to temperature
- Decreased sensitivity to touch
- Numbness around the mouth
High doses that are given to newborn babies can lead to seizures. Symptoms stop when the vitamin is discontinued, and the person should recover completely within half a year or so.
Like many other vitamins and supplements, vitamin B6 can interact with other drugs the patient is taking. When it’s taken with cycloserine it can exacerbate the nerve damage that can be caused by the drug. Seizure medications can lower the effectiveness of both the vitamin and the drug, and taking vitamin B6 with theophylline, which is taken to treat asthma, can lead to seizures.
Other medications to be careful of when taking vitamin B6 supplements are hydralazine, used to treat hypertension and penicillamine, which is used for rheumatoid arthritis. The effectiveness of tetracycline is reduced when taking B6 or any of the other B complex vitamins, though the effect of tricyclic antidepressants may be enhanced. On the other hand, the vitamin may reduce blood levels of MAOI antidepressants.
How to Take Vitamin B6 Supplements
Vitamin B6 can be taken in a multivitamin or it can be taken by itself. Supplements come in drops or chewable form for children, tablets, lozenges and soft gels. Sometimes the vitamin is injected, and this should be done by a health professional. A person should check with their doctor or their child’s pediatrician to learn whether they or their child need vitamin B6 supplements.
When taking the supplement, the patient should follow the directions on the label and not take larger or smaller doses than those recommended. Don’t take extra supplement if a dose is missed.
What to Look for in a Good Vitamin B6 Supplement
The fact is the FDA does not regulate dietary supplements as stringently as they might, so it’s up to the buyer to do a bit of homework when it comes to finding a good vitamin B supplement.
If the buyer is not being prescribed vitamin B6 supplements and is looking to buy some over the counter, they need to consult with their physician and do some research on their own. The internet is an excellent place to start, as are stores that specialize in health foods. The people who work in these stores should be able to answer questions about vitamin B6 supplementation. The NIH’s Dietary Supplement Label Database is a good resource, as are the lists of recalls and warnings from the FDA. Any bottle of vitamin B6 should have the name and address of the manufacturer clearly printed on the label. The buyer shouldn’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer and ask questions, especially about their quality control protocols.
The label on the supplement should bear the seal of NSF International or US Pharmacopeia, which inspect, test and certify products related to health and safety. It’s a good practice to read online reviews from customers who have bought the same product.