Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is an established nutrient for overall wellness. An important role of B vitamins is the production of the neurotransmitters essential to your ability to relax and maintain a positive state of mind.
Vitamin B6 plays an essential part in mood, memory formation, and cognitive functions. B6 is essential to the formation of the feel-good neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Serotonin is the “happiness molecule.” Dopamine helps you get motivated and stay focused. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the brain chemical of relaxation.
Savvy uses 625% of Australia's Recommended Dietary Intake of vitamin B6 in its active form (pyridoxal 5 phosphate) due the importance of this vitamin in producing brain chemicals that are vital for a healthy mood.
Vitamin B6 Fast Facts
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate)
B6 is important for a wide array of cognitive and physical functions in the body. One of the most well-known benefits of vitamin B6 is for improving energy metabolism at the cellular level. Because vitamin B6 is a co-factor for over 100 enzymatic actions in the brain and body, it is no wonder this vitamin is crucial for overall health.
It also plays a role in improving blood flow to the brain, which helps to improve cognitive function and general brain health. Vitamin B6 helps to grow the brain’s neurons, sheaths and neural connections. This means you can think faster, improve learning ability, and retain information better.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is utilised in the synthesis of the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. This means that, when you are stressed, there is less B6 available to perform its other functions, so supplementing with it can be very helpful.
Main benefits for Savvy
- Improves energy levels
- Anti inflammatory benefits
- Improved cognitive function with lowered stress & anxiety
- Improves memory
- Helps to uplift mood
To make it easy to identify all the different studies - we will highlight them for you!
We really hope you enjoy our many years of research when formulating Savvy...
One of the most well-known benefits of vitamin B6 is for improving energy metabolism at the cellular level. In fact, vitamin B6 is involved in over 100 enzymatic actions in the brain and body responsible for your proper functioning.
Clayton, P, ‘B6-responsive disorders: A model of vitamin dependency’ in Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, Volume 29, Issue 2-3, April 2006, pp 317-326 [Link]
“Pyridoxal phosphate is the cofactor for over 100 enzyme-catalysed reactions in the body, including many involved in the synthesis or catabolism of neurotransmitters. Inadequate levels of pyridoxal phosphate in the brain cause neurological dysfunction, particularly epilepsy. There are several different mechanisms that lead to an increased requirement for pyridoxine and/or pyridoxal phosphate.”
Ebadi, M, et al ‘Hippocampal Zinc Thionein and Pyridoxal Phosphate Modulate Synaptic Functions’ in Annals of the New York Academy of sciences, Volume 585, Issue 1 , Vitamin B6, May 1990, pp 189-201 [Link]
“Increases mental and physical energy, and improves the communication between neurons in your brain, allowing for increased cognition.“
Ebadi, M, ‘Regulation and function of pyridoxal phosphate in CNS’ in Neurochemistry International, Volume 3, Issues 3-4, 1981, pp 181-205 [Link]
“Pyridoxal phosphate and pyridoxamine phosphate, the catalytically active forms of vitamin B6, influence brain function by participating at stages in metabolism of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, other coenzymes and hormones.”
Tardy, Anne-Laure, et al. ‘Vitamins and minerals for energy, fatigue and cognition: a narrative review of the biochemical and clinical evidence.’ Nutrients. Volume 12. Issue 1. 2020. pp. 228 [Link]
“Pyridoxal phosphate is a cofactor for glycogen phosphorylase, which releases glucose-1-phosphate from glycogen and provides additional glucose when needed, such as in exercising muscle.”
Ulvik, A, et al ‘Evidence for increased catabolism of vitamin B-6 during systemic inflammation.’ in The American journal of clinical nutrition, Volume 100, Issue 1, July 2014, pp 250-255. [Link]
“Broad-specificity enzymes upregulated to reduce oxidative and aldehyde stress could explain increased catabolism of vitamin B-6 during inflammation”
Improved cognitive function with lowered stress & anxiety
Ebrahimi, E, et al, ‘Effects of Magnesium and Vitamin B6 on the Severity of Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms’ in Journal of Caring Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 1, December 2012, pp 183-189 [Link]
“In accordance with previous research, the findings of this study demonstrated the positive effects of magnesium and vitamin B6 on reduction of all premenstrual syndrome symptoms.” The study shows improvements to Anxiety and depression from B6 use.
