Signs of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Deficiency
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is one of the most difficult vitamins to have a deficiency of, due to the fact that it is one of the most widely found nutrients in foods. In fact, almost every food source is a dietary source of vitamin B6. However, when a deficiency is seen, it is often due to having problems properly absorbing nutrients via the digestive tract. This condition is sometimes seen in people who abuse alcohol for extended periods of time and in people who are suffering from chronic diarrhea. These people may need to take a supplement to ensure they are getting all the necessary benefits of vitamin B6.
Also, the absorption and processing of the vitamin by the body can be negatively impacted when taking certain medications. A few of these medications include isoniazid, hydrolazine, and penicillamine. If you take any of these medications, you may want to consider taking a supplement that contains vitamin B6, but first check with your physician.
Some of the most common signs of a vitamin B6 deficiency include the following:
- A deficiency can interrupt the proper functioning of the central nervous system. Resulting symptoms may include fatigue, tingling or numbness, problems with muscle coordination, mental confusion, seizures, depression, and insomnia.
- A vitamin B6 deficiency can negatively impact the health and appearance of the skin. It can result in seborrheic dermatitis, flaky and/or itchy skin, greasy skin, and peeling.
- A deficiency can cause issues and conditions related to the tissues both in and around the mouth. These conditions may include cheilosis (cracked skin on the corners of the mouth), glossitis (swelling and redness of the tongue), stomatitis (sores in and around the mouth), and cracked or painful lips. These types of mouth-related symptoms are much like those associated with a deficiency of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) or a deficiency of vitamin B3 (niacin).
Signs of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Overdose and Toxicity
As a water soluble, B vitamin, vitamin B6 overdose or toxicity is rare. Excess quantities of pyridoxine are quickly flushed out of the body through urine and feces. In fact, daily dosages of up to 200 milligrams a day (for adults) are usually not toxic. This is over a 100 times the recommended daily intake.
Extremely large dosages of vitamin B6 (dosages exceeding 200 milligrams a day) can cause nervous system problems. These problems may include numbness (especially in the legs) and problems with balance. These amounts would generally need to be taken daily, for a period of time, for these symptoms to appear.
Extreme vitamin B6 toxicity could damage the nerves responsible for sensing. This could resulting in numbness and tingling in the extremities. Other toxicity symptoms associated with the nervous system may include problems with muscle coordination, problems walking correctly, muted sensitivity to both touch and temperature, and feelings of weakness and fatigue.