Effects of vitamin B6 deficiency on the conversion ratio of tryptophan to niacin

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1995 Nov;59(11):2060-3. doi: 10.1271/bbb.59.2060.


To investigate how vitamin B6 (B6) deficiency affects the whole metabolism of tryptophan-niacin, rats were fed for 19 days with each of the following four kinds of diets; a complete 20% casein diet (control diet), the control diet without B6, the control diet without nicotinic acid, and the control diet without nicotinic acid and B6, and the urinary excretion of such tryptophan metabolites as kynurenic acid, xanthurenic acid, nicotinamide, N1-methylnicotinamide, N1-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxamide, and N1-methyl-4-pyridone-3-carboxamide each and the enzyme activities involved in tryptophan-niacin pathway were measured. The urinary excretion of kynurenic acid decreased while that of xanthurenic acid increased drastically in the two B6-deficient groups, when compared with the B6-containing groups. These results indicate that the rats fed with the B6-free diets were in the vitamin-deficient state. The conversion ratio was calculated from the ratio of the urinary excretion of sum of nicotinamide, N1-methylnicotinamide, N1-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxamide, and N1-methyl-4-pyridone-3-carboxamide, to the Trp intake. The ratio was statistically lower in the B6-free diet than in the B6-containing diet under the niacin-free conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Kynurenic Acid / urine
  • Niacin / biosynthesis*
  • Niacinamide / metabolism
  • Niacinamide / urine
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tryptophan / metabolism*
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / urine
  • Weight Gain
  • Xanthurenates / urine


  • Xanthurenates
  • Niacinamide
  • Niacin
  • xanthurenic acid
  • Tryptophan
  • Kynurenic Acid