We used to define B6 toxicity as high B6 blood test numbers as taken by a Western medicine blood test with the combination of sensory, autonomic, or motor symptoms. Notice the words, “we used to”.
It is possible to have symptoms of B6 toxicity without an abnormal B6 blood test. We know from research that B6 blood levels do not correspond to symptoms (Jortner, Bernard, 2000; Berger, A.R., et al, 1992; Stewart, Sarah, et al, 2021). The Understanding B6 Toxicity with Western Research Facebook group also learned that B6 blood numbers go back to normal within two to four weeks of following the B6T Protocol, but it can take a year plus for symptoms to disappear. This last statement is very significant. This states that any human being at any time can have normal B6 blood work and still be suffering neurological symptoms from B6 toxicity. The magnitude of that truth still astounds us.
As part of our definition, it’s important to understand how we get toxic on lower doses of vitamin B6. Our Understanding B6 Toxicity Facebook group believes that lower-dose B6 toxicity is over RDA incoming B6 combined with full B6 muscle storage coupled with a dehydrating event. This is explained in more detail in the Causes section.
We now define B6 toxicity as toxicity from vitamin B6 that causes sensory, autonomic, and/or motor neuropathy with or without a high B6 value on a standardized Western medicine blood test. In other words, if symptomatic with a normal B6 blood test, it is possible to have B6 toxicity. This sensory, autonomic and/or motor neuropathy from B6 toxicity is Small Fiber Polyneuropathy (other terms used Small Fiber Neuropathy, Peripheral Neuropathy). This is explained in more detail in the Small Fiber Polyneuropathy section.
Also as part of the definition, it’s also important to discuss what B6 toxicity is NOT. As the concept of B6 toxicity grew, many alternative medicine providers tried to convince their clients that we were not absorbing vitamin B6, metabolizing the vitamin or getting B6 into our red blood cells. We are absorbing it. It is in our blood. We are metabolizing it. Alternative’s theory is that we aren’t metabolizing vitamin B6 into it’s active form of the vitamin called P5P. We know we are metabolizing into P5P because most of the major labs test for P5P when they draw the B6 blood work. In other words, we are measuring what alternative medicine says we don’t have. Finally, we are getting it into our cells. Vitamin B6 is stored as six different types of B6 in our body. The alternative medicine blood test for B6 in our red blood cells is measuring for a type of B6 that is not stored in extensive amounts in our red blood cells.