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If you’re planning on taking vitamin B6 to ease morning sickness, you will want to ensure your baby is safe and you are not taking any unnecessary risks with your pregnancy.
Is Vitamin B6 Safe in Pregnancy?
Very large doses of vitamin B6 have been known to cause pyridoxine neuropathy, a condition characterized by numbness and tingling of the arms and legs. If the same high levels of vitamin B6 continue to be taken, this condition can progress. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should stop taking vitamin B6 as pyridoxine neuropathy reverses once B6 is stopped.
Pyridoxine neuropathy does not usually occur in dosages less than 1,000mgs a day but sometimes it can occur in dosages as low as 50mgs. However, it is very unlikely to occur if you take a dose of 100mgs or less. It has been found to be generally safe in pregnancy at these levels.
Will Vitamin B6 Cause Birth Defects?
A study at University of Toronto, Canada, found that taking large doses of vitamin B6 did not increase the risk of birth defects.
‘Vitamin B6 is often prescribed for the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), at much higher doses than initially recommended. Large doses of vitamin B6 have been associated with cases of neuropathy. We set out to assess whether higher than standard doses of vitamin B6 during the first trimester of pregnancy were associated with a risk of maternal adverse events, major malformations, miscarriages or low birth weight. A total of 192 pregnancies were followed-up. The mean dose of B6 used in the study group was 132.3 mg/day (median 110 mg/day, range 50 - 510 mg/day), for a mean period of 9 +/- 4.2 weeks. In this group (n = 96), there were 91 live births, one major malformation and the mean birth weight was 3,542 +/- 512 g. There were no statistical differences in the study endpoints between the vitamin B6 and the control groups. Within the limits of our sample size, higher than standard doses of vitamin B6 do not appear to be associated with an increased risk for major malformations..’