Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a vital nutrient that plays various roles in maintaining our overall health and well-being. It is a water-soluble vitamin that our bodies cannot produce, hence requiring external sources such as food or supplements. Vitamin B6 is involved in numerous essential bodily functions, including metabolism, brain development, immune system function, and the formation of red blood cells. As such, a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to various health issues. In this article, we will explore the signs of low vitamin B6 levels, backed by relevant statistics and diverse perspectives.

Signs of Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Skin Problems: One common symptom of inadequate vitamin B6 levels is the development of skin problems, such as dermatitis, rashes, or dryness. A study conducted on pregnant women found that vitamin B6 deficiency was associated with increased skin lesions and impairment of the skin’s barrier function. Additionally, low levels of B6 have also been linked to acne and eczema in some individuals.

Skin Problems

Weakened Immune System: Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of the immune system. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to a weakened immune response, making individuals more susceptible to infections and illnesses. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, low vitamin B6 levels were associated with increased vulnerability to respiratory infections.

Neurological Symptoms: Deficiency in vitamin B6 may also result in various neurological symptoms. These can include mood swings, depression, confusion, or even the development of neuropathic pain. Studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin B6 are associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms in adults, especially in women.

Fatigue and Weakness: Vitamin B6 is directly involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins, thus providing energy to the body. Inadequate B6 levels can lead to feelings of fatigue, weakness, or lack of energy. A randomized trial conducted on young women with low vitamin B6 levels demonstrated that supplementation with this vitamin improved their subjective energy levels.

Fatigue and Weakness


Cardiovascular Health: Research has shown that low levels of vitamin B6 could be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A meta-analysis of several studies concluded that individuals with low vitamin B6 levels had a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke.

Mouth and Tongue Changes: One of the most noticeable signs of low vitamin B6 levels is the presence of mouth and tongue changes. Vitamin B6 is involved in the regulation of cell growth and gene expression, and a deficiency of this nutrient can lead to changes in the oral cavity. Glossitis, which is the inflammation and swelling of the tongue, is a common symptom of vitamin B6 deficiency. Individuals with deficiency may also experience a sore tongue and cracks on the corners of the mouth, a condition known as angular cheilitis. These symptoms can cause discomfort during eating and speaking, impacting an individual’s quality of life and potentially leading to nutritional deficiencies.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, often resulting in a loss of sensation. Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy nerve function, and low levels of this vitamin can contribute to peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy related to vitamin B6 deficiency may include numbness, tingling, burning sensations, and weakness, typically in the hands and feet. Individuals with the condition may also experience difficulty with coordination and fine motor skills.

Ataxia: Ataxia is a condition characterized by a lack of muscle coordination, leading to unsteady movements and difficulties with balance. The cerebellum, which is a region in the brain responsible for coordinating voluntary movements, primarily affects vitamin B6 deficiency-related ataxia. Individuals with ataxia may experience difficulty walking, frequent falls, and tremors or jerky movements. These symptoms can significantly impact an individual’s independence and overall quality of life.

Perspectives and Considerations

It is important to note that vitamin B6 deficiency can have diverse causes, and identifying the symptoms alone may not provide a comprehensive diagnosis. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is crucial for appropriate testing and treatment. They can consider various factors, such as dietary habits, preexisting conditions, and medication interactions, to identify the underlying cause of low vitamin B6 levels.

In some cases, individuals may have restricted diets, such as vegans or individuals following particular weight loss plans, which could lead to lower intake of vitamin B6. These individuals should be mindful of ensuring adequate dietary sources or consider supplementation after consulting with a healthcare professional.


Maintaining optimal levels of Vitamin B6 is essential for overall health and well-being. Identifying the signs and symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency is crucial in addressing this condition. Common indicators include skin problems, weakened immune system, neurological symptoms, fatigue and weakness, as well as concerns regarding cardiovascular health. By recognizing these signs, individuals can make informed decisions, seek professional advice, and take the necessary steps to optimize their Vitamin B6 intake, promoting a healthier lifestyle and preventing Vitamin B6 deficiency.


  1. Springer Nature, Role of vitamin B6 in skin health and diseases
  2. healthline, 9 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B6 Deficiency
  3. mayoclinic, Vitamin B-6