Author: Beth Smarzik

What is really considered B6 deficiency? 

We (our Facebook Group) have recently confirmed through high-level management that both Quest and LabCorp measure P5P in our blood work. P5P is a form of B6 considered the active form. 

Quest has a reference range of 2.1 – 21.7 ng/mL for those over 18. There is no gender difference. LabCorp has a reference range of 3.4 – 65.2. They used to have a gender difference but that was removed in summer of 2022. There is no age difference.  

We also recently had some members who took Quest B6 labs hours apart from LabCorp B6 labs. We confirmed with these labs information that we already knew: LabCorp’s test will show lower B6 status than Quest’s results. In other words, a Quest test on the same day will read normal; whereas, a LabCorp test will read low normal. 

On its website, LabCorp states the B6 test is to determine B6 deficiency. On it’s website Quest states the B6 test is to determine B6 deficiency and TOXICITY. The blood results actually reflect these words. LabCorp with its higher values of the blood work has set its methodology to find deficiency. Quest with its lower values has set testing methodology to include deficiency or toxicity. 

What does this mean for our members? If you’re in the United States and you have a choice, then use Quest. If you don’t have a choice, then know that your lab values will be lower at LabCorp. 

As you can see within the lab corporate world there is a good difference in what determines deficiency. Our question then becomes in the research world who has determined the parameters for deficiency? Do all the studies that are assuming B6 deficiency have to reevaluated? 

I have been digging into research about B6 and the immune system. Most of the research suggests that the immune system is “bolstered” in a B6 deficient person with the addition of B6. I’m reading the research differently. I see that the immune system is turned on once B6 is given to the person. What I see is an immune response is launched to attack the invader in most of this research. But because the subjects are perceived to be deficient, then instead of seeing the immune system attacking the invader, the researchers are seeing the immune system is turned on to help attack future invaders. 

The question becomes even more important once you realize that the leading researcher on the B6 metabolism (Coburn) has suggested in his research the RDA is set to high. His review of the research shows that all the research on determining RDA was done on GROWING rats/mice. He states that a person who has a constant weight and is not growing more muscle needs less B6 than RDA. The point is that if the research is wrong about RDA, then can it be wrong on the value it has set for deficiency? 

One of the first pieces of research that we need is for scholars to reevaluate the current literature on B6 deficiency and immunity. Who is determining the deficiency in this research? The second piece of research we need is for an experiment set up to determine the immune response of healthy non-deficient or non-toxic rats who were once given vitamin B6.

See also: Blood Test and B6 Deficiency.

The Emotional Toll of B6 Toxicity

We talk often about the physical symptoms, but not enough of the emotional symptoms that toxicity creates. The anxiety we know is low blood volume. It is an outcome of SFPN. Unfortunately, we still have too many doctors trying to tell us that our anxiety is causing our symptoms versus trying to understand why the anxiety exists in the first place.


Being horribly ill with no doctor knowing what is wrong creates stress by itself. Add in there just dealing with the medical establishment trying to get just a freaking appointment. When you finally get in to see a doctor about 50% to 75% of them are dismissive of our information. We walk out in tears and frustrated. Somehow we find the energy to search for the next doctor. Somehow we find the energy to fight with our insurance company.


Being horribly ill puts stress on careers. Many in the group are primary breadwinners and are hanging on to the jobs by a bare thread. Others are functioning but at 50% output. Others have had to quit. This puts strain on the finances.


Being horribly ill puts stress on marriages, family, friendships and the list goes on and on. Several of us have lost significant others over this. Others have lost family members. Others have lost friends. There are some of us that have lost all three.

People don’t understand how sick we are. We try to function, but our body just wants to rest. When you do stop to rest because our body just can’t go on anymore for that day (or week), we lay a good guilt trip on ourselves for not being a productive member of society, the family, the relationship.


On top of this, we aren’t getting enough sleep. Our body just wants to sleep a good eight hours without our symptoms flaring or waking us up from a sound sleep. We often are woken up gasping for air or in deep fear after a horrible nightmare. We fear going back to sleep.


We are exhausted not only from lack of sleep and being sick, but also from fighting. Every day it is a fight to be better. Every day you hope for more healing. When you have a setback, you get emotionally drained. It is okay to cry. It is okay to let the tears run down your cheeks uncontrollably. It is okay to cry until you have dry heaves.


BUT! After you have that cry, focus on healing. Read the healing stories that we have scattered throughout this website. Read them again. Read them one more time. Tell yourself that you too will put a healing story on this website. Repeat those words often.
Remember half of the battle was finding us. Now that you’re here, you are on the path to healing. Stay strong!

Vitamin B6 Toxicity: Why Now?

I wrote this comment on a post over a year ago. It is still good information today. 

“Nina one sentence in your story hits home so well, ‘once he (the neurologist) ruled out stuff he thought was horrible, he thought his job was done’.

We are labeled hypochondriacs. We are told it’s stress. We are told we are depressed. We are told that their symptoms are anxiety. In reality, it is the symptoms (the low blood volume) that are causing the anxiety. Finally, as one admin used to say that doctors called our illnesses, “crazy lady syndrome”.

We have many women in this group whose time on prenatals caused their toxicity. We’ve witnessed an onslaught of new unexplained diseases (fibro, chronic fatigue, etc.) after prenatals became a must in today’s society. Those affected by the new diseases are mainly women during their childbearing years. Dr. Anne Oaklander and others are gathering research that is being done to show these mysterious diseases are in fact Small Fiber Polyneuropathy (SFPN). B6 toxicity is SFPN.

