From The November 1999 Issue of Nutrition Science News
Doses of vitamin B6 up to 100 mg a day are likely to relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS), according to a recent meta-analysis of published research.
Katrina Wyatt, M.D., and colleagues at North Staffordshire Hospital in Stoke on Trent, U.K., statistically analyzed nine studies examining the effect of vitamin B6 supplements on PMS. Another 16 published studies on the subject were deemed of low quality and were not included in the analysis. Wyatt concludes vitamin B6 supplementation appears to relieve PMS symptoms including depression, breast tenderness and bloating more effectively than placebo. She refrained, however, from giving B6 her seal of approval because most of the trials did not include enough women. Instead, she called for a large-scale clinical study to establish definitive recommendations for treating PMS with vitamin B6.
None of the studies found a dose-dependent relationship for vitamin B6, indicating supplementing with more than 50-100 mg a day is unwarranted. Doses higher than 200 mg a day may cause nerve damage. Since multivitamins and B complex supplements may contain B6, people taking a B6 supplement should make sure they are not getting too much.
Efficacy of Vitamin B-6 in the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome: Systematic Review
British Medical Journal 1999 (May 22); 318 (7195): 1375-1381