Recently there have been studies that show taking larger amounts of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) may increase the chances of lung cancer in men.
The Mayo Clinic says that vitamin B6 is generally considered safe in appropriate doses or in foods. The recommended dietary allowance of 1.3 mg of B6 is normal and safe for most adults, while some doctors may recommend more for those who are deficient.
3. What Are the Benefits of Vitamin B6?
Along with folate and vitamin B12, vitamin B6 help to decrease homocysteine levels, which affect heart disease.
B6 can help lower symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, and helps with morning nausea during pregnancy.
Vitamin B6 aids in the formation of hemoglobin (oxygen molecules) in red blood cells and helps antibodies to fight infection. It is also needed to transmit messages to your nerve cells on how to function.
2. Research on Vitamin B6 and Results About Cancer
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that long-term use of large amounts of B6 and B12 caused an increased risk of lung cancer in men, especially men who smoked. These studies will be repeated to confirm what could be interacting in the body to increase this risk.
In this research study above, they used 20 mg of B6 and 55 micrograms of B12, both very high amounts, and not what most individuals should ever be taking.
Now realize, this does not prove that B6 or B12 does cause cancer in normal amounts, or in a B vitamin complex or multivitamin. Then it is fine and is used by the body.
Only if you are taking your B6 in a supplemental form in large doses will it become an issue. You only need more if under a doctor’s orders, when you are deficient, have a specific condition requiring B6, or are under high stress for a long duration.
1. Vitamin B6 Side Effects
If you are taking extra vitamin B6, you should be aware of these symptoms: skin lesions, gastrointestinal symptoms, numbness, sensitivity to the sun, lack of muscle control, or reduced ability to sense pain. If you experience any of these, be safe and discontinue the use of B6 and have your blood levels checked.Related: 8 Healthy Foods for Your Lungs