Vitamin B6 Deficiency

B6 Deficiency

It has been found that many with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have a B6 deficiency.  This is however in the wide population very rare, as most foods have B6 in them.  This said, one key cause can be Pyroluria Syndrome which again is common with Autistic Spectrum Conditions.

What is B6 and what does it do?
Vitamin B6 exists in six water-soluble forms, and as a group is one of eight 'B' Vitamins.   These are Pyridoxine, Pyridoxine Phosphate, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxal Phosphate, and Pyridoxamine, Pyridoxamine Phosphate.  The body uses these compounds as a coenzyme in the:

  • Metabolism of Protein & carbohydrates;
  • Production of insulin, red & white blood cells;
  • Synthesis of neurotransmitters, enzymes, and prostaglandins;

It is also essential in numerous biochemical pathways involving:

  • Red blood cells;
  • The immune system;
  • The central nervous system function;
  • Protein metabolism;
  • Homocysteine metabolism;
  • Production of energy;

It is also an especially important vitamin for:

  • Maintaining healthy nerve and muscle cells;
  • Aiding in the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material;
  • The proper absorption of vitamin B12;
  • The production of red blood cells
  •  The production of cells of the immune system;

Causes of Deficiency
Deficiency in the wide population is very rare, as most foods have B6 in them.  This said the following reasons can be contributing factors.

  • Pyroluria Syndrome
  • Significant amounts are lost through:
    • Cooking
    • Freezing
    • Canning
    • Improper storage of food

B6 is found in:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Egg Yolk
  • Legumes
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes
  • Prunes
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Cereals


  • Cu
    Probably caused by a copper excess induced by Zinc deficiency (Copper accumulates in the body in the absence of Zinc)
  • Zinc
    Probably caused by a Vitamin B6 deficiency induced by Zinc deficiency (Zinc is required for the activation of Vitamin B6)
  • A
    Probably caused by a Vitamin A deficiency induced by Zinc deficiency (Zinc is necessary to release Vitamin A from the liver where it is stored)
  • Cd
    Probably caused by a cadium excess induced by Zinc deficiency (Cadium accumulates in the body in the absence of Zinc)

Common Symptoms
The individual may have a number of the following symptoms, however will not have all.  The symptoms listed cover all ages from birth to old age.

  • Hair Scalp
    • Alopecia, Hair Loss
    • Falling hair (Cu, Zinc)
    • Dandruff (Zinc, A)
    • Oily scales on scalp (and eyebrows, around nose and behind ears) (Zinc)
  • Skin
    • Lesions
    • Oily skin (seborrhoea) (Zinc)
    • Sore tongue and mouth (Zinc)
    • Cracks around mouth and split lips (Zinc)
    • Inability to suntan ("china doll" appearance) (Zinc)
    • Easy sun burning (Zinc)
  • Eyes
    • Conjunctivitis
    • Cracks around eyes (Zinc)
  • Sex Reproduction
    • Premenstrual tension (Zinc)
    • Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (Zinc)
  • Mental Symptoms
    • Nervousness
    • Insomnia (Cu, Zinc, A)
    • Sleepiness (Zinc)
    • Irritability (Cu, Zinc)
    • Depression (Cu, Zinc, A)
    • Inability to concentrate (Cu, Zinc)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Hyperactivity
    • Weakness
    • Impaired wound healing
    • Pins and needles
    • Muscle cramps
    • Poor co-ordination in walking
    • Infantile convulsions
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhoea
    • Abdominal Distension & irritability
    • Heart Disease / Accelerated atherosclerosis (Zinc, Cd)
    • Poor dream recall (Zinc)
    • Nightmares (Zinc)
    • Tingling hands (Zinc)
    • Numbness or cramps in arms and legs (Zinc)
    • Anaemia (Zinc)
    • Reactions to monosodium glutamate (Chinese restaurant syndrome) (Zinc)
    • Hypoglycaemia (Zinc)
    • Water retention (Zinc)
    • Nausea, especially in morning (Zinc)
    • Menopausal arthritis (Zinc)
    • Psychosis/schizophrenia (Cu, Zinc)

Other Conditions which respond to B6 therapy:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (Zinc)
  • Kidney Stones
  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Dermatitis
  • Acne
  • Glossitis
  • Autism
  • Monosodium Glutamate intolerance

Vitamin B6 is also known to improve:

  • Concentration
  • Memory


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