Objective: The investigation was designed to obtain information concerning the vitamin B6 status in high-performance athletes.
Subjects: Fifty-seven strength and speedpower athletes were available for examination.
Methods: Vitamin B6 status was determined by a 7-day weighed food record, enzyme activity (alpha-EGOT) measurement, whole blood concentrations (Saccharomyces carlsbergenisis and 4-pyridoxinic acid (4-PA) excretion (high-pressure liquid chromatography).
Results: The absolute vitamin B6 intake in > 30% of the athletes was below the German recommended dietary allowance (GRDA) and, in relation to the protein intake (GRDA 0.20 mg vitamin B6/g protein), > 60% of the athletes had values below the GRDA. More than 90% of the athletes did not attain the reference value (0.88 nmol/mL) for untrained individuals in vitamin B6 whole blood concentration, and only a few athletes (< 5%) had alpha-EGOT values above the reference value of alpha-EGOT > 1.50). The 4-PA excretion was below the reference value of > 2.73 mumol/g creatinine in 18% of all athletes examined.
Conclusions: Vitamin B6 status can be quantified using the weighed food record, microbiological whole blood determination, and 4-PA excretion; however, limits of the individual methods must be taken into account. Vitamin B6 supply of the athletes still cannot be definitively assessed because there are no generally valid reference values.