Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin. B6 is mainly known for helping with protein metabolism and aiding with red blood cell formation and maintenance. It is also part of approximately 100 enzyme reactions which include making insulin and hemoglobin.

How much Vitamin B6 do I need?

  • 1.3 milligrams per day for adult males and females through the age of 50
  • 1.7 milligrams per day for adult males over 50
  • 1.5 milligrams per day for adult females over 50
  • 1.9 milligrams a day are needed for pregnant women

Food Sources

Vitamin B6 is very widely distributed in the foods we eat. It is found in meat products such as pork, but is also a main part of cereal grains, nuts, bananas, chickpeas and vegetables like carrots, spinach, peas and potatoes. Cheese, milk, and eggs are also good sources of B6.

What happens if I don't get enough?

Deficiency is uncommon and usually happens when intake of all B vitamins is low. Symptoms can include skin disorders like dermatitis and cracks in the corners of your mouth, anemia, kidney complications and nausea.

Can I get too much?

Toxicity is uncommon as well and usually comes from supplement use, not from the foods we eat. It may cause a loss of control of bodily movements and nerve damage.

Learn more about Vitamin B6 and other water-soluble vitamins in the CSU Extension fact sheet Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C.