1

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Elevated B6 levels - should I make changes in my diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 12, 2013 at 7:54 PM

I received my bloodwork results. Things are mainly ok. My Vitamin D levels were a bit high, I'll just cut my D supplement intake in half, to 2500 IU.

My main concern is B6 level, though. The results had me close to 500, when the recommended range is 59-179 (results didn't specify what unit they're using).

I checked a list of B6-rich foods, and it's no wonder my levels are high. Off that list, I eat roughly 150g of calf liver per week, 1kg of chicken, 300g of salmon, several cans of tuna, a few bananas, and several large sweet potatoes. Back-of-the-envelope calculations bring my daily B6 intake to 6+mg, while RDA is 1.3mg. I don't take any B-vitamin supplements.

I don't have any of the toxicity symptoms listed online. Most of us disagree with RDAs, but my intake is six times or higher than RDA, and B6 blood levels are almost three times the upper limit.

So, should I be concerned at such high B6 levels? The calf liver would be easy to get rid of in my diet, although I love liver pate. Rest would require a bit more adjusting.

EDIT: I did some more layman analysis of my results. My hematocrit is right below norm at 0.4 (normal range 0.42-0.51) and ESR (sedimentation rate) is at low end at 2 (normal 1-15). Both could be caused by anemia; my hemoglobin was also at low end of normal range at 8.8 nmol/l (8.4-10.9). Not sure if there's a connection to elevated B6 levels.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 07, 2013
at 06:34 PM

Gave you the bounty, definitely earned!

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 07, 2013
at 06:34 PM

Jeesh, I didn't remember ZMA had B6 in it. It should be called ZMAB :P Thanks for that, I'll stop taking that and get a magnesium supplement. I'll have to take a look at boron, never heard of it as a supplement. Is there any guidance on magnesium and boron dosage recommendations?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 07, 2013
at 04:07 PM

Thank you for the follow-up. I supplement with ZMA, which includes 450mg of magnesium per day. Also take K vitamin and fish oil daily. I've already cut my D-vitamin supplementation in half, so I'll see how that impacts it - thanks for making the connection between the two.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 03, 2013
at 12:04 AM

Given that I eat quite a bit of liver and some bone stock, I'd imagine my folate intake is much higher than the average. If I increase my liver portions to increase my folate intake, that would increase my B6 levels to even higher - well beyond any guidance levels. Not sure if that's optimal..

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 02, 2013
at 11:59 PM

Thanks for the ideas! I'm male, 38, 12% bf, 75kg, have been on a clean bulk lately, 2300 cal per day on average, 150g of protein (by 1 pound, surely you mean meat, not protein?). Blood pressure is ok, Cholesterol total 6,18 mmol/l, triglycerides 0,55 mmol/l, HDL 1,93 mmol/l, LDL 4 mmol/l. I eat up to 10 eggs per week, 2-5 pcs 130g cans of tuna, very limited nuts.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 01, 2013
at 06:18 PM

ALP dephosphorylates B6. Most B6 from animal sources in phosphorylated and can't be absorbed until its dephosphorylated, so more ALP can increase B6 absorption. Serum levels don't always give a good indication of intestinal levels. ALP in the intestines is increased by vitamin D: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0304416570900346 Just a thought anyway.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 01, 2013
at 12:51 PM

Yes, ALP was 85 (no unit mentioned, but their guideline is 0-120). What is the relevance?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 31, 2013
at 10:39 PM

Which receptor would that be?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 31, 2013
at 09:26 PM

Were alkaline phophatase (ALP) levels measured?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on June 13, 2013
at 12:02 AM

25-OH Vitamin D was 263 nmol/l, guidance is 50-185.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on June 12, 2013
at 11:37 PM

what was the Vitamin D result?

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4 Answers

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1
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on August 02, 2013
at 09:00 PM

Thanks for reporting back. I'm editing this to ask are you supplementing anything else, even intermittently? Say, GABA, 5-HTP, etc. Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you taking magnesium?

So I guess they measured Total B6, but it's possible to have low conversion of pyridoxal (one form of B6) and pyridoxine (another form) to pyridoxal 5 phosphate (PLP), which is the active form of Vitamin B6.

I think if you are taking in lots of pyridoxal and pyridoxine and having trouble converting to active form of B6, as MsScott said, that would point to liver issues, because those forms require conversion by the liver, and chelated magnesium promotes the metabolism of PLP in the body.

