Bottle of Everlywell Vitamin B6

How much vitamin B6 do I need per day?

Medically reviewed on May 17, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.


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Vitamin B6 is an important nutrient that you receive through your daily intake of food sources. While most people will consume enough vitamin B6 through their food sources without needing to worry, others may find that they have a vitamin B6 deficiency.

So how much B6 per day is the ideal amount?

While the amount of vitamin B6 per day varies depending on your age, sex, and other health factors, the recommended daily intake amount falls somewhere between 1 to 2 milligrams per day. To learn more about what might affect that recommended vitamin B6 intake amount—and what to do if it’s too high or too low—read this guide here (and consider trying Everlywell's vitamin B6 supplement option).

How much B6 is safe per day?

For most people, doses of B6 will be delivered through their diet and B6 vitamin supplementation. So what foods have B6? Some food groups contain more vitamin B6 supplement than others. Good sources include:

  • Dairy
  • Poultry
  • Fish

As far as how much B6 you should aim to consume each day, the recommendation varies. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) breaks down as follows [1]:

  • Adults under the age of 50 should take in 1.3 mg of B6 per day.
  • Adults over the age of 50 should consume slightly more. Women over 50 should aim for 1.5 mg. Men over 50 need at least 1.7 mg.

While a well-balanced diet should help most people reach these levels, certain conditions could lead to a B6 deficiency. These conditions include [2]:

  • Renal issues such as kidney disease, renal failure, dialysis, or having a kidney transplant
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Alcohol dependency

For people with any of these conditions, vitamin B6 supplementation may be necessary to maintain adequate levels.

How much is too much?

Even people who aren’t living with a vitamin B6 deficiency may choose to supplement with B6 and other B vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 (folic acid). This is because there are several health benefits associated with B vitamin supplementation, including [2]:

  • Improved mood
  • Improved immune function
  • Improved brain function
  • Reduction of symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome
  • Reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration
  • Lower inflammation levels
  • Reduced risk and possible treatment of anemia

While it’s not clear if vitamin B6 supplementation will lead to these benefits for all or most people, there is evidence that in some cases dietary supplements can be useful. However, it’s important not to take too many vitamin B6 supplements.

If you were to consume more than 200mg of B6 per day, cases of peripheral neuropathy can occur. This refers to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs. While this may be temporary and reversible by simply halting supplementation, there are some cases in which this condition becomes permanent [3]. Also, while low B6 is linked to inflammation, there’s also a growing association between high doses of B6 and inflammation [4].

Even before symptoms of too much B6 start to occur, some people may start experiencing other symptoms due to overconsumption of B6. These symptoms may include [1]:

  • Reduced muscle control known as “ataxia”
  • Lesions on the skin
  • Heartburn and nausea
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight
  • Decreased sensitivity to pain or changes in temperature

To avoid any of these potential risks, it’s important to talk to a health professional or your healthcare provider before starting B6 supplementation. Be sure to supplement in moderation, keeping your recommended daily intake and individual health factors in mind.

What are the symptoms of low B6?

While having too much B6 can lead to troubling issues, the symptoms of a B6 deficiency may be even more concerning. Despite having low B6 levels, some people may show no symptoms while others may experience major health issues.

Symptoms of low B6 in babies may include [2]:

  • Irritability
  • Acute hearing
  • Seizures

Adults may experience:

  • Anemia
  • Scaling and cracking of the lips
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Mood issues such as depression or anxiety
  • A weaker overall immune response
  • Electroencephalographic (EEG) abnormalities (issues of electrical activity in the brain)

While none of these symptoms in isolation should be taken as proof that there is a deficiency of B6, they could be a sign that B6 levels are low. It’s best to work with your healthcare provider to determine what is causing symptoms before starting any supplementation.

How to maintain healthy levels of B6

While most daily supplements will help the body maintain adequate levels of B6, you can also look to several food items that may already be available to you in your kitchen or pantry. As mentioned, dairy, poultry, and fish are good sources of vitamin B6. Beyond that, you can also source your vitamin B6 from foods such as [5]:

  • Fortified cereals
  • Chickpeas
  • Mollusks
  • Tofu or tempeh
  • Leafy greens
  • Rice or bulgur

Try vitamin B6 supplementation with Everlywell

Everlywell now offers vitamin B6 supplements to help you support your nutritional needs. Each bottle of vegan and non-GMO B6 supplements comes with a 30-day supply, and you can enjoy 10% with a monthly subscription.

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References

1. Vitamin B-6. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed May 17, 2022.

2. Vitamin B6. National Institutes of Health. URL. Accessed May 17, 2022.

3. B vitamins and folic acid. National Health Service. URL. Accessed May 17, 2022.

4. Bird RP. The Emerging Role of Vitamin B6 in Inflammation and Carcinogenesis. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2018;83:151-194.

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