Deficiency Signs And Symptoms

Clinical signs and symptoms are non-specific because this vitamin is necessary for the proper functioning of over 60 enzymes (Pelton et al 1999, Wahlqvist et al 1997). Chiefly, dermatological, circulatory and neurological changes develop with vitamin B6 deficiency.

• Dermatitis (similar to that seen in pellagra).

• Angular stomatitis and glossitis and cheilosis.

• Sideroblastic anaemia.

• Impaired antibody production.

• Elevated homocysteine levels (Lakshmi & Ramalakshmi 1998).

• CNS effects such as irritability, confusion, lethargy, clinical depression, elevated seizure activity (particularly in children), abnormal brain wave patterns and nerve conduction.

• Birth defects such as cleft palate (associated with elevated homocysteine) (Weingaertner et al 2005)

Pyridoxine deficiency has also been associated with premature coronary artery disease and with impaired oxidative defence mechanisms (Miner et al 2001).

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