My maternal grandmother lived until she was 95. She only took a thyroid pill. She did not have any other health issues. She ate bacon, eggs and white bread for her breakfast for most of he life. My paternal grandmother died at 90. My paternal grandfather at 95 with no health issues. My mother died when he was 59 with many health issues. My uncle died when he was 64. He also had serious health issues. My father died when he was 60. What happened between my grandparents’ generation and my parent’s generation? Fortified breakfast cereal with desk jobs and a big trend to eat healthier including reducing salt.

I turned 58 today. I honestly believe that my first round of toxicity happened when I was just 13 years old. The family went on a Weight Watcher’s diet. During the 70’s WW’s was a high protein diet. We had to eat four ounces of meat for lunch and six ounces of meat for dinner with lots of healthy veggies and fruits. We were allowed to eat healthy cereal which meant 25% to 100% RDA B6. During and after this diet, I had several strange symptoms show up which I didn’t have before.

During my 20’s and 30s breakfast was three cups of coffee. Lunch and dinner were not healthy. I had no health issues. Once I started getting healthy again including adding in a bowl of fortified oatmeal for breakfast each morning then my health issues started. When I went on the 1970’s version of Weight Watchers in 2010, my health went downhill fast.

I am ALARMED at the amount of B6 in vitamins. We are putting a known neurotoxin into our body every day when we supplement. The problem is conventional wisdom. First, no one realizes that B6 is stored in the muscles. Second, we’ve been told all of our lives that we will just urinate it out. No research asks, “what happens to B6 when muscle storage gets full”. Since exercise is the only way B6 comes out of the muscles and we as a society don’t exercise, we need to know what happens to the excess incoming B6. There is also no research asking what happens to known neurotoxins when we get dehydrated. We know our body starts conserving water. Where does the B6 go? Between piecing together some research and this group’s experiences we know that it goes straight to nerve tissues.

B6 toxicity research came to almost a complete halt in the late ’80s to early ’90s. As B6 became the darling vitamin that helped everything, funding went towards those studies (in reality, B6 was killing the nerves that caused the pain). The research that we have after the ’90s is from researchers defining, describing, understanding what the vitamin does once it enters your body. It is those researchers that have given us groundwork to piece together a working theory of healing.

We are a unique group. The members got us to where we are today.”

Read more here: Historical View of B6 Toxicity

Desperation Causes Desperate Decisions

Desperation causes desperate decisions. A member stated this to me today. Before he even finished it, I was writing it down. Desperation causes desperate decisions.

He then went on to tell me about his near death decision based on his own stupidity (his words, not mine). Before he found our group, he was adamant that he was leaking potassium. He was positive that he was very low. He was positive of this without a recently blood test to show it. He, knowing how dangerous potassium is, started putting in large doses of potassium in his water. His symptoms got worse and worse and worse. What he didn’t realize is that potassium deficiency symptoms are the same as potassium overdose symptoms.

He finally went to the ER. Whereas, he thought he was potassium deficient, in reality he was almost dead from a potassium overdose. His blood work was only .1 point from creating a fatal heart attack.

In the past week in chat, I have had several members discuss with me the extraordinary amount of supplements (D, B12, magnesium, C, etc., etc.) they have consumed because they thought it was necessary. They were desperate to feel better. Desperation causes desperate decisions.

Are you desperate to feel better? If you are putting in your mouth anything other than RDA for any supplement, then question it. If you are putting in your mouth supplements that have little to no long term research, then question it. If you are supplementing because of a deficiency, but decide to supplement with amounts that are ridiculously high because another Facebook group suggests this is the best way, then question it. If you were deficient, but continue to supplement with high amounts of a vitamin without a follow up blood test to determine if you still need that vitamin, then question it.

Earlier today I was reading a post in another group. The woman said she had fibromyalgia, migraine headaches and chronic fatigue. She also had IBS and generalized anxiety disorder. She mentioned she has not had labs in awhile. She wants to conceive. She states she is taking a prenatal vitamin, baby aspirin, DHA fish oil, extra 400 MC methylfolate, 400 to 600 mg Ubiquinol, 5,000 to 10,000 IU’s vitamin D, 400 mg magnesium glycinate, 150 mg K2, 2000 mg vitamin C and 200 mg Myoinostitol. She adds that she has joined the Vitamin D wellness group and is following their guidelines on D, K2 and magnesium. The vitamin D wellness group tells her to get rid of her prenatal and only take the D, K2 and magnesium. Her question to the this other group is, “should she be adding in a B complex.” She then states clearly, “I HAVE NO KNOWN DEFICIENCIES”.

I screamed that statement on purpose.

She has no known deficiencies, yet she is loading up her body with supplements that she doesn’t need. Are these decisions made with calm logic following the advice of your trusted physician? No. This woman is desperate to conceive. She is making desperate decision.

You don’t feel good. We’ve been there. You want to feel better NOW and not after six months to a year on The B6T Protocol. Let us help you understand why we don’t recommend vitamins, minerals, supplements, herbs or enzymes in this group. It’s because we know from previous members that there is no magic pill. Members before you have proven that excess amounts of anything will only probably make you sicker.

Desperation causes desperate decisions. Step back. Look at your decisions. Make them with calm logic with your western medicine primary care physician and/or neurologist.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira