9 symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency

We have listed the symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency and the best sources of B6, which, although rare, can cause many serious health problems, from mood swings to weakened immunity.

Known as vitamin B6, pyridoxine is one of the 8 B vitamins. This element was first discovered in 1932. However, it is still not fully understood today.

Even today, researchers are discovering new properties of this nutrient. The average person’s diet contains enough pyridoxine to meet the body’s needs. However, in some cases, deficiencies may occur. Often a deficiency is associated with a deficiency of vitamins such as B12 and B9.

Liver disease, kidney failure, disruption of the digestive system, presence of autoimmune diseases, bad habits (alcoholism, smoking), pregnancy and excess body fat can also cause vitamin B6 deficiency.



The human body uses pyridoxine to perform more than 150 processes that improve the absorption and processing of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In addition, vitamin B6 plays a role in the functioning of the immune and nervous systems.

Recent research also shows that pyridoxine has antioxidant properties and may reduce inflammation. This means that vitamin B6 can be used to prevent the development of chronic diseases, cancer and heart muscle disorders.

Here are the main symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency:

Skin Rashes

Vitamin B6 deficiency is one of the main causes of a skin rash called seborrheic dermatitis, which is accompanied by severe itching. Most often, such rashes affect the neck, face and chest area.

The main cause of a vitamin B6 deficiency rash is a decrease in the body’s ability to produce collagen, the main compound needed to maintain healthy skin. In such cases, adding vitamin B6 to the diet can help quickly relieve discomfort and redness. However, it should be noted that in some cases it will be necessary to use several times more supplements than the normal daily amount, according to the recommendations of experts.

Chapped Lips

Vitamin B6 deficiency can also be accompanied by a disease such as cheilosis. It is characterized by cracking of the skin in the corners of the mouth, as well as redness and swelling of the lips. In some cases, cracks may bleed or even become inflamed.

This symptom of vitamin B6 deficiency is accompanied by severe discomfort. In such cases, painful sensations arise when eating and even talking.

You can solve this problem by adding foods high in vitamin B6 to the diet. But keep in mind that cheilosis can also be triggered by a lack of vitamins B9 and B12, dry or windy weather, and a host of other factors.

Language Impairment

In people with a vitamin B6 deficiency, specialists often see worsening of the tongue. Pyridoxine deficiency leads to swelling, painful sensations, redness and inflammation. This condition is known as glossitis.

This disorder can cause problems with chewing food, swallowing, and speaking. This problem is relieved by consuming foods high in vitamin B6. It should also be noted that the cause of glossitis may be a deficiency of other B vitamins such as folic acid and B12.

Mood Change

Vitamin B6 deficiency can negatively affect mood. A deficiency in this micronutrient can trigger anxiety, irritability, and depression. This is because pyridoxine is involved in the synthesis of important hormones (serotonin and GABA), which reduce anxiety and prevent the development of mental disorders.

As of today, experts have conducted many studies on the effect of vitamin B6 on the psycho-emotional state of people. In studies, adding pyridoxine to the diet eliminated behavioral disorders in 50 percent of people with autism. Also, some experiments have shown that regular use of 50 to 80 milligrams of vitamin B6 effectively reduces some PMS symptoms such as irritability and frequent mood swings.

Weakening of Immunity

A high level of functioning of the immune system is the key to good health. It helps prevent the development of a number of diseases, including cancer. Nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B6, can lead to a weakened immune system.

Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a decrease in the production of antibodies needed to fight viruses and infections. In addition, a lack of vitamin B6 leads to a decrease in the synthesis of white blood cells, which regulate the immune system and allow the body to respond correctly to infections. In addition, vitamin B6 is used by the body to make a protein called interleukin-2, which controls white blood cells.

In autoimmune diseases, the immune system deteriorates and self-destructs. To solve this problem, experts may recommend consuming vitamin B6 in quantities that, in some cases, significantly exceed the body’s daily needs.


