Can Vitamin B6 Cause High Blood Pressure?

Vitamin B6 is present in multiple everyday foods. It has dozens of health benefits such as metabolism, immune system and cognitive development. Not everyone gets the share of vitamin B6 from food alone. Hence the availability of vitamin B6 supplements. It is also a popular ingredient in different types of supplements — from fat burners to testosterone boosters

As with any supplement, the risk of adverse effects is an important conversation. So examining whether vitamin B6 can cause high blood pressure (also called hypertension) is crucial. We take a look at the research to see what it says.

Key Points

  • Vitamin B6 contributes to healthy body function including metabolism, immunity and cognitive health.
  • From current research, vitamin B6 does not cause high blood pressure.
  • Studies show that vitamin B6 deficiency does in fact have a strong correlation to the risk of high blood pressure.

What is Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6 (also referred to as pyridoxine), is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin the body requires for multiple functions. These include:

  • Promoting metabolism
  • Red blood cell synthesis
  • Brain health
  • Mood

The body does not make its own vitamin B6 so you have to get it from food. Foods rich in vitamin B6 are:

  • Meat
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts

In certain cases, the quantities in available food may not be adequate to meet the person’s needs. This could be for various reasons such as pregnancy, medical conditions and food availability. In this case, supplementation may be necessary.

Scientific Studies on Vitamin B6 Causing High Blood Pressure

Multiple animal and human studies have explored the effect of vitamin B6 on high blood pressure. And the conclusions seem to be fairly consistent.

  • Take a study published in the Journal of Hypertension in 1996 that examined the effect of vitamin B6 intake on rats experiencing various models of high blood pressure. In nearly all models, vitamin B6 supplementation decreased high blood pressure while its removal saw a return.
  • In 1995, a clinical trial published in the Drug Research journal investigated the impact of vitamin B6 on subjects diagnosed with high blood pressure. It found that vitamin B6 significantly reduced blood pressure.
  • These results were supported by a large review published in the Nutrition Research journal in 2023. In an assessment of tens of thousands of American adults, it found a strong correlation between reduced vitamin B6, B9 and B12 intake and high blood pressure. The trend was linear, with increased consumption of vitamin B6 (as well as B9 and B2) associated with a lower incidence of hypertension.

This review is perhaps the most significant given its scale and is as good evidence as you can find on how vitamin B6 affects blood pressure. However, given it examined the effects of three B-complex vitamins, one might question whether perhaps the effect could be attributed to B9 and B12 as opposed to B6.

Fortunately, another large study covering thousands of Chinese adults and published in the Archives of Medical Research journal in 2017 provides an even clearer picture. It found that high intake of B6 came with a lower risk of high blood pressure. The study could not draw a similar connection for vitamin B9 and B12 even though deficiency in the two was common among subjects with high blood pressure. 

So, it is safe to say vitamin B6 does not cause high blood pressure. The evidence is compelling that it in fact lowers/normalizes blood pressure.

Safety Considerations and Recommended Dosage

Vitamin B6 is present in many foods. This alone is proof that the risk of side effects is very low as long as it is taken within the recommended safe dosage

Depending on age and gender, this ranges from 1.3 mg to 1.7 mg per day. Among pregnant and breastfeeding women, the ideal intake is 1.9 mg to 2.0 mg daily.

Vitamin B6 in extremely high doses (1,000 mg) comes with a risk of acne numbness, pain and nerve damage in the hands and feet. There have been no adverse effects at doses of 200 mg daily. The tolerable upper band of safety is no more than 100 mg per day.


Current studies show vitamin B6 does not cause high blood pressure. Instead, vitamin B6 deficiency is closely linked to hypertension. Still, it is important to stay within recommended dosage guidelines to maximize the benefits. 

Ideally, you should get the vitamin B6 you need from your meals. This is not always possible though so vitamin B6 supplements may be necessary. Whereas vitamin B6 supplements are available over the counter, talk to your doctor beforehand. Stop using it immediately if you experience any adverse effects.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

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