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My Experience Choosing a Vitamin B6 Supplement

I am not a health professional. However, from time to time I stumble upon things in my own experience that might be helpful to others.

Vitamin B6


I Have Taken B Complex Tablets for Years

After consulting multiple sources many years ago, I decided that I was a good candidate for B-Complex supplements. Indeed, real or imagined, after I started taking them I felt a sense of well being. I never consulted my physician as I believed I had read enough to make an informed decision.

My understanding was that B vitamins are water soluble, meaning any of the vitamins not used by my body, would be urinated out. To me, this was my fail safe way of knowing I would not be harmed by an excess of these vitamins.

The opposite of water soluble vitamins are fat soluble vitamins.They can accumulate in the body and become toxic. Vitamins A and D fall into this category.

Consult Your Physician or Pharmacist Before Use

I Purchase Generic Vitamin Brands

I usually go to a pharmacy or the pharmacy department of a discount store and compare labels of the vitamins I am going to purchase. As the generics are substantially less expensive, my method has always been to look at the labels of the name brand vitamins and then find a comparable one in a generic formula.

When purchasing B-Complex there are many B vitamins that make up the formulas. While my goal is to find the best value for my money, this method also means that I am thoroughly reading the makeup of the contents.

I Deviated From My Usual Method of Selecting Vitamins

My partner, Jim, also had his own method of picking vitamins. I am not sure what it was, but I know he had one particular brand he called his "magic formula". It was called B-Complex with Vitamin C and Zinc. He credited it with his outstanding stamina and good health. We would go to a particular supermarket and he would purchase four bottles at a time.

After Jim passed away, I came across 3 unopened bottles of his "magic formula" and figured why waste them. I will just use these instead of purchasing B-Complex for myself.

I never read the labels.

How I Found Out That B-Complex Formula Was Harming Me

I was almost finished with the second bottle of Jim's "magic formula" B-Complex with Vitamin C and Zinc, when I had a medical issue. I was referred to a neurologist who took all sorts of tests, including a complete vitamin profile.

The results of the tests were that everything on me was normal, except I had six times the normal amount of B6.

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I asked how that was possible as B vitamins are water soluble. The neurologist explained that all B vitamins are water soluble except B6.

Then, he told me that excessive amounts of B6 can cause nerve damage.

I went home and checked the label on the B-Complex I had been taking and was stunned.

This Is What the Label Said:

While many of these vitamins exceed the daily requirements, only the B6 will be retained by the body. For all others, the body will eliminate the excess.

VitaminAmount Per Serving% Daily Value

Vitamin C

500 mg



20 mg


Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)

5 mg



100 mg


Vitamin B6

20 mg


Folic Acid

400 mcg


Vitamin B12

20 mcg



100 mg


Pantothenic Acid

20 mg



60 mg



46 mg



24 mg



3 mg


I Checked the Labels of Other B-Complex Formulas

After being enlightened by my neurologist, I checked out several other formulas. There were two brands made specifically for women; they contained 2 mg and 5 mg respectively. There was a vitamin formula for seniors with 5 mg. Three B-Complex formulas each contained 5 mg.

I found only one other brand which contained 100 mg of B6.

Things to Consider

  • There may be medical conditions which require additional Vitamin B6. If you believe you have one of these conditions, consult your physician as to how much you should take.
  • If you do not have a need for extra Vitamin B6, read the labels on vitamin bottle to make sure they contain only a reasonable amount of B6. The ones I was taking had 1000% of the daily requirement. Thinking about it, 1000% seems excessive.
  • Thoroughly check vitamin labels before purchasing and using. Just because it is being sold, doesn't mean it is safe.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2017 Ellen Gregory

Weigh in on This Subject

RTalloni on March 18, 2017:

Thanks for sharing your experience with B6 and explaining some of the warnings. Though prescribed by doc, I'll be double checking my supplement.

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