Vitamin B6 deficiency can make you feel tired. This is because this element is involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin, which is used by the body to deliver oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. A lack of oxygen in cells caused by low hemoglobin levels is called anemia. This disease is often accompanied by increased fatigue.

Tingling and Pain in the Limbs

Low levels of vitamin B6 in the blood can trigger the development of a disease such as peripheral neuropathy. It is accompanied by tingling, severe burning and pain in the limbs. This is due to nerve damage, which can also lead to impaired coordination of movements and difficulty walking.

It should be noted that excessive vitamin B6 can also cause neuropathy. Therefore, caution should be exercised in the use of supplements. If the development of neuropathy is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B6, this problem can be solved by adding this vitamin to the diet. However, if a disorder develops due to an excess of the inactive form of pyridoxine, it is necessary to consult a specialist, as he can only prescribe the right treatment.

Various Seizures

Seizures can be caused by many factors. However, the most common of these is vitamin B6 deficiency. Without a sufficient amount of this element in the blood, the body cannot produce the required amount of GABA, which has a calming effect. This leads to the overstimulation of brain cells.

Symptoms such as muscle spasms, involuntary contraction of muscles in the arms and legs, and twitching of the eyes are associated with impaired brain function. In some cases, rapid contraction of muscle fibers can even lead to unconsciousness.

In adults, seizures caused by vitamin B6 deficiency are not as common as in children. However, pregnant women, people with alcohol dependence, people with liver disease, and patients taking medications are more prone to vitamin B6 deficiency than others.

Increased Homocysteine ​​Levels

Homocysteine ​​is a by-product formed during protein processing. The excess of its volume in the blood is usually associated with a deficiency of vitamins B6, B9, B12.

An excess of normal homocysteine ​​levels in the blood can trigger heart muscle dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke attacks. This is because the high level of this substance is one of the main causes of damage to blood vessels and nerves.

Homocysteine ​​levels can be checked at any hospital with a routine blood test. In cases where levels are exceeded, it is recommended to include foods high in vitamins B6, B9 and B12 in the diet. But one should not forget about the fact that low physical activity and bad habits can also be the cause of the development of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.



Vitamin B6 cannot be stored in the body. Therefore, it is important to get it from food daily to prevent deficiency. Since this element is found in a large number of foods, it is very easy to follow a diet that will meet the body’s need for pyridoxine. Also, some foods, such as breakfast cereals, are enriched with vitamin B6.

The recommended daily intake for this micronutrient is 1.7 milligrams. For pregnant women, this amount may vary.

Here are the essential foods needed to meet the body’s need for vitamin B6:

  • Turkey meat – 85 g – 40 percent of the daily requirement
  • Veal – 85 g – 29 percent of the daily requirement
  • Boiled chicken breast – 85 g – 26 percent of the daily requirement
  • Fish – 85 g – 24 percent of daily requirement
  • Banana – 118 g – 22 percent of the daily requirement
  • Baked potatoes – 138 g – 21 percent of daily need
  • Peanuts – 28 g – 19 percent of daily requirement
  • Sweet paprika (raw) – 92 g – 16 percent of daily need
  • Prunes – 33 g – 14 percent of daily requirement
  • Boiled brussels sprouts – 78 g – 13 percent of daily need
  • Roasted sunflower seeds – 28 g – 11 percent of daily need
  • Avocado – 68 g – 11 percent of daily need
  • Boiled lentils – 99 g – 10 percent of the daily requirement

The researchers note that the forms of vitamin B6 found in animal foods are significantly better absorbed than trace minerals from plant foods. Therefore, if you are following a vegetarian diet, you will most likely need to use dietary supplements to make up for the difference.

If you have concerns about your health, be sure to see a specialist. Your doctor is the only person who can accurately diagnose the level of vitamin B6 in the blood and find the best way to solve this problem.

Avoiding a vitamin B6 deficiency is very easy. For this, it is sufficient to consume fruits, vegetables, meat and fish regularly.

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