Mikawa, Y, et al, ‘Low serum concentrations of vitamin B6 and iron are related to panic attack and hyperventilation attack.’ in Acta medica Okayama, Volume 67, Issue 2, 2013, pp 99 - 104. [Link]
“Patients undergoing a panic attack (PA) or a hyperventilation attack (HVA) are sometimes admitted to emergency departments (EDs). Reduced serotonin level is known as one of the causes of PA and HVA. Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan. For the synthesis of serotonin, vitamin B6 (Vit B6) and iron play important roles as cofactors”
La Rue A, et al. ‘Nutritional status and cognitive functioning in a normally aging sample: a 6-y reassessment.’ in The American journal of clinical nutrition, Volume 65, Issue 1, January 1997 pp 20-29 [Link]
“Several significant associations (P < 0.05) were observed between cognition and concurrent vitamin status, including better abstraction performance with higher biochemical status and dietary intake of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate (rs = 0.19-0.29) and better visuospatial performance...Higher past intake of vitamins E, A, B-6, and B-12 was related to better performance on visuospatial recall and/or abstraction tests (rs = 0.19-0.28). Use of self-selected vitamin supplements was associated with better performance on a difficult visuospatial test and an abstraction test.”
Stough, C, et al. ‘The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress.’ in Human Psychopharmacology. Volume 26, Issue 7, October 2011, pp 470-476. [Link]
“Sixty participants completed the 3-month, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in which personality, work demands, mood, anxiety and strain were assessed. ...the vitamin B complex treatment groups reported significantly lower personal strain and a reduction in confusion and depressed/dejected mood after 12 weeks. The results of the study are consistent with two previous studies examining…supplementation of a B multivitamin.”
Hoffman, JR, et al, ‘The effects of acute and prolonged CRAM supplementation on reaction time and subjective measures of focus and alertness in healthy college students.’ in Journal of the international society of sports nutrition, Volume 7, issue 39, December 2010 [Link]
“Results indicate that acute ingestion of CRAM can maintain reaction time, and subjective feelings of focus and alertness to both visual and auditory stimuli in healthy college students following exhaustive exercise… The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of acute and prolonged (4-weeks) ingestion of a supplement designed to improve reaction time and subjective measures of alertness, energy, fatigue, and focus...CRAM; α-glycerophosphocholine, choline bitartrate, phosphatidylserine, vitamins B3, B6, and B12, folic acid, L-tyrosine, anhydrous caffeine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and naringin… Reaction time significantly declined..”
Walia, Vaibhav et al. ‘Anxiolytic-like effect of pyridoxine in mice by elevated plus maze and light and dark box: Evidence for the involvement of GABAergic and NO-sGC-cGMP pathway.’ Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. Volume 173. 2018. pp. 96-106. [Link]
This research study conducted on mice found out the ‘anxiolytic-like (ability to reduce anxiety) effects. Pyridoxine was administered at 90, 180 and 360 mg/kg by intraperitoneal route while Glutamate, GABA and Nitrite levels were observed. It was found that 180 mg/kg of Pyridoxine exerted ‘anxiolytic-like effects.
Gondim-Silva, et al. ‘Neonatal pyridoxine administration long lastingly accelerates cortical spreading depression in male rats, without affecting anxiety-like behaviour.’ Nutritional neuroscience. 2019. pp. 1-8 [Link]
This research study conducted on Neonatal rats that received pyridoxine hydrochloride at different doses found out that the administration of the vitamin increased electrical activity related phenomena in the brain and reduced behaviour related to anxiety.
