Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B6 has several chemical forms. It is one of the most effective vitamins for human body. It plays a vital role in making hormones, proteins and neurotransmitters.

Pyridoxine hydrochloride or vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin.

It is available in various forms:

  1. Pyridoxamine
  2. Pyridoxamine phosphate
  3. Pyridoxal
  4. Pyridoxal phosphate
  5. Pyridoxine
  6. Pyridoxine phosphate

It is essential for functioning of nervous system, production of red blood cells and also for protein metabolism. For a healthy functioning of mind and body, vitamin B6 is very essential and it has the ability to convert tryptophan to niacin. Being a water-soluble vitamin, it will be flushed out from your body and hence you need to replenish your body with this vitamin. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin B6 is stored anywhere in the body. Generally, Vitamin B6 deficiency symptoms can be noticed easily and is commonly seen among elder persons who follow poor diet.

Vitamin B6 is necessary for more than hundred enzymes that are associated with protein metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also essential for RBC metabolism. It plays a vital role in synthesis of antibodies by immune system. In fact, antibodies are essential to fight against infections. Vitamin B6 is essential in formation of red blood cells and also helps maintain normal nerve functioning. It also plays a major role in production of RNA and DNA, body’s genetic material.

Vitamin B6 is required for manufacturing amino acids which are used to build proteins in body. In fact, proteins are essential for growth and repair of tissue. It is very important for maintaining healthy muscle and nerve cells.

Vitamin B6 is essential for chemical reactions that are necessary to digest proteins. When the protein intake is high, the need for vitamin B6 is also increased. Lack of this vitamin can lead to several health issues. If your suffering from vitamin B6 deficiency, here are few signs and symptoms you have to look for.

Symptoms of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Vitamin B6 Deficiency Symptoms include tingling sensations, pellagra-like syndrome, weakness, peripheral neuropathy, anemia, seizures. Learn more about other consequences of Vitamin B6 Deficiency.

List of symptoms

  1. Anemia
  2. Pellagra like symptoms
  3. Convulsions in children
  4. Skin inflammation
  5. Hand numbness
  6. Hand tingling
  7. Red scaly skin
  8. Foot numbness
  9. Foot tingling
  10. Irritability
  11. Depression
  12. Impaired antibody production
  13. Growth retardation in children
  14. Red tongue
  15. Sore tongue
  16. Infant Seizures
  17. Cracks at mouth corners
  18. Irritability
  19. Insomnia
  20. Muscle weakness
  21. Eczema
  22. Retarded infant growth
  23. Confusion
  24. Fatigue

Symptoms of vitamins B6 are similar to those of vitamin B2 and vitamin B3. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the body to manufacture its own vitamin B3.

Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B6 Deficiency in detail

Lacking Energy

Vitamin B6 helps in keeping you energized by improving your body’s metabolism. It helps in breaking down the protein you consume and as a result produces energy faster. This energy will be used for performing metabolic activities. If you feel exhausted or tired quickly than usual, then you might be suffering from vitamin B6 deficiency.

Hinders brain functioning

Vitamin B6 is essential in performing certain brain functions. Good amounts of vitamin B6 in body will help brain perform its functions effectively. Brain communicates with other parts of the body through neurotransmitters and lack of vitamin B6 can hinder the functioning of brain. If you feel that the functioning of brain is slowing down for any reason, seek your doctor’s advice immediately as this might be a reason for vitamin B6 deficiency.

Increased levels of homocysteine

Increase in levels of amino acid homocysteine can increase the risk of heart attacks. Vitamin B6 can help reduce such risks and hence enough of vitamin B6 levels in body can lower the levels of homocysteine. The quantity of amino acids ranges from low high in an individual. However, if there is an increase in its quantity, there might be an increase in risks of heart attacks. Vitamin B6 helps lower the levels of amino acid homocysteine. If you have low levels of vitamin B6, you have to incorporate foods that contain more vitamin B6 in diet.


Deficiency of vitamin B6 causes macrocytic anemia where body generates large blood cells but small in number. It might further lead to several blood disorders as well. Hence, deficiency of vitamin B6 needed to be cured in the early stages itself.

Dry, Greasy and scaly skin

Deficiency of vitamin B6 makes your skin dry, greasy and scaly. Several other skin disorders such as rashes, fungal infections occur because the body is unable to get enough of vitamin B6.

High Blood pressure

This is a dangerous symptom, which may also lead to heart attacks. Prolonged deprivation of vitamin B6 causes high blood pressure, which needs to be treated immediately. It might also lead to death of the patient when proper medication is not followed along with a healthy diet.

Muscle Weakness

Muscle Weakness is yet another symptom that causes extreme pain in limbs, joints and muscles. Due to weakness, the patient cannot concentrate on any issues. However, this might also be a symptom for other kind of vitamin deficiencies. Muscle weakness might further cause muscle cramps as well.


Deficiency of vitamin B6 causes seizures in infants. However, infants and children have good metabolism they get seizures but no test can find out the level of deficiency they suffer from.

Other common symptoms

The feet and hands might feel numb and prickling sensation is also a symptom. Cracks may form at the corners of mouth and tongue may become red and sore. The patient may also become irritable at times, depressed and confused. Dizziness, bad breath, lethargy, cramps in abdomen, swollen ankles, headaches, extreme nervousness, red rashes around genital areas, showers of dandruff, foul smelling flatulence, cramps in abdomen, stiffness and pain in arms and hands, painful knots in finger joints are also few symptoms.

Severe depletion of vitamin B6 may also result in nausea, vomiting, peripheral neuritis, seborrheic dermatitis, hyperacusis, convulsions, mucous membrane lesions, altered alertness and mobility, abnormal head movements and ataxia.

Recommended Intake of Vitamin B6

Men can intake around 2mg/day of vitamin B6. People who follow high protein diet and those who also drink heavily need to intake more vitamin B6. Women on pill have low levels of vitamin B6. Women need around 1.6mg of vitamin B6 per day.

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Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh is a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist with B.A.M.S. and M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants. He has a wealth of experience in using Ayurveda to treat patients, including the use of herbal medicine and personalized Ayurvedic diets. His passion for spreading accurate and scientific information about Ayurveda and Medicinal Plants led him to create Ayur Times, a trusted resource for those seeking reliable information on the topic. Through his dedicated work, Dr. Singh has helped thousands of patients find relief and improve their health with Ayurveda and Herbal Medicine.

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