Vitamin B6 and cognitive development: recent research findings from human and animal studies

Nutr Rev. 1993 Jul;51(7):193-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.1993.tb03102.x.


Numerous studies have suggested that pregnant and lactating women may have dietary intakes of vitamin B6 that are well below the recommended dietary allowance, which may affect the vitamin B6 status of their offspring. This nutrient is an essential cofactor in the developing central nervous system and may influence brain development and cognitive function. Recent work in animal models suggests that vitamin B6 deficiency during gestation and lactation alters the function of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, a subtype of receptors of the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system thought to play an important role in learning and memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Pregnancy
  • Pyridoxine / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / drug effects
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / physiopathology*


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Pyridoxine