Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine is a water soluble vitamin present in many foods. Vitamin B6 is extremely important and it is involved in a variety of functions in the human body. It is involved with more than 100 enzyme reactions, mostly related to protein metabolism. (1)
Below is a table which shows where you can find Vitamin B6 rich foods:
Vitamin B6 has many other health functions from improving cardiovascular health,
cancer, cognitive function to premenstrual syndrome.
Isolated vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon however some groups of people are particularly at risk of Vitamin B6 deficiency, particularly those who have imparied renal function, alcohol dependence and autoimmune diseases.
Vitamin B6 and pregnancy
In a study published in American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that higher preconception plasma vitamin B6 concentrations were associated with reduced odds of early pregnancy losses and higher probabilities of achieving conception and clinical
Moreover, randomized trials have shown that a combination of vitamin B6 and doxylamine (an antihistamine) is associated with a 70% reduction in nausea and vomiting in pregnant women and lower hospitalization rates for this problem. (3)
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for pregnant women is 1.9milligrams
Vitamin B6 Supplements
While taking B vitamins supplements can be helpful for some people, it’s always best to get your nutrients from real food sources. However, as this is sometimes not always possible with the busy lifestyle. Hence, it is extremely important that If you are going to be taking any supplements that contain vitamin B6, be sure to purchase a high-quality potency guaranteed safe product that doesn’t contain fillers or toxins. This is extremely important especially during pregnancy as the baby absorbs everything that the mother takes.
1. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Cholineexternal link disclaimer. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1998.
2: Ronnenberg AG, Venners SA, Xu X, Chen C, Wang L, Guang W, Huang A, Wang X.
Preconception B-vitamin and homocysteine status, conception, and early pregnancy
loss. Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Aug 1;166(3):304-12. Epub 2007 May 2. PubMed PMID:
3. Niebyl JR. Clinical practice. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. N Engl J Med 2010;363:1544-50.
Dr Nicole Ng (MBBS) is a medical doctor with a passion in women's health and medical research