Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) has several important functions, including helping the body use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food. It also helps to form haemoglobin (the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body). The RNI for vitamin B6 is 1.4mg a day for men and 1.2mg a day for women. The government say that you should not take more than 10mg of vitamin B6 a day in supplements unless advised to by a doctor. Taking more than 200mg a day of vitamin B6 for a long time can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs (peripheral neuropathy). Taking doses of 10-200mg a day for short periods may not cause any harm. However, there is not enough evidence to say for how long these doses could be taken safely (NHS Choices, 2015a).

Food (100g) Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) (mg)
RNI: 1.1mg/day for women and 1.3mg/day for men
Wheatgerm 3.30
Yeast extract 1.60
Tesco Malt Wheats, Sainsbury's Wholegrain Malties or Waitrose Malted Wheats 1.20
Sesame seeds and tahini 0.75
Peanuts 0.59
Avocado 0.36
Potatoes, boiled 0.33
Banana 0.29
Lentils, green/brown, dried, boiled 0.28
Apricots, ready-to-eat 0.14
Whloemeal toast 0.13

Table 11.0 Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) content of selected foods.

Source: FSA, 2002.

Table 1.0 shows that you should be able to get all the vitamin B6 you need by eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.