Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine –
Bananas, nuts, beans, and whole grains; a list of whole foods rich in Vitamin B6, otherwise known as Pyridoxine. I’m still exploring food sources and supplements that help with pain for my own personal treatment post-surgery. I know once I begin physical therapy and come out of this cast, keeping my pain under control will be essential. As I was exploring the topic, I found that in 1990 several studies were conducted administering Vitamin B6 for pain. They found promising results with a reduction in lower back pain. Most of these studies were done in Germany. After further research I discovered a recent study in 2018 in Indonesia, using Vit B6 to treat peripheral neuropathy, a common ailment in diabetes. Why do we not see more studies like this done in the US? Because we pay pharmaceutical companies the big bucks. Right?
How does Vitamin B6 work? It works by increasing the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. (1) (5) Believe it or not, Vitamin B6 has been used for years to help with carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, and chronic pain. Scientists found a significant reduction in back pain and lower extremity fracture pain when combined use of B6 and non-steroidal like Aleve. (2) (4) Again the original study was done in Germany.
How much is enough? It is important to take the right dosage. Too much can be toxic. A recommended dose of B6 is 50 – 150 mg per day. “Daily doses of 200 mg or higher should be avoided. This could be associated with nerve damage”, according to Dr. Neal Bernard.(5) Food sources rich in B6 are Avocados, banana, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chickpeas, beans, potatoes, and spinach. (5)
When purchasing vitamins quality is important if using for treatment. I recently purchased vitamin B6 from a company called Pure Formulas, specializing in quality professional grade supplements. (https://www.pureformulas.com/category/vitamins.html?agid=15365135096&catci=kwd-52031593020&view=all) As will all regiments and supplements, always consult your physician before beginning any new supplement.
(1) Hakim, M., Kurniani, N., Pinzon, R., Tugasworo, D., Basuki, M., Haddani, H., Pambudi, P., Fithrie, A., & Wuysang, A. (2018). Management of peripheral neuropathy symptoms with a fixed dose combination of high-dose vitamin B1, B6 and B12: A 12-week prospective non-interventional study in Indonesia. Asian Journal of Medical Sciences, 9(1), 32-40. https://doi.org/10.3126/ajms.v9i1.18510
(2)rüggemann G, Koehler CO, Koch EM. Ergebnisse einer Doppelblindprüfung Diclofenac + Vitamin B1, B6, B12 versus Diclofenac bei Patienten mit akuten Beschwerden im Lendenwirbelsäulenbereich. Eine Multicenterstudie [Results of a double-blind study of diclofenac + vitamin B1, B6, B12 versus diclofenac in patients with acute pain of the lumbar vertebrae. A multicenter study]. Klin Wochenschr. 1990 Jan 19;68(2):116-20. German. doi: 10.1007/BF01646858. PMID: 2138684.
(3) Calderón-Ospina CA, Nava-Mesa MO. B Vitamins in the nervous system: Current knowledge of the biochemical modes of action and synergies of thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2020 Jan;26(1):5-13. doi: 10.1111/cns.13207. Epub 2019 Sep 6. PMID: 31490017; PMCID: PMC6930825.
(4) Héctor A. Ponce-Monter, Mario I. Ortiz, Alexis F. Garza-Hernández, Raúl Monroy-Maya, Marisela Soto-Ríos, Lourdes Carrillo-Alarcón, Gerardo Reyes-García, Eduardo Fernández-Martínez, “Effect of Diclofenac with B Vitamins on the Treatment of Acute Pain Originated by Lower-Limb Fracture and Surgery”, Pain Research and Treatment, vol. 2012, Article ID 104782, 5 pages, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/104782
(5) Barnard, N., & Raymond, J. (1999). Foods that fight pain. Bantam. p. 15