Supplements Your Health & Wellness

Skip the pills, grab a spoon; why you should likely avoid B6 supplements

Some of you may have heard B6 supplements and may have wondered if you should take them.  Instead of taking a supplement, you should be able to get B6 naturally in your diet. B6 deficiencies are pretty rare in the United States. Most individuals get the necessary amount of B6 in their diets. B6 can be found in a number of foods, including vegetables, cereals, certain meats, and eggs. And, if you have a B6 deficiency, it’s best to change your diet instead of turning to a pill.

One claim that has been made about B6 is that it helps improve cognition in older adults; however, the Cochrane Collaboration found that compared to older people with normal B6 levels or deficiencies, people taking supplements showed no evidence of cognitive improvement.While the benefits of B6 supplements are unclear, high amounts of B6 supplements have been linked to neurological problems in individuals who take them. One symptom is uncontrollable movements called ataxia. Getting high amounts naturally from your diet does not seem to hold the same risk. B6 supplements can also interact with some medications, such as antibiotics or medications taken by epileptics or people with breathing problems.

Certainly, if you’re considering taking B6 supplements, you should speak to your doctor.  You should understand potential interactions with other medications you’re taking and whether you are better off saving money and avoiding this supplement.

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John Oliver takes on Dr. Oz and the vitamin supplement industry

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