Key Concepts

  • RDA for adults (19-50 yrs) – 1.3 mg/day
  • UL – 100 mg/day (to prevent toxicity)
  • Food Sources – salmon, tuna, meat, sunflower seeds, spinach, potatoes, bananas, nuts
  • B Complex – $0.34/day


Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), the active form of vitamin B6 in the body, is essential in over one-hundred enzymes. Milling and refining (processing) of grains destroys vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is not affected by cooking.

Pyridoxine is a key factor in protein metabolism (amino acid biosynthesis), neurotransmitter synthesis (serotonin, dopamine, & GABA), hemoglobin synthesis, glucose metabolism (gluconeogensis and glycolgenolysis), and nucleic acid synthesis.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

  • Adults (19-50 yrs) is 1.3 mg/day.


Severe deficiency is uncommon. Hyperhomocysteinemia (high levels of circulating homocysteine) along with depression are potential symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency. Hyperhomocysteinemia has been associated with an increased risk in cardiovascular disease.


The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for vitamin B6 is set at 100 mg/day. This is for supplementation as no adverse effects have been documented from food sources of vitamin B6. Sensory nerve damage has been reported with 200 mg/day of chronic daily vitamin B6 supplementation. In general, high doses of pyridoxine have failed to show therapeutic benefits; therefore, exceeding 100 mg/day does not appear to provide any benefit.

Food Sources

  • Chickpeas, canned, 1 cup – 1.1 mg – 55%
  • Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces – 0.6mg – 30%
  • Banana, 1 medium – 0.4 mg – 20%
  • Ground beef, patty, 85% lean, broiled, 3 ounces – 0.3 mg – 15%
  • Squash, winter, baked, ½ cup – 0.2 mg – 10%




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