A man was told to take high-dose B vitamins after blood tests showed he was deficient. Then he lost his ability to walk.


An elderly man in Australia has lost the ability to walk after taking too many vitamin B6 supplements.Crystal Cox/Business Insider

  • A man in Australia lost his ability to walk after taking too many vitamin B6 supplements.

  • The man had taken 70 times the recommended dose, according to ABC Radio Melbourne.

  • Vitamin B6 toxicity is rare. Some patients may regain the ability to walk when they stop taking it.

When it comes to vitamins, more doesn’t necessarily mean better.

A man in Australia lost his ability to walk after consuming 70 times the recommended daily dose of vitamin B6, ABC Radio Melbourne reported.

The 86-year-old was previously active and lived independently, his daughter Alison Taylor told ABC Radio, until a blood test revealed he had a mild vitamin B6 deficiency.

Taylor said her father had no symptoms of poor health, but his doctor prescribed him a 50 milligram vitamin B6 supplement to boost his levels. Vitamin B6, like other B vitamins, helps the body convert food into energy by breaking down carbohydrates and proteins. Research suggests it can help the body’s immune system and certain brain functions.

But 50 milligrams is much higher than the standard recommended dose in Australia and the United States, which is 1.7 milligrams of vitamin B6 per day for men over 50. In fact, most people should get enough vitamin B6 from eating standard foods like chicken, potatoes, or even spaghetti sauce.

The new high-dose multivitamin wasn’t the only B6 in the man’s diet: He also took a magnesium supplement, which contained B6, and ate B6-enriched breakfast cereals.

Within months, he began to lose feeling in his legs and eventually went to the hospital after he couldn’t walk, Taylor told ABC Radio.

“Twelve months ago he was driving. He’s now in a nursing home and in a wheelchair,” said Taylor, who did not share his father’s name.

More and more people are taking dangerous amounts of supplements

As the wellness industry extends and request for dietary supplements increases, more Americans are getting sick from taking too many vitamins or supplements. The number of calls to poison control centers about children who took too much melatonin increased by 530% over the past decade. Preventive care experts say vitamin A supplements cause more harm than good, as taking too much can lead to bone pain and hair loss.

Most Americans aren’t lacking in vitamin B6, thanks to the natural occurrence of B6 in a variety of common foods, according to Harvard Medical School.

Certain medical conditions, such as alcohol dependence and autoimmune diseases, can make individuals more susceptible to vitamin B6 deficiency. Previously reported insider. A vitamin deficiency can cause inflamed skin, a weakened immune system and depression.

Nerve damage due to an overdose of vitamin B6 is rareaccording to the American Academy of Neurology, because the water-soluble nutrient is usually flushed out when taken in excess.

Doses of vitamin B6 above 200 milligrams may cause loss of sensation in the legs due to peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage. Some patients may regain the ability to walk if they stop taking the supplements, according to Mount Sinai.

Taylor told ABC Radio that she isn’t sure her father will make a full recovery, but she hopes physical therapy will help him be less dependent on his wheelchair.

Read the original article at Initiated


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