The interactions between vitamin B6 and hormones

Vitam Horm. 1978:36:53-99. doi: 10.1016/s0083-6729(08)60982-6.


PIP: Vitamin-B6 interacts with both endogenous and exogenous hormones, and the data presented here concern mostly estrogens (E). E steroids compete with pyridoxal phosphate-dependent apoenzymes for the cofactor in vitro, and a similar effect probably occurs in vivo. Use of E-containing oral contraceptives was associated with an abnormality of tryptophan metabolism similar to that seen in dietary vitamin-B6 deficiency. This was corrected by pyrodoxine administration. However, plasma pyridoxal phosphate concentrations, and other indexes of vitamin-B6 nutritional status, were abnormal in only a minority of these patients. Vitamin-B6 deficiency occurred also in pregnancy,and it was proposed as at least 1 of the factors concerned in the etiology of preeclampsia. Although there was some indication that both corticosteroids and thyroid hormones increase the requirement for vitamin-B6 and modify the activiteis of pyridoxal phosphate-dependent enzymes, these relationships have received limited attention. Current work, however, reveals some interesting associations between vitamin-B6 and the regulation of anterior pituitary hormones. Mediation of these effects seems to occur at the hypothalmic level via the 2 neurotransmitters 5-hydroxytryptamine and dopamine, both of which are synthesized by vitamin-B6-dependent metabolic pathways. Potential clinical application of these results and observations is management of hyperprolactinemia, though controversy over the efficacy of pyridoxine therapy in this situation exists and remains unresolved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / pharmacology
  • Biogenic Amines / pharmacology
  • Biogenic Amines / physiology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / pharmacology
  • Estradiol Congeners / pharmacology
  • Estrogens / physiology
  • Female
  • Gonadotropins / metabolism
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism
  • Hormones / metabolism
  • Hormones / pharmacology
  • Hormones / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Pituitary Hormones / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolactin / metabolism
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate / physiology
  • Pyridoxine / metabolism
  • Pyridoxine / physiology*
  • Thyroid Hormones / pharmacology
  • Thyroid Hormones / physiology
  • Thyrotropin / metabolism
  • Tryptophan / metabolism
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / chemically induced


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Biogenic Amines
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
  • Estradiol Congeners
  • Estrogens
  • Gonadotropins
  • Hormones
  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate
  • Tryptophan
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Thyrotropin
  • Growth Hormone
  • Pyridoxine