Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)
The dose ranges from 100 milligrams daily to 1000 milligrams. Early in the development of orthomolecular psychiatry the pioneer physicians freely used up to 3 grams daily and did not see any complications. But this vitamin was given a bad reputation following a survey in which the authors located six patients in several medical schools who were taking between 2000 and 6000 milligrams daily. These six suffered from neurological changes in their feet from which they recovered fully after this vitamin was stopped. The standard medical literature incorrectly considers it one of the dangerous vitamins. The doses seldom need to be larger than 250 milligrams taken three times daily.
It is probable that these six were not taking any other vitamins and they were suffering from an excess of this vitamin due to the mass of dosage. The reaction against vitamin B-6 has become so irrational and extreme that several years ago in England an attempt was made to limit the upper dose to 10 milligrams daily. Pyridoxine may increase hyperactivity in some children. However, having the child take magnesium prevents this.
The main indication is for those patients who excrete too much kryptopyrrole in their urine. This factor was discovered in Saskatchewan in 1960. When it was identified in collaboration with Carl Pfeiffer, the term mauve factor was changed to kryptopyrrole. They are close but not identical. It is closer to OHHPL (hydroxyhemoppyrrolin-2-one). It is a member of the pyrrole family, and may be correctly referred to as “urinary pyrrole”. It is found in a very few healthy people under stress and is present in about one-third of all non psychotic patients no matter what the diagnosis is. About half of the children with infantile autism excrete this chemical.
Carl Pfeiffer showed that the mauve factor combined with pyridoxine and zinc produced a double deficiency of pyridoxine and zinc. Therefore both of these nutrients were needed in the treatment program. Before this discovery patients with this factor were treated in Saskatchewan as schizophrenia depending mainly with vitamin B-3, but the addition of these two nutrients greatly improved the treatment results and decreased the need for as much vitamin B-3. The dose of pyridoxine is less than one gram each day. It is also useful for some patients with severe premenstrual tension. Pfeiffer found that patients with this condition had clear signs such as white areas in their fingernails, stria, pain in their knees, changes in their skin, and PMS. Very few laboratories are doing this test. If patients improved the amount of kryptopyrrole went down to normal very low levels.