Factors that regulate the clearance of plasma pyridoxal-P (PLP) are unknown. Four volunteers were given a diet supplying approximately 12 mumol pyridoxine (PN) per day. The pharmacokinetics of plasma PLP clearance were measured in these subjects before and after 4 weeks of intravenous PN supplementation (122 mumol/day). Urinary B6 excretion, mainly as 4-pyridoxic acid (4-PA), increased progressively after initiation of PN supplementation until a new steady state was reached on day 10 of supplementation, whereupon greater than 93% of the daily injected PN could be recovered in the urine. Hence, urinary excretion is almost the sole route for vitamin B6 elimination. Fasting plasma PLP concentration increased with supplementation and also reached a new steady state at this time. When supplementation was terminated, urinary B6 excretion decreased in 5 days to an amount only slightly higher than that before supplementation. This amount was maintained for 2 months. By comparison, plasma PLP decreased more slowly and remained considerably higher than the presupplementation level for the rest of the study. These data confirm that urinary 4-PA excretion is a better indicator of B6 intake than is plasma PLP content, whereas plasma PLP content is a better indicator of the body store of the vitamin. Plasma clearance and volume of distribution of PLP decreased significantly after supplementation, but half-life t 1/2 did not change. Plasma clearance of PLP, therefore, is dependent on the vitamin B6 status of an individual.