Q: How much vitamin B-6 should I take?

A: Vitamin B-6 plays a role in hormone functions (for example, sex and steroid hormones), red blood-cell production, nucleic acid production, and nervous system functions.

The current RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin B-6 is: 

  • Men and women between 19 and 50 years of age: 1.3 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B-6/day. Men 51 years of age and older: 1.7 mg/day.
  • Women 51 years of age and older: 1.5 mg/day.

There are some studies showing an improvement of problems (morning sickness, PMS symptoms) when vitamin B-6 was given in a dose of 25-100 mg per day, which is up to 50 times the RDA.

Adverse effects have been documented from vitamin B-6 supplements but never from food sources. Neurologic symptoms from overdose typically develop at doses of pyridoxine in excess of 1000 mg per day, though there have been a few case reports of individuals who developed problems at doses of less than 500 mg daily over a period of months. None of the studies, in which an objective neurological examination was performed, found evidence of sensory nerve damage at intakes of pyridoxine below 200 mg/day.

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