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Biomedicine. 1980 May;32(2):88-92.

Impairment of memorization by high doses of pyridoxine in man.


Two controlled trials were performed successively to evaluate the effect of high doses of oral pyridoxine on brain performance in man. In trial I, medical students volunteered to take 100 mg, 500 mg of pyridoxine a day or placebo for 10 days. A digit coding test was performed before, and at the end of the treatment period and a third 15 days later. The improvement of performance from the first to the third test (learning effect) was significantly better in the placebo group than in the B6 treated groups. This could be attributed to memorization of skills. Trial II was performed in obese patients starting a low calorie diet in whom vitamins are routinely prescribed. Performance in a work recognition test and in a visual retention test was lower for the group receiving 1 g of pyridoxine a day. Thus, high doses of oral pyridoxine are likely to impair memorization in man. Disturbances of neuro-transmitter metabolism such as increase of GABA production might explain the effect. As the benefit of high doses of pyridoxine has not been well-documented and as the study has suggested that undesired effects may indeed exist, the widespread use of such doses is questionable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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