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Vitamin B6 to combat peripheral neuropathy?

May 14, 2005

I have often read in various HIV related publications that vitamin B complex can help with neuropathy and nerve health in general. In a recent article about vitamins published by NAM (Aidsmap), however, it said, Vitamin B6 - more than 2g per day associated with nerve damage, but even doses as low as 50mg per day have been associated with peripheral sensory neuropathy. My doctor suggested I take 60mg to Vitamin B6 to combat peripheral neuropathy. So who or what is to be believed? With these types of conflicting claims in reputable publications, it is difficult for a patient with a lay knowledge of medicine to make appropriate decisions!

Response from Dr. Pierone

Thanks for posting and welcome to the sometimes baffling world of contradictory medical content. How can this happen in our otherwise logical and evidence-based universe? The short answer is that sometimes (many times actually) studies show conflicting or even opposite results. Over time, there are eventually rigorous follow up studies performed to settle the dispute and bring us closer to the truth. In the case of B6 supplementation I have also seen the contradictory comments that you allude to. The take home message for me is that low dose B6 (50mg per day) is a good thing and that megadose B6 (>200mg per day) is not advisable. Hope that this helps.

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