And magnesium is also related to Vitamin D. In fact, your high level of Vitamin D (extremely high!) would increase your body's requirement for magnesium:

jdmoyer.com/2011/01/12/how-and-why-to-balance-fat-soluble-vitamins

it's hard to say what you should change, other than the Vitamin D supplementation (obtaining from the sun if possible), supplementing magnesium (and likely K2 and boron) and seeing how that settles things out.

That's my best guess. Good luck and let us know how things pan out.

Wait you're taking ZMA? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZMA_(supplement) That has B6 in it! and zinc AND methionine, which, per your diet - egg whites, tuna, chicken, etc. you are already getting a ton of that! Stop taking the ZMA supplement.

For now if I were you I would focus on magnesium, boron, K2 - zinc once a week if you must, because an excess of it can throw off your copper-zinc ratio, which is very important, (see perfect health diet for other supplement recommendations), and perhaps stop taking Vitamin D3 altogether unless you have a reason not explained here, like autoimmune, or other immune dysregulation (perfect health diet had a post about this). Only go out in the sun if you must, I would think? I think it's ok to let your levels settle down quite a bit - The recommendations are always changing, but I've heard 40 ng/L or 100 nmol/L are decent levels.

I know you already know about Vitamin D3 and its importance, but maybe check this out: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/04/magnesium-and-vitamin-d-metabolism.html

Basically, the link says that cofactors for Vitamin D metabolism include but are not limited to: Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin K2, Vitamin A, and Boron

And the conclusion Stephan makes is that always remember no nutrient acts in a vacuum. The effect of one nutrient is dependent on diet and other aspects.

Twinlab sells a good, chelated boron (supposedly chelation helps improve absorption) - $4. So does NOW foods but it's more expensive - $20 (although perhaps cheaper per pill, I haven't done the math)

The problem is that Boron intake ranges depending on country (i.e. how well they have treated the soil, just like other nutrients can vary in soil - selenium is richer in some places than others). I've heard French people get more boron? Peanuts, grapes, dates, avocados, almonds, etc. have decent amounts. I don't think nutritional authorities have deemed it an essential micronutrient like iodine yet, but if it's needed for Vitamin D metabolism, that's pretty significant in my opinion.

(Keep in mind that Vitamin D3 testing can be off by quite a bit. I'm not sure of the accuracy of measuring ng amounts of something, and I've heard ZRT labs has the best one on that, but I'm not super up-to-date.)

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 03, 2013
at 12:04 AM

Given that I eat quite a bit of liver and some bone stock, I'd imagine my folate intake is much higher than the average. If I increase my liver portions to increase my folate intake, that would increase my B6 levels to even higher - well beyond any guidance levels. Not sure if that's optimal..

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 02, 2013
at 11:59 PM

Thanks for the ideas! I'm male, 38, 12% bf, 75kg, have been on a clean bulk lately, 2300 cal per day on average, 150g of protein (by 1 pound, surely you mean meat, not protein?). Blood pressure is ok, Cholesterol total 6,18 mmol/l, triglycerides 0,55 mmol/l, HDL 1,93 mmol/l, LDL 4 mmol/l. I eat up to 10 eggs per week, 2-5 pcs 130g cans of tuna, very limited nuts.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 07, 2013
at 06:34 PM

Jeesh, I didn't remember ZMA had B6 in it. It should be called ZMAB :P Thanks for that, I'll stop taking that and get a magnesium supplement. I'll have to take a look at boron, never heard of it as a supplement. Is there any guidance on magnesium and boron dosage recommendations?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 07, 2013
at 06:34 PM

Gave you the bounty, definitely earned!

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 07, 2013
at 04:07 PM

Thank you for the follow-up. I supplement with ZMA, which includes 450mg of magnesium per day. Also take K vitamin and fish oil daily. I've already cut my D-vitamin supplementation in half, so I'll see how that impacts it - thanks for making the connection between the two.

1
C8a5c6d2804326646bb274e491f7f21b

on June 13, 2013
at 03:35 AM

switch the calf liver for another with less B6? switch up the tubers, and the meats. Variety is the spice of life.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on July 31, 2013
at 10:17 PM

I'd just balance it out with more B12 since B6 and B12 compete for the same receptor. Same with the D - you'd take some vitamin A to balance it out, but you already are via liver.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 31, 2013
at 10:39 PM

Which receptor would that be?

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 31, 2013
at 09:29 PM

Dietary changes aren't probably needed. Given that B6 is water-soluble, OD'ing via whole foods seems unlikely.

Why is your B6 elevated then? That's the real question, what is amiss that your body is increasing serum levels?

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