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Does Vitamin B6 Work?

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is effective for treating vitamin deficiencies and related problems, but does vitamin B6 work for other conditions as well? The vitamin appears to be effective for treating hereditary sideroblastic anemia and pyridoxine dependency seizures (rare genetic disorders) and high levels of homocysteine after meals. There is also some evidence that vitamin B6 works for treating premenstrual syndrome symptoms and morning sickness.

Does Vitamin B6 Really Work?

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) really does work for some uses. However, it is claimed to work for a wide variety of conditions, sometimes with little or no scientific evidence to back up such claims. This article will address the effectiveness of vitamin B6 for several uses.

Does Vitamin B6 Work for a Vitamin B6 Deficiency?

As you might guess, taking vitamin B6 is effective for treating vitamin B6 deficiencies and related problems. It is also effective for preventing vitamin B6 deficiency in people at high risk for such problems.

Does Vitamin B6 Work for Other Uses?

Vitamin B6 is effective for treating hereditary sideroblastic anemia and pyridoxine dependency seizures, two rare genetic disorders. It is probably effective for treating high levels of homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemia) after meals, although it does not seem to lower fasting homocysteine levels. There is some evidence that vitamin B6 works for treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms and for treating morning sickness (see Vitamin B6 and Pregnancy).
Early evidence suggests that it may also help prevent kidney stones, but only in people with type I primary hyperoxaluria (a genetic condition). Very early evidence seems to suggest that vitamin B6 may also help prevent lung cancer, particularly among smokers. Vitamin B6 might also be helpful for alleviating tardive dyskinesia symptoms (certain side effects of antipsychotics and other similar medications).
There is little evidence to suggest that vitamin B6 really works for most other uses. In fact, studies suggest that it probably does not work for the following uses:

More Headlines in Does Vitamin B6 Work?

‣ Final Thoughts on Vitamin B6 Effectiveness
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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