Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is one of the most common vitamins in our diet. It plays an essential role in many bodily processes such as cell division, DNA synthesis, protein metabolism, nerve transmission and neurotransmission. It helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and regulates other hormones such as insulin and leptin. Vitamin B6 deficiency causes fatigue, weakness, depression and mental confusion. A deficiency in vitamin B6 may cause anemia, hair loss, impaired wound healing and even death.
The average adult needs approximately 10 mg of vitamin B6 per day. This amount is sufficient to meet all your body’s requirements for the vitamin.
However, some individuals need much higher amounts than this or require less of it altogether. People with liver disease are at greater risk for developing deficiencies because their bodies cannot efficiently convert dietary sources of vitamin B6 into usable forms within the human body. Individuals taking medications containing folic acid, iron or other nutrients that interfere with how the body uses vitamin B6 may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle aches.
The following table lists the vitamin B6 content of commonly available foods. Foods are listed according to their nutrient density score.
Nutrient density scores are based on data from USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR), Release 28.
Fruits and Vegetables
Vitamin B6 (mg)
Broccoli, cooked 83.0
Dried apricots 2.0
Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, dried 2.0 – 3.0
Spinach, cooked 1.9
Sweet potato, cooked 1.6
Potatoes, cooked without skin 2.2
Carrots, cooked 2.
Sources & references used in this article:
The ABCs of Vitamins: Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) by B Sly – breakingmuscle.com
ABC of nutrition. Vitamins II. by AS Truswell – British Medical Journal (Clinical research ed.), 1985 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Pyridoxine in clinical toxicology: a review by P Lheureux, A Penaloza, M Gris – European journal of emergency …, 2005 – journals.lww.com
Vitamin replacement therapy in renal failure patients by R Makoff – Mineral and electrolyte metabolism, 1999 – karger.com
Vitamin B6 and its role in cell metabolism and physiology by M Parra, S Stahl, H Hellmann – Cells, 2018 – mdpi.com
Impact of Deliquescence on the Chemical Stability of Vitamins B1, B6, and C in Powder Blends by AN Hiatt, MG Ferruzzi, LS Taylor… – Journal of agricultural …, 2008 – ACS Publications