The Importance of Vitamin B6
Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
About half of all women experience nausea and vomiting in the first few months of pregnancy, and about 50%–80% experience nausea only. Although this condition is generally known as “morning sickness,” it often lasts throughout the day. The condition is not life threatening and typically goes away after 12–20 weeks, but its symptoms can disrupt a woman’s social and physical functioning.
Prospective studies on vitamin B6 supplements to treat morning sickness have had mixed results. In two randomized, placebo-controlled trials, 30–75 mg of oral pyridoxine per day significantly decreased nausea in pregnant women who were experiencing nausea. The authors of a recent Cochrane review of studies on interventions for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy could not draw firm conclusions on the value of vitamin B6 to control the symptoms of morning sickness.
Randomized trials have shown that a combination of vitamin B6 and doxylamine (an antihistamine) is associated with a 70% reduction in nausea and vomiting in pregnant women and lower hospitalization rates for this problem.
The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends monotherapy with 10–25 mg of vitamin B6 three or four times a day to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. If the patient’s condition does not improve, ACOG recommends adding doxylamine. Before taking a vitamin B6 supplement, pregnant women should consult a physician because doses could approach the UL.
Vitamin B6 and Pregnancy
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in food like organ meats and starchy vegetables. This B-group vitamin is essential and is involved in more than 100 body processes, including metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Vitamin B6 is vital for digestive, cardiovascular, muscular and immune functions. It is also necessary for proper functioning of the nervous system and the brain. Additionally, expectant women need adequate amounts of vitamin B6 for the benefit of their health and that of their unborn babies.
Vitamin B6 is an essential component for the proper functioning of the body.
- Vitamin B6 helps both you and the baby to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates in addition to the formation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters.
- Vitamin B6 is essential in the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system.
- Vitamin B6 is also required for production of key neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine.
- Certain doses of vitamin B6 recommended by your doctor can help reduce morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy.
- Vitamin B6 helps the body to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
- Vitamin B6 helps prevent low birth weight and early childhood skin problems such as eczema.
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