Kafeshani, Marzi et al. ‘Higher vitamin B6 intake is associated with lower depression and anxiety risk in women but not in men: a large cross-sectional study.’ International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2019 [Link]
“High dose (100-300 mg daily) of pyridoxine has also been proposed as an anti-stress therapy; Vitamin B6 exerts modulatory effects on neurotranstransmitters that affect depression and anxiety…”
Lee, Amy SD. ‘The Role of Vitamin B6 in Women's Health.’ Nurs Clin North Am. 2021. pp. 23-32 [Link]
“Vitamin B6 supplementation for the relief of depression, anxiety, and stress is beneficial.”
Deijen, J, B, et al, ‘Vitamin B-6 supplementation in elderly men: effects on mood, memory, performance and mental effort’ in Journal of Psychopharmacology, Volume 109, Issue 4, December 1992, pp 489-496 [Link]
“Positive effects of vitamin B-6 supplementation were only found with respect to memory, especially concerning long-term memory. In view of the finding that mental performance improvement and Δ PLP values were most strongly correlated within an intermediate range of Δ PLP, it is suggested that cognitive effects are primarily associated with a certain range of vitamin B-6 status increment. The general conclusion is that vitamin B-6 supplementation improves storage of information modestly but significantly.”
Douaud, G. et al. ‘Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment’ in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Volume 110, Issue 23, June 2013, pp 9523-9528 [Link]
“Our results show that B-vitamin supplementation can slow the atrophy of specific brain regions that are a key component of the AD process and that are associated with cognitive decline. “
Jung, Hyo Young, et al. ‘Effects of pyridoxine deficiency on hippocampal function and its possible association with V-type proton ATPase subunit B2 and heat shock cognate protein 70.’ Cells. Volume 9. Issue 5. 2020. pp. 1067 [Link]
This research study was conducted on mice that were pyridoxine-deficient for 8 weeks. The deficiency was noted in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and thalamus when compared to the controls. The results of the study suggest that novel object recognition memory, monoamine levels and hippocampal neurogenesis were affected due to the deficiency. Thus Pyridoxine deficiency is set to cause cognitive impairment, including a reduction in memory.
Calderón‐Ospina, et al. ‘B Vitamins in the nervous system: Current knowledge of the biochemical modes of action and synergies of thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin.’ CNS neuroscience & therapeutics. Volume 26. Issue 1. 2020. pp. 5-13. [Link]
This research article demonstrated the importance of B1, B6 and B12 for the proper functioning of the nervous system. B6 and B12 were found to be very essential for CNS working since the deficiency of the vitamins increases Hcy levels and produces neurotoxic effects such as oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. This can cause dementia, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Osman, Chinar, et al. ‘Diagnosis of pyridoxine‐dependent epilepsy in an adult presenting with recurrent status epilepticus.’ Epilepsia. Volume 61. Issue 1. 2020. pp. e1-e6. [Link]
Nuru, Mohammed et al. ‘High methionine, low folate and low vitamin B6/B12 (HM-LF-LV) diet causes neurodegeneration and subsequent short-term memory loss.’ Metabolic brain disease. Volume 33. Issue 6. 2018. pp. 1923-1934 [Link]
This study was done to investigate the cognitive function of mice by measuring short-term memory after administration of methionine, folate and Vitamin B6/B12. The results revealed that low vitamin B6/B12 results in increased neuronal degeneration and vascular dysfunction, leading to short-term memory loss.
Li, Peng et al. ‘Vitamin B6 prevents isocarbophos-induced vascular dementia in rats through N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor signaling.’ Clinical and Experimental Hypertension. Volume 40. Issue 2. 2018. pp. 192-201 [Link]
This research study investigated the ability of vitamin B6 in regulating the metabolisms of organophosphorus induced vascular dementia in rats. It was found that Vitamin B6 increased the blood flow in the cerebral arteries and improved the function of learning and memory.
Rezaeimanesh, Nasim et al. ‘The possible beneficial effects of higher vitamin B6 intake from diet on cognitive function of patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.’ Multiple sclerosis and related disorders. Volume 42. 2020. pp. 102132 [Link]
This study was conducted to evaluate the correlation between dietary vitamin B6 intake and cognitive function. The findings indicated a positive correlation between higher dietary intake of B6 and cognitive function that is significant from the verbal, learning memory, information processing and working memory speed.
