Severe deficiency of vitamin B6 is uncommon.
Alcoholics are thought to be most at risk of vitamin B6 deficiency due to low dietary intakes and impaired metabolism of the vitamin. Beside alcohol abuse, genetic disorders, liver disease, renal dialysis, rheumatoid arthritis can cause deficiency; malabsorption can occur by HIV (50).
In some studies of vitamin B6 deficiency, neurological symptoms, such as irritability, depression, and confusion have been noted; additional symptoms include inflammation of the tongue, open sores (‘ulcers’) inside the mouth, and ulcers of the skin at the corners of the mouth (2). Further symptoms are: microcytic anaemia, dermatitis, nervous/muscular signs, irritability, fatigue, numbness, headache, muscle twitching, difﬁculty walking, convulsions, depression and confusion (50).
Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Angelika Friedel on 14.06.2017