Daily intake of large doses of Vitamin B6 can cut down the negative effects of certain compounds within the body that causes a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis, says a new study, the findings of which were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Vitamin B6 exists as pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine and is found in beans, meat, fish, and some fruits and vegetables, like spinach and avocado. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6 is 1.3 milligrams for men and women aged between 19 and 50.

When consumed in doses more than the recommended quantity for 12 weeks at a stretch, Vitamin B6 manages to significantly cut down levels of inflammation-causing compounds interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, the study found.

Scientists from Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan conducted the study across a sample size of 35 participants who were randomly assigned to receive either five mg per day of only folic acid or five mg per day of folic acid plus 100 mg of Vitamin B6.

When analysed after 12 weeks of supplementation, the Taiwanese scientists observed significant decreases in level of IL-6 and TNF-alpha only in participants of the B6 group.

The researchers, however, found no significant changes in immune responses between the groups.
A large dose of vitamin B6 supplementation (100 mg/day) suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-alpha) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, they concluded.

As many as 46 million Americans are reported to have long-term health problems associated with arthritis, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This figure is expected to increase to 67 million by 2030, says a report in the Arthritis & Rheumatism journal.