Kalani, Anuradha et al. ‘A high methionine, low folate and vitamin B6/B12 containing diet can be associated with memory loss by epigenetic silencing of netrin-1.’ Neural regeneration research. Volume 14. Issue 7. 2019. pp. 1247 [Link]
“Diet lacking vitamin B6/B12 can induce defects in learning and memory.”
This research study discussed the role of Pyridoxine in treating Pyridoxine-dependent Epilepsy (PDE) that produces seizures. The study described a case where a patient who had uncontrolled seizures was administered 50 mg of Pyridoxine once daily, after which her condition improved to be seizure-free while her cognition improved.
Palacios, Natalia et al. ‘Lower plasma vitamin B-6 is associated with 2-year cognitive decline in the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study.’ The Journal of nutrition. Volume 149. Issue 4. 2019. pp. 635-641 [Link]
This research study was conducted to investigate the relationship between plasma pyridoxal-5’-phosphate concentrations with cognitive function. Lower baseline plasma concentrations of pyridoxal-5’-phosphate were associated with increased odds of 2-year cognitive decline while the association was stronger among older participants and smokers.
Lee, Amy SD. ‘The Role of Vitamin B6 in Women's Health.’ Nurs Clin North Am. 2021. pp. 23-32. [Link]
“Vitamin B6 is thought to play a key role in the support of the cognitive function. Inversely, vitamin B6 deficiency has been targeted as a modifiable risk factor in the prevention of cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease.”
Parra, Marcelina et al. ‘Vitamin B6 and its role in cell metabolism and physiology.’ Cells. Volume 7. Issue 7. 2018. pp. 84 [Link]
“Multiple studies have shown that deficiencies in vitB6 negatively affect mental health and cognitive abilities.”
An, Yu et al. ‘Dietary intakes and biomarker patterns of folate, vitamin B 6, and vitamin B 12 can be associated with cognitive impairment by hypermethylation of redox-related genes NUDT15 and TXNRD1.’ Clinical epigenetics. Volume 11. Issue. 1. 2019. pp. 1-19 [Link]
“Decreased serum levels of B vitamins may contribute to cognitive impairment by affecting methylation levels of specific redox-related genes.”
Helps to uplift mood
Kemper, K. Et al. ‘Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapies to Promote Healthy Moods’ in Pediatric Clinics of North America. Volume 54, Issue 6, December 2007. Pp 901 - 926 [Link]
“Depression is the 2nd leading cause of illness and disability among young people worldwide. A healthy lifestyle and healthy environment are the cornerstones for promoting positive moods. In addition, several complementary therapies, including nutritional supplements, herbs...“
Hvas, AM, et al, ‘Vitamin B6 level is associated with symptoms of depression.’ in Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, Volume 73, Issue 6, December 2004, pp 340 - 343. [Link]
“A low level of vitamin B6 might theoretically cause depression as vitamin B6 is a cofactor in the tryptophan-serotonin pathway.”
Gourgeon, L, et al, ‘Intakes of folate, vitamin B6 and B12 and risk of depression in community-dwelling older adults: the Quebec Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Aging.’ in European journal of clinical nutrition, Volume 70, Issue 3, March 2016, pp 380 - 385. [Link]
“This study provides some evidence of decreased depression risk among women with higher intakes of vitamin B6 from food, which was dependent on total energy intake, and among men with higher intakes of B12 from food, independently of energy intake.”
Lewis, J, E. et al. ‘The Effect of Methylated Vitamin B Complex on Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms and Quality of Life in Adults with Depression’ in Journal of International Scholarly Research Notices Psychiatry, Volume 2013, Article ID 621453, pp 1-7 [Link]
“The Max Stress B [B1,2,3,6,12 combination] formula showed modest improvements in mood and mental health according to the BDI, BAI, and SF-36, making our findings consistent with the prior studies. Thus, our study shows that a high quality, whole-food dietary supplement may offer an opportunity for adults with depression to improve mood symptoms and quality of life.”
