See also: Remove Excess B6 from Muscle Tissues
Although vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, the body stores a significant amount in muscle tissue. If your health care providers question this information, remind them that a delicious steak is very high B6. A steak is cow muscle.
We know from the research that B6 is stored in muscles. It is stored as pyridoxal phosphate (aka PLP/P5P) associated with glycogen phosphorylase. Black’s 1978 study in the Journal of Nutrition shows that muscles storage of B6 does not come out with B6 deficiency. Stephan P Coburn, et al, 1988 study reveals that 70% to 80% of B6 body pools is stored in muscles. Beynon, et al, 1996 study estimates the human muscle pool at 200 mg. Coburn, et al, 1991 study confirms that vitamin B6 in muscles is resistant to depletion. Also in this study, Coburn states, “that in humans with constant body weight, vitamin B6 supplementation is NOT associated with marked increases in vitamin B6 in muscle”. The research also shows us that the only healthy way B6 comes out of the muscle is with exercise.
We interpreted this information as 70% to 80% of all incoming B6 is programmed by our body to be put into the muscles. Muscle storage is not a reservoir to be used during times of B6 deficiency. The muscle storage is used as a reservoir for the excess needed during exercise (see B6 And Exercise). Finally, once that muscle storage is full we are not adding more B6 to the muscles. Since human muscle storage is only about 200 mg, it doesn’t take much to fill it up.
Coburn, et al, again in their 2015 summary of the research points out that most studies of vitamin B6 metabolism involve growing rats. Growing rats that have growing muscles which have more room for incoming B6 to be stored. He questions the amounts of B6 needed for animals maintaining constant body weight. In his 1991 study, he states, “that for normal human adults maintaining constant weight and subject to minimal metabolic stress, the minimum daily vitamin B6 requirement maybe 0.02 – 0.04 nmol/g body weight” (which is about .23 to .43 mg for a 150-pound person). He also states, “further studies will be needed to confirm in greater detail whether such intakes can support normal metabolism, particularly of the nervous system, and can maintain long-term health”. Coburn is suggesting that even RDA B6 is too much for an adult that isn’t growing muscles through extensive exercise.
The research shows the only healthy way to remove B6 from the muscles is through exercise. Please visit the B6 and Exercise section for more detailed information on this.
There is often discussion of B6’s 1/2 life. B6 1/2 life does not apply to muscle storage. Once B6 is in muscle storage the only healthy way to remove it is through exercise.