Nutrition Questions and Answers
Vital Health Zone is proud to announce Anastacia Sampson, who is our resident naturopathic expert and who is available to answer questions about nutrition and health.
Anastacia Sampson has a private practice and is available for consultation in a number of ways.
Anastacia Sampson will answer your nutrition-related questions.
Q: I have an issue with vitamin B6.
I have been suffering from muscle weakness for 5 months and I have been sort of ill for eight years with Lyme's disease but seem to be doing okay.
I'm seeing a chronic illness doctor, a specialist and 2 neurologists. My problem is this: the chronic illness doctor wants me on 150mg of vitamin b6 a day combined with some other supplements. My vitamin b6 levels in my blood are so high they cant measure it. My chronic illness doctor says blood tests are meaningless and only give an indications about what is in the blood and not what the body is actually using.
Both my neurologists are demanding I stop taking such high levels of the vitamin b6 and tell me that the high supplements are damaging my nerves. I'm caught in the middle.
Do you have any thoughts and knowledge on this?
A: Thank you for your email.
Your chronic illness doctor has a point in stating that blood levels don't necessarily reflect what the body is utilising. Often in cancer patients the blood levels of sodium are low yet the cell contents are high in sodium. This state is adverse to health as we need higher sodium levels relative to potassium in our blood levels. In our cells we need more potassium relative to sodium. Measurement of blood contents is not necessarily an accurate measurement of cellular contents and what the body is using.
However scientific studies point caution in supplementing mega vitamin B6 intake as 100 - 200mg daily may cause neurological damage. Our nerve cells can be damaged by continuously high vitamin B6 exposure.
It may be advisable to ask your chronic illness doctor to measure the enzyme levels that use vitamin B6 to operate. The level of those active enzymes will be a clearer indication of what your body is using. However all the 'free' vitamin B6 in your blood is of potential damage to nerve cells.
The above is my knowledge and these are more thoughts - that you speak to another chronic illness doctor. A second opinion will never be of harm. You need to make the ultimate decision and it would be worthy to watch supplementary intakes. There is a risk with high vitamin B6 supplements yet the chronic illness doctor must have sound scientific or past experience to verify his recommendations. Ask your doctor what his past success rate and results have been with such high vitamin B6 supplements in a case similar to yours.
You have a right to use your own judgement after hearing all the recommendations yet do ensure that scientific studies or relevant proof justifies those recommendations. From that you can decide.
Do feel more than welcome to email anytime.
Please note that the information provided is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Consult with your medical physician regarding appropriateness of using supplements in your healing process.
Enjoy better health!