Sources: meat, fish, legumes (beans), dry yeast, potatoes and other starchy vegetables and non-citrus fruits.
Function: as an enzyme for a variety of essential reactions in the metabolism of certain amino & fatty acids. Vitamin B6 in coenzyme forms performs a wide variety of functions in the body and is extremely versatile, with involvement in more than 100 enzyme reactions, mostly concerned with protein metabolism.
Deficiency States: may lead to anemia, convulsions in infants, cheilosis (cracked lips), seborrhea like skin reactions and neuropathy. As with riboflavin, the deficiency state consists of rather diffuse symptoms. Dialysis patients, and those deficient in other B-vitamins are more likely to express symptoms of Vitamin-B-6 deficiency.
Possible health benefits: may alleviate PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms, improves mood, decreases risk of heart disease, and stimulates immune system. Possibly decrease nausea of pregnancy.
Treatment of Nausea of Pregnancy:
Diclegis®: is a prescription drug for treatment of nausea of pregnancy, also known as morning sickness. Its cost: almost $600.00/ 100 tablets. Diclegis® contains Vitamin B-6 and Pyridoxine, both which are available over the counter. Always consult your obstetrician before taking any over the counter meds.
Many OB/GYNE physicians will recommend Vitamin B-6 and Doxylamine for treatment of nausea of pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends monotherapy with 10–25 mg of vitamin B6 three or four times a day to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. If the patient’s condition does not improve, ACOG recommends adding doxylamine.
Patients can find doxylamine under the brand name of Unisom SLEEPTABS 25mg, and have patients split in half. Make sure they are the SLEEPTABS, and not other Unisom formulations that contain diphenhydramine.
Supplement B-6 with the following drugs that DEPLETE Vitamin B-6:
- Isoniazid- to decrease peripheral neuropathy.
- Birth Control pills
- Long Term corticosteroid use
- Loop diuretics like furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol)
B-6 and Chinese Restaurant Syndrome: Proper metabolism of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) requires sufficient vitamin B6. Supplementation may eliminate symptoms which often include headache, skin flushing, and sweating.
Always feel free to consult your Nickman’s pharmacist for advice on vitamin supplements.