Vitamin B-6 deficiency impairs interleukin 2 production and lymphocyte proliferation in elderly adults.

The effect of vitamin B-6 deficiency on immune response was studied in eight healthy elderly adults. The protocol consisted of a 5-d baseline (BL) period; a vitamin B-6-depletion period of less than or equal to 20 d; three stages of vitamin B-6-repletion, each lasting 21 d; and a 4-d final phase. The amounts of vitamin B-6 ingested during the different phases of the study were 3.00, 15.00, 22.50, and 33.75 body wt-1.d-1, respectively. During the final phase the subjects ingested 50 mg vitamin B-6/d. Fasting blood was collected at the end of each period. Vitamin B-6 depletion significantly decreased percentage and total number of lymphocytes, mitogenic responses of peripheral blood lymphocytes to T- and B-cell mitogens, and interleukin 2 production. These indices returned to BL values after the third vitamin B-6-repletion period, when the total vitamin B-6 intakes were 1.90 +/- 0.18 mg/d for women and 2.88 +/- 0.17 mg/d for men. Vitamin B-6 deficiency impairs in vitro indices of cell-mediated immunity in healthy elderly adults. This impairment is reversible by vitamin B-6 repletion.

Commentary by Dr. Calapai:

Vitamin B6 is a very important nutrient and has been given a great deal of attention lately. Research over many years has described its need for  immune function, this study further relates that. Cell mediated immunity , T cell function is impaired when vitamin

B6 levels are too low.These cells are critically important to our ability to fight bacteria, viruses and cancers.  Most of the latest literature also describes how vitamin B6  helps lower homocysteine levels in the blood and helps decrease plaque risk.

This, as with all of the other B vitamins should come in a good , comprehensive multivitamin and be dosed 3 times a day.

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