Vitamin B6is contained in a group of closely related compounds: pyramidal, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxine. They are metabolized in the body to pyridoxal phosphate, which serves as a coenzyme in many vital reactions in the blood, skin metabolism, and the central nervous system. Vitamin B6 is pivotal in heme, nucleic acid biosynthesis, lipids, carbohydrates, and amino acid metabolism. It is water-soluble and found naturally in many foods.

Vitamin B6 is widely used for its core purpose in disease prevention.  It is among the eight vitamins in the B complex groups. Though it was discovered in 1932, researchers have continued to study it more for many years. Most people get sufficient vitamin B6 in their diet, but what are the common symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency?

Its deficiency is commonly found in people with kidney, liver, obesity, and alcoholic problems. Many people in society are not aware of their health status, and so it brings a problem. Therefore, this article discusses the signs and symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency.

Mood Changes

Deficiency of B6 might affect your mood, sometimes leading to anxiety, depression, irritability, and increased feelings of pain. It is because B6 participates in making several neurotransmitters, like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Studies carried out show that serotonin and GABA assist in controlling depression, anxiety, and feelings of pain. The purpose of B6 in preventing such mood complications is tested in various conditions.

Research indicates that consuming 50-80 mg of B6 supplements may help with premenstrual syndromes (PMS) symptoms like irritability, depression, moodiness, and anxiety. In about half of people with autism, supplementing with B6 helps de-escalate behavioral difficulties, possibly because it assists in synthesizing neurotransmitters. Scientists reveal that B6 may help with PMS because it assists in making serotonin which lifts your mood.

Weakened Immune System

A well-working immune system is pivotal in the prevention of infections, inflammation, and various cancers. Nutrient deficiencies like B6 can disrupt the immune system. Specifically, a deficiency in B6 can lead to reduced production of antibodies needed to combat infections. A B6 deficiency might also lower your body’s production of white blood cells, including T cells.

These cells control immune function, assisting it in responding appropriately. Moreover, B6 helps your body produce a protein called interleukin-2, which aids indirectly in the actions of white blood cells. Additionally, individuals with autoimmune disorders (the immune system turns against itself) may have elevated damage of B6, which hikes the need for vitamins.

Sore, Glossy Tongue

With vitamin B6 deficiency, the tongue becomes sore, inflamed, reddened, and swollen. This condition is known as glossitis. Replenishing B6 serves in treating glossitis, provided that a deficiency is the only cause. The smooth and glossy surface of the tongue is a result of the loss of papillae. These are known as the bumps of the tongue. Glossitis condition can lead to problems of swallowing, talking, and chewing. Inadequacies of other nutrients like folate and B12 can also lead to this condition. Taking enough of these vitamins helps to clear up glossitis.

Cracked and Sore Lips

Cheilosis, characterized by sore, swollen, and red with cracked mouth corners, can come from B6 deficiency. Cracked points may bleed and become infected. Additionally, apart from being very painful, having cracked and sore lips can make talking difficult and eating. Correcting B6 deficiency with foods high in vitamins or a supplement may deal with these symptoms. Notably, inadequacies of riboflavin, iron, folate, and other nutrients may also cause this condition as can dry or other weather, sunny, and other external factors.

Skin Rashes

Vitamin B6 deficiency is among the causes of a red, itchy rash known as seborrheic dermatitis. The rashes may appear on your face, upper chest, scalp, and neck. It is popular due to its oily, flaky appearance and may result in swelling or white patches. One of the reasons B6 deficiency might lead to skin rashes is that the vitamin assists in the synthesis of collagen required for healthy skin.

In this case, taking B6 may deplete the rashes quickly. Some people affected with seborrheic dermatitis may possess higher requirements for B6. A B6 face cream has aided some individuals in improving symptoms from seborrheic dermatitis.

High Homocysteine

Homocysteine is a product made during protein digestion. A B6 deficiency together with folate and B12 can result in an abnormally increased blood level of homocysteine as these B vitamins are required to help in the homocysteine process. Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked with several health complications. Most notably, heart disease and stroke, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

When the level of homocysteine is increased, it can destroy blood vessels and nerves. Fortunately, your homocysteine level can be confirmed with a simple blood test. Usually, increased homocysteine can be decreased by taking B6, B12, and folate supplements. It should be noted that physical activity and eating habits are also typically involved in diseases associated with high homocysteine and must be addressed.


B6 deficiency results in seizure as one of the outcomes. When there is insufficient vitamin B6 in the body, you do not make enough of the calming neurotransmitter GABA. Therefore, your brain becomes overstimulated. Seizures can lead to symptoms like muscle spasms, jerky arms or legs, and rolling eyes. Sometimes individuals may have rapid, uncontrollable shaking (convulsions) or lose consciousness.

Moreover, deficiency of vitamin B6 is known to cause seizures in newborns. Recently, seizures due to deficiency of vitamin B6 have been reported in adults. These cases were mostly found in alcoholism, pregnancy, liver disease, or medication interactions. Vitamin B6 has proven to treat seizures most successfully.

Tiredness and Low Energy

A vitamin B6 deficiency may cause you to feel unusual tiredness and sluggishness. The reason is that vitamin B6 plays a major role in the synthesis of hemoglobin. That is the protein contained in your red blood cells that conveys oxygen throughout the body. If the cells receive inadequate oxygen due to too little hemoglobin, it is referred to as anemia. That can make you feel tired or weak.


Generally, your body is not able to store much vitamin B6. To shun deficiency, you need to take it regularly. Vitamin B6 is usually found in many plants and animal foods. It becomes easy to add to your regular diet. The B6 formsin fortified foods and animal sources and supplements are generally better absorbed than the form contained in plant foods. B6 deficiency is easier to avoid if you have healthy eating habits, including vegetables, fruits, meat, nuts, and fish.

Tatyana Dyachenko

For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.