Bell, IR, et al. ‘Brief communication. Vitamin B1, B2, and B6 augmentation of tricyclic antidepressant treatment in geriatric depression with cognitive dysfunction.’ in Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Volume 11, Issue 2, April 1992, pp 159-163. [Link]
“This was a 4-week randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study to assess augmentation of open tricyclic antidepressant treatment with 10 mg each of vitamins B1, B2, and B6 in 14 geriatric inpatients with depression. The active vitamin group demonstrated significantly better B2 and B6 status on enzyme activity coefficients and trends toward greater improvement in scores on ratings of depression and cognitive function”
Kennedy, David O. et al. ‘Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males’ in Journal of psychopharmacology. Volume 211, Issue 1, July 2010, pp 55-68. [Link]
“Healthy members of the general population may benefit from augmented levels of vitamins/minerals via direct dietary supplementation. Specifically, supplementation led to improved ratings of stress, mental health and vigour and improved cognitive performance during intense mental processing.”
Almeida OP, et al. ‘B vitamins to enhance treatment response to antidepressants in middle-aged and older adults: results from the B-VITAGE randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.’ in The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science, Volume 205, Issue 6, December 2014, pp 450-457. [Link]
“B vitamins did not increase the 12-week efficacy of antidepressant treatment, but enhanced and sustained antidepressant response over 1 year. Replication of these findings would mandate that treatment guidelines adopt the adjunctive use of B vitamins as a safe and inexpensive strategy to manage major depression in middle-aged and older adults.”
Murajami, K, et al. ‘Dietary Folate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin B-12 and Depressive Symptoms in Early Adolescence: The Ryukyus Child Health Study’ in Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, Volume 72, Issue 9, October 2010, pp 763 - 768 [Link]
“This study suggests that higher intake of dietary B vitamins, particularly folate and vitamin B-6, is independently associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in early adolescence.”
Odai, Tamami et al. ‘Depressive Symptoms in Middle-Aged and Elderly Women Are Associated with a Low Intake of Vitamin B6: A Cross-Sectional Study.’ Nutrients. Volume 12. Issue 11. 2020. pp. 3437 [Link]
This research study investigated the nutritional factors that are associated with anxiety and depression symptoms in Japanese middle-aged and elderly women. The cross-sectional study involved analysis of the relationship between moderate-to-severe anxiety/depressive symptoms and dietary intake of 43 major nutrients. It was found that symptoms related to depression were inversely associated with only Vitamin B6, inferring that a higher level of vitamin B6 intake helps in relieving depression symptoms.
Wu, Yanjun et al. ‘Associations of dietary vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 with the risk of depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis.’ Nutrition Reviews. 2021 [Link]
This was an observational study conducted to evaluate associations between depression and dietary vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12. The study inferred that the intake of the vitamins is inversely associated with the risk of depression, with B2, B6 and B12 intake being significant in females, but not in males.
Mesripour, Azadeh et al. ‘The effect of vitamin B6 on dexamethasone-induced depression in mice model of despair.’ Nutritional neuroscience. Volume 22. Issue 10. 2019. pp. 744-749 [Link]
This research study was conducted on male mice to evaluate the effect of Vitamin B6 following dexamethasone (DEX)-induced depression. While DEX dose-dependently caused depression, premedication with vitamin B6 prevented DEX-induced depression and demonstrated antidepressant effect. The effect might be mediated due to alteration in the Glucocorticoid receptors that alter the brain plasticity and mood.
Lee, Amy SD. ‘The Role of Vitamin B6 in Women's Health.’ Nurs Clin North Am. 2021. pp. 23-32. [Link]
“Low vitamin B6 levels are known to be associated with depression symptoms.”
Parra, Marcelina et al. Vitamin B6 and its role in cell metabolism and physiology.’ Cells. Volume 7. Issue 7. 2018. pp. 84. [Link]
“If vit B6 deficiency occurs, weakening of the immune function, convulsive seizures, and depression and confusion have also been reported.”