Vitamin B6 revisited. Evidence of subclinical deficiencies in various segments of the population and possible consequences thereof

S Afr Med J. 1984 Sep 22;66(12):437-41.


The importance of vitamin B6 in human nutrition is discussed with special reference to the possibility of undetected long-term subclinical deficiencies in the population at large. It is well known that this vitamin plays a vital role in many physiological processes, such as amino acid metabolism, lipid metabolism and the immune process. In view of the well-documented photo- and thermolability of the different B6 vitamers it stands to reason that serious dangers to health may be associated with undetected, lingering subclinical deficiencies, e.g. induction of and predisposition to various diseases (such as atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, degeneration of the myelin sheath of the central nervous system). With the advent of modern analytical techniques it is now imperative that a survey of the vitamin B6 status of a representative sample of the population at large be performed, and that fortification of key food items and/or other means of B6 supplementation be considered pending the outcome of such a survey.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Carbon Monoxide / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Physical Exertion
  • Pyridoxine / metabolism*
  • Pyridoxine / physiology
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / epidemiology


  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Pyridoxine