Over half of US adults use supplements. Vitamin supplements often contain large doses of vitamins that greatly exceed the RDA (recommended dietary allowance). While in some situations including vitamin deficiency or for certain medical conditions, supplementing with certain vitamins is indicated, it is important to work with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the best dose, to appropriately monitor levels, and to select a brand that has the dose it advertises.
Moreover, just like vitamin deficiencies can be harmful to health, so can vitamin excess.
While B6 and B12 may be used as part of vitamin B complex to alleviate mood symptoms and anxiety, and B complex is often used to support women with PMS symptoms, or autoimmune conditions, and B6 is often used for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, it is critical that individuals taking these supplements for these or other reasons be assessed for possible side effects and have their levels monitored.
Symptoms of vitamin B6 toxicity can include nerve damage and balance problems. Bone pain, muscle weakness, muscle twitching, skin lesions, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and heartburn can also occur.
Furthermore, a study of over 75,000 postmenopausal women in 2019 showed that the combination of excessive B6 and B12 supplementation can lead to an increased risk of hip fracture.
It is critical to be guided by a qualified healthcare provider with respect to supplements use, indications, and monitoring. At our practice, our approach includes a comprehensive assessment including a thorough history, physical exam, and personalized laboratory workup. To help you reach your health goals safely and effectively, your health recommendations are personalized to you, using evidence-based medicine and applying it to your unique needs.
To learn more about why vitamins B6 and B12 are critical to our health, how to get them from diet, what harmful effects their deficiencies and excess can lead to, and conditions which they may help alleviate, read this.