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Vitamin B6 Effects on Weight Reduction, Cravings and Diabetes in GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the Obese

Effects of Vitamin B6 on Weight Reduction, Craving and Diabetes

Authors: Marcus Free MD, Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi MD, Waqar Ahmad PhD, Kelly Daly RDN, and Don Juravin (Don Karl Juravin).

Abstract (Research Summary)

  • Vitamin B6 decreases cravings by balancing hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and neurotransmitter serotonin (Chopra, 2019). It alleviates Premenstrual syndrome, in effect preventing emotional eating and weight gain. 
  • Vitamin B6 (aka Pyridoxine) is a water-soluble vitamin that functions as a coenzyme in the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates (NIH, 1998). It is recommended that Vitamin B6 is regularly consumed in the diet and/or supplementation.
  • Vitamin B6 is reduced by 38% in obese men and women (Aasheim, 2008).
  • Vitamin B6 helps the body to convert stored carbohydrates and protein to be used as energy (NIH, 1998) and therefore aids weight loss.
  • Vitamin B6 (50 mg daily) reduces cravings (De Souza, 2000) through regulating the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine (UMMC, 2015; Shabbir, 2013).
  • Vitamin B6 enhances the effects of insulin on blood glucose (Nair, 1998) and lowers blood glucose, insulin, and glycemic index in diabetes (Dakshinamurti, 2015; Lapik 2014, Cicero, 2004; Muellenbach, 2008).
  • Diabetic patients have a higher need for Vitamin B6 supplementation (Okada, 1999; Adaikalakoteswari, 2012).
  • Vitamin B6 helps to slow the progression of renal disease, dyslipidemia, and cataracts in diabetics (Chen, 2004; Degenhardt, 2002).


Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is a water-soluble vitamin, which is best obtained from beans, poultry, fish, and dark leafy greens. Vitamin B6 is significant to protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism and the creation of red blood cells. It regulates mood and reduces stress by promoting neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid) production, which in turn decreases cravings, preventing emotional eating, and weight gain. It is also important for thought processing and healthy brain development. Vitamin B6 enhances insulin’s effect on blood glucose and glycemic index in diabetes, which leads to higher glucose-lowering potency and better glucose control.

Vitamin B6 Effects on Weight Loss

Vitamin B6 (30 mg daily) is shown to be reduced (by 38%) in obese patients. In contrast, Vitamin B6 supplementation is associated with weight reduction.

  • Vitamin B6 is reduced by 38% in obese men and women (Aasheim, 2008).
  • Vitamin B6 reduces weight gain. Long-term use of Vitamin B6 (as well as multivitamins, B12, and chromium) was significantly associated with lower levels of weight gain among overweight men and women (Nachtigal, 2005).
  • Vitamin B6 helps a weight reduction regimen to be successful, however, 11% to 38% of obese individuals are deficient (Aasheim, 2008). Deficiency leads to anemia and depression, making it difficult to maintain motivation and physical endurance.
  • Vitamin B6 helps the body to convert stored carbohydrates and protein to be used as energy (NIH, 1998), therefore aiding in weight loss.
  • Vitamin B6 (30 mg) reduces the respiratory exchange ratio by 0.019 units in overweight individuals, resulting in fat loss of 0.5 lbs (230 g) per week, and 27 lbs (12.3 kg) per year, when taken in combination with leucine (2.25 g) (Zemel, 2012).

Vitamin B6 Effects on Cravings

Vitamin B6 (50 mg daily) regulates the synthesis and levels of neurotransmitters involved in craving, including serotonin and norepinephrine, and therefore reduces food cravings.

  • Vitamin B6 (50 mg daily) combined with magnesium reduces cravings (De Souza, 2000).
  • Vitamin B6 catalyzes and regulates the synthesis of several neurotransmitters (including serotonin and norepinephrine) and helps in normal brain development and function (UMMC, 2015). Through regulating the synthesis of serotonin and norepinephrine, Vitamin B6 controls cravings (Shabbir, 2013).

Vitamin B6 Effects on Diabetes

Vitamin B6 helps to lower blood glucose, enhances insulin’s effects on blood glucose, and slows the progression of diabetes related complications. Moreover, diabetics need higher amounts of dietary Vitamin B6, which should be made available through diet or supplementation.

  • Vitamin B6 lowers blood glucose and glycemic index in diabetes (Dakshinamurti, 2015; Cicero, 2004), resulting in better disease control and decreased long-term complications.
  • Vitamin B6 enhances the effects of insulin on blood glucose (Nair, 1998). This leads to higher glucose-lowering potency and better glucose control.
  • Diabetic patients have a higher need for Vitamin B6 supplementation (Okada, 1999) due to increased urinary excretion (Adaikalakoteswari, 2012).
  • Vitamin B6 helps to slow the progression of nephropathy (renal disease), dyslipidemia, and cataracts (Chen, 2004; Degenhardt, 2002) in diabetics.
  • Vitamin B6 reduces fasting plasma glucose (by 23%), insulin (by 16%), and free fatty acids (by 24%) (Muellenbach, 2008).
  • A diet containing Vitamin B6 decreases plasma glucose (by 50%), total cholesterol, and triglycerides (Lapik, 2014).

Benefits, Side Effects, Drug Interactions


  • Higher amounts of Vitamin B6 are required as exercise levels increase (Manore, 2000). Exercise increases the need for Vitamin B6 due to decreased absorption of nutrients, increased turnover, metabolism and loss of nutrients, increased nutrient needs, and an increased need for tissue maintenance and repair.
  • A diet containing Vitamin B6 decreases total cholesterol and triglycerides (Lapik, 2014).


Vitamin B6 is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) according to FDA.

Side effects

  • Nausea and vomiting: Vitamin B6 may cause an upset sensation in the stomach and result in vomiting.
  • Stomach pain: Vitamin B6 may cause an upset sensation in the stomach which may also be painful.
  • Headache: Vitamin B6 may cause standard headaches.
  • Mild drowsiness: Vitamin B6 may result in slightly increased sleepiness.

Drug interactions

  • Amiodarone (Cordarone): Taking a combination of Vitamin B6 and Amiodarone may increase the chance of sunburn, blistering, or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight.
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal): Vitamin B6 may decrease the effectiveness of Phenobarbital.
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin): Vitamin B6 may decrease the effectiveness of Phenytoin, and therefore increase the possibility of seizures.
  • Antidiabetic drugs: As both Vitamin B6 and antidiabetic drugs decrease blood glucose levels, it is important to monitor glucose levels and speak to a physician about decreasing the antidiabetic drugs if required.


  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is limited research and therefore best to avoid during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Diabetes: As Vitamin B6 lowers blood glucose levels, it is important to monitor glucose levels to avoid hypoglycemic episodes.


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This research was sponsored by GLOBESITY FOUNDATION (nonprofit organization) and managed by Don Juravin. GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the obese is part of GLOBESITY FOUNDATION which helps obese with 70 to 400 lbs excess fat to adopt a healthy lifestyle and thereby achieve a healthy weight.

Tags: Vitamin B6, healthy gut bacteria, GLOBESITY FOUNDATION, weight loss, weight reduction, healthy weight, diabetes, food craving, cravings

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3974983