Last week, you joined as we looked into Pyrrole disorder, a metabolic disorder that affects mental health. One of the key nutrients affected by Pyrroles is Pyriodxine, or vitamin B6, and this week we will look at this vitamin and its implications on your health.

                      You may be surprised just how effective Vitamin B6 can be

1) Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Vitamin B6 has been used for decades in PMS, particularly when it is associated with depression. A systematic review in 1999 involving 940 patients over nine clinical trails supports this use, and doses recommended are beyond the recommended daily intake, being 100mg per day. The symptoms most reduced where those involving psychiatric and mood disturbance. This is due to vitamin B6’s involvement in the creation of the neurotransmitters serotonin, GABA and histamine, all associated with depression and anxiety. 

                      Vitamin B6 is effective in PMS symptoms, particularly when coupled with low mood or

                      depression 

2) Morning sickness

Many medications are to be avoided in pregnancy. This creates difficultly when symptoms such as morning sickness arrive, as patients are unsure of what to take. One of those medications, vitamin B6, is safe in pregnancy and studies have been conducted to assess this treatment. Medical reviews have confirmed this and found that 55% of women taking vitamin B6 had significant improvement.

                     Vitamin B6 is safe and effective in morning sickness

3) Schizophrenia 

Many within the Naturopathic profession consider high homocysteine to contribute at least in part to schizophrenia. To test this, studies where conducted on 42 schizophrenic patients with high levels of homocysteine. Over a period of 3 months, treatment was given with folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. In addition to the lowering of homocysteine, symptoms within the treatment group significantly improved. This was measured with standardized psychometric testing.

                    Folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are able to improve symptoms of schizophrenia,      

                    though is best prescribed under the supervision of a health professional

                    Related: could Pyrolle disorder be affecting your mental health?

4) Autism

As reviewed last week, vitamin B6 and magnesium are popular supplements prescribed to autistic children, particularly when associated with Pyrrole disorder. There have been a handful of studies in this area, some showing positive results, others not. A critical analysis of 12 studies concluded that generally the evidence is in favor of vitamin B6 and magnesium in Autistic children, however the methods used in some studies are in question. Other studies provided further evidence for vitamin B6 and magnesium in Autism, and improvements were found in symptoms such as communication and social interaction.

                    Vitamin B6 appears to improve communication and social interaction in Autism, however          

                    the evidence base is still growing.

                    Related: NACs role in Autism 

5) Heart disease

As discussed, Vitamin B6 impacts homocysteine levels. Although controversial, homocysteine is a also considered a marker of risk in heart disease. Studies using vitamin B6, Folate and B12 showed a reduction in homocysteine levels, however failed to show any reduction in overall cardiovascular risk. There is some evidence of improvements in survival rate after heart transplantation, despite homocysteine levels remaining unchanged.

                   Vitamin B6 may be of benefit in heart disease, although the evidence is limited  

Other uses

Dream recall

Nutritional scientists have often thought that B6 supplements may be associated with dream recall. To test this theory, studies of a 2002 double blind placebo controlled studies showed that B6 is able to improve dream recall, improving vividness, color and bizarreness. This can be a maker in Pyrrole disorder to show improvement with treatment.

                 It appears that Vitamin B6 can improve dream recall

Food sources

  • Fish
  • Organ meats
  • Legumes
  • Wheat germ
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Interactions

Like all natural medicines, Vitamin B6 has interactions with other medications. Examples include antibiotics, the oral contraceptive pill and others. It is best to see a Naturopath for the best outcome as to avoid any misfortune.   

Yours in health,

Jeremy Brown

Naturopath 

 

Supporting Evidence: 

Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs & natural supplements. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hechtman, L. (2012). Clinical Naturopathic medicine. Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Australia.