Vitamin B6 in Foods

What is Vitamin B6?

Welcome to our page vitamin B6 page, where you can read about foods with vitamin B6, and the associated benefits and deficiency issues. Here you will find a comprehensive list of vitamin B6 foods. We also explain what B6 is, how it is used in the human body and how much of this important vitamin you need each day.

What is vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6, also known as pyroxidine, is naturally present in many foods. It is essential for more than 100 enzyme reactions in the human body including maintenance of the nervous system, the immune system, and blood metabolism. It is a water soluble vitamin and comprises part of the vitamin B complex group. Studies have shown that supplements are rarely necessary, and as long as you eat a varied selection of vitamin B6 foods you should always get your recommended daily intake of this important nutrient.

How much B6 vitamin do I need?

Naturally you may be asking the question ‘how much B6 vitamin do I need per day?’. Recommended daily allowances vary between countries, for example in the UK the recommended daily intake is 1.4 mg for men and 1.2 mg for women, but as a guide you should look at our chart on the right. As a very rough guide though, a daily value (DV) of 2 mg is a good level to aim for. As you can see this is a relatively low amount, and as you will see on the below list of vitamin B6 foods, it really is not difficult to get all that you need.

RDI Vitamin B6

  • 1.3mg Adults
  • 1.7mg Men 50+
  • 1.5mg Women 50+
  • 1.9mg Pregnant women
  • 2.0mg Breastfeeding women
  • 1.3mg Boys 14-18 years
  • 1.2mg Girls 14-18 years
  • 1.0mg Children 9-13 years
  • 0.6mg Children 4-8 years
  • 0.5mg Toddler 1-3 years
  • 0.3mg Infants 7-12 months
  • 0.1mg Infants 0-6 months


Vitamin B6 Foods List

Foods which contain vitamin B6

In this next section you will find our vitamin B6 foods list. All of the food items that we have listed below contain a high amount of this vitamin and will help you get all of this nutrient that your body requires each day. This should not be difficult – for example you can get approximately 2 mg of vitamin B6 from a single serving of tuna. Foods that are particularly high in B6 are highlighted for easy reference. All amounts are per 100 g (3.5 oz).

Vitamin B6 Foods

  • Avocado – 0.29 mg
  • Bananas – 0.37 mg
  • Beef rib, lean – 0.68 mg
  • Bran (rice) – 4.07 mg
  • Bran flakes, cereal – 1.7 mg
  • Cashew nuts – 0.4 mg
  • Chicken breast , roasted- 0.6 mg
  • Chickpeas, canned – 0.47 mg
  • Cod – 0.3 mg
  • Garlic – 1.24 mg
  • Halibut – 0.6 mg
  • Hazelnuts – 0.6 mg
  • Kale – 0.27 mg
  • Liver, beef – 1.03 mg
  • Molasses – 0.67 mg
  • Mushrooms, shiitake, dried – 0.97 mg
  • Peanuts, raw – 0.3 mg
  • Peanut butter – 0.55 mg
  • Peas – 0.2 mg
  • Peppers, green, sweet – 0.22 mg
  • Pistachio nuts – 1.12 mg
  • Pork (sirloin) – 0.79 mg
  • Potato, baked with skin – 0.31 mg
  • Prunes – 0.75 mg
  • Raisins – 0.2 mg
  • Sage, dried – 2.69 mg
  • Salmon , cooked – 0.6 mg
  • Snapper fish – 0.5 mg
  • Soybeans, cooked – 0.2 mg
  • Special K, Kelloggs cereal – 6.4 mg
  • Spinach – 0.24 mg
  • Summer squash – 0.22 mg
  • Sunflower seeds – 1.35 mg 
  • Sweet potato, baked – 0.29 mg
  • Trout, sea, cooked- 0.5 mg
  • Tuna – 1.04 mg
  • Turkey – 0.81 mg
  • Venison – 0.76 mg
  • Wheatgerm – 1.30 mg
  • Yams – 0.2 mg

You will find that many of the foods featured in the above list of vitamin B6 foods, are also mentioned on various other pages on our site. This is because they are beneficial in providing you with a number of different vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin B6 Benefits

Health benefits and deficiency symptoms

In this section we will highlight the benefits of vitamin B6, so you can see some of the important functions it has in the human body.

  1. It helps the body to synthesize carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy
  2. B6 aids in the synthesis of serotonin. This is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, emotions and sleep patterns.
  3. It helps to maintain a healthy immune system
  4. Necessary for the proper maintenance of red blood cell metabolism
  5. Helps to regulate hormonal activity
  6. Involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy.
  7. Can help to lower your cholesterol levels

As you can see,  B6 is vital to good health. As such it is important that you make certain you are getting enough of this important vitamin in your diet by eating plenty of vitamin B6 foods.

Vitamin B6 Deficiency Symptoms

As with any of the essential nutrients that we have listed on this site, if you do not get a sufficient amount you are at risk of developing a deficiency. Below we have listed the symptoms, so if you think that you may be deficient in this vitamin then it is important that you speak to your doctor or another medical professional. As we have mentioned further up the page, you need less than 2mg per day, so this should not be difficult if you are eating foods listed in our vitamin B6 foods list.

The symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency are:

  • Tiredness
  • Feeling irritable
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Weakness
  • Depression and confusion
  • Bad skin

Over time this deficiency can also lead to convulsions, anaemia and even an increased risk of heart attack. Being deficient in any nutrient can be avoided by maintaining a healthy diet, which is why it is important that you are regularly eating vitamin B6 foods.

Conversely, people almost never consume too much of this vitamin from food. However, taking high levels of B6 supplements ( over 200 mg) for a year or longer can lead to sensitivity to sunlight, nausea, heartburn and nerve damage.