Vitamin B-6 supplementation in elderly men: effects on mood, memory, performance and mental effort

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1992;109(4):489-96. doi: 10.1007/BF02247729.


This study evaluates the effects of vitamin B-6 supplementation (20 mg pyridoxine HCL daily for 3 months) on mood and performance in 38 self-supporting healthy men, aged between 70-79 years. Effects were compared with 38 controls who received placebo and were matched for age, plasma pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) concentration and intelligence score. Before and after drug intervention vitamin B-6 status was determined, and mood and performance were measured by means of a computerized testing system. In addition, the phasic pupil response was measured in order to assess mental effort. Positive effects of vitamin B-6 supplementation were only found with respect to memory, especially concerning long-term memory. In view of the finding that mental performance improvement and delta PLP values were most strongly correlated within an intermediate range of delta PLP, it is suggested that cognitive effects are primarily associated with a certain range of vitamin B-6 status increment. The general conclusion is that vitamin B-6 supplementation improves storage of information modestly but significantly.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Aged
  • Association Learning / drug effects
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects
  • Mental Processes / drug effects*
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Pupil / drug effects
  • Pyridoxine / pharmacology*
  • Verbal Learning / drug effects


  • Pyridoxine