B6 - A Magical Vitamin for Brain Health, ADHD, Epilepsy, & More
Article By: Dominica Dieffenbach, RDN
Dominica is a Registered Dietitian currently specializing in the special needs pediatric population. She has over 15 years of experience as an RD, working with a wide variety of patients to provide them with individualized medical nutrition therapy and education.
Vitamin B6, otherwise known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin naturally occurring in many plant and animal foods such as tuna, salmon, poultry, chickpeas, bananas, cantaloupe, and spinach. This vitamin plays a critical role in various functions including maintaining normal levels of homocysteine, boosting immune function, and supporting brain health. For children who eat a varied diet containing foods rich in Vitamin B6, a deficiency is not common. However, those with an autoimmune disorder such as celiac (or Crohn’s disease) or an extremely picky kiddo could benefit from a multivitamin that contains B6 or a standalone supplement like Renzo's Bright & Brainy B6.
Doctors would agree that proper nutrition is essential for improving symptoms and maybe even treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition to an overall healthy diet, there is growing evidence around the benefits Vitamin B6 has on increasing neurotransmitter and serotonin production. This in turn, can help to decrease hyperactivity and aggressiveness and improve attention in school. Now that’s a vitamin victory!
Children with epilepsy are more likely to have behavioral problems such as aggression, nervousness, and hostility which can be linked to certain anti-epileptic medications. The use of higher doses of B6 to help manage these medication-induced behaviors was initially found more than a decade ago. Today, this practice is fairly common in the pediatric world, although the optimal dosage is not known as it is very individualized. Anticonvulsant drugs can decrease levels of biotin, folic acid, and Vitamins B6 and B12 in the body, especially when taken long-term.
When used as a supplement in appropriate doses, Vitamin B6 is considered safe.
Here is the average recommended daily Vitamin B6 intake:
|Birth to 6 months||0.1 mg|
|7-12 months||0.3 mg|
|1-3 years||0.5 mg|
|4-8 years||0.6 mg|
|9-13 years||1.0 mg|
|14-18 years (males)||1.3 mg|
|14-18 years (females)||1.2 mg|
It's important to note that taking too much Vitamin B6 from supplements can cause:
- A lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements (ataxia)
- Painful, disfiguring skin lesions
- Heartburn and nausea
- Sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity)
- Reduced ability to sense pain or extreme temperatures
Always be sure to check with a physician before starting a new supplement regimen.
Renzo's Vitamins provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice.