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From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: William Lamb's "cure"
Date: 05 Jul 1995


>Interestingly, B6 deficiency ALSO can cause peripheral neuropathy and
>neuritis.  (Mentioned in Merck Manual.)  If one has neuropathy and
>is taking some B6 supplements, it's hard to know whether the B6
>is a cause or a cure.  A real quandary.

It's probably not a coincidence that the symptoms are the same.  Taking
the pure vitamin at high doses may build up un-phosphorylated levels of
vitamin, which act as an anti-metabolite to the smaller levels of
activated vitamin.  Nor can you get around this by taking the pyridoxal
5 phosphate, because the phosphate is cleaved in digestion.

The neuropathy of B6 toxicity is fairly specific, with fairly specific
symptoms (such as a shock-like sensation on bending the neck and
stretching the cord).  It also has unique features on electro-myelogram.
If it's seen in anyone taking any kind of B6 supplement, it CERTAINLY
isn't due to deficiency (with the *possible* exception of someone taking
INH, the TB drug, and RDA-range B6 doses, though I don't think even
this has been reported).  A dose of 25 milligrams a day is not going to
be toxic, and should take care of any possible deficiency pretty well.

                                            Steve Harris, M.D.

From: (Steven B. Harris )
Subject: Re: Vitamins & neurological damage
Date: 02 Sep 1995

In <428pbk$> (ABrad94101)

>There is a thread on another group about the current magnesium and
>antacid situation and the MD in the group states that he's not surprised
>and then goes on to say that an excess of vitamins can cause neurological
>damage. I never heard of this - is it true? I have heard of the fat
>soluble vitamins creating a problem - but I don't think that is what he
>is referring to. Could this be B vitamins - and if so - what happens.
>This is a very very conservative MD who goes on robot mode with anything
>alternative so I take everything he says with a grain of COQ10. Seriously
>tho - can someone shed light on this?

The only vitamin that causes neuro damage is B6, and for that you have
to take at least 200 mg a day for months.  Most cases are in people
taking 500 mg to several GRAMS a day.

Note that the average mega-vitamin has 50 mg B6 in it, usually.
Probably pretty safe, though I'd feel better about a factor of 10 (20
mg) rather than a factor of 4.  These are still 10 times the RDA, which
is usually enough, even for people with high homocyteine levels, carpel
tunnel, dysmenorrhea, asthma or a few of the other things for which
megadose B6 is used.

                                             Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: pyridoxine
Date: 28 May 1998 06:27:20 GMT

In <6kh76j$7tg$> writes:

>my younger sister like to study about the three dimensional structure of
>pyridoxine. If someone knows about this, please give me information.
>T. Saito in Tokyo Japan

   "Pyridoxine" is one of a number of molecules which have B6 activity.
So B6 is a class of things, and pyridoxine is one of them.  Pyridoxine
used to refer to a compound which we refer to today as pyridoxal.  Now,
it refers only to the alcohol, and aldehyde form of the vitamin.

   3 dimensial structure of the molecule varies because of free
rotation around some single bonds at ordinary temperatures, and you
really need a good set of molecular models to apprectiate it.  (These
are somewhat more constrained in crystals of the substance, of course).
The main thing is a 6-sized fairly rigid ring, like a benzene ring,
only with a nitrogen atom in it.  This is called a pyridine ring.
Hanging off are a -CH3 (next to the nitrogen), and then (going around
the ring away from the nitrogen), next an -OH, -CH2OH (opposite the
nitrogen), another -CH2OH, and an H.  Most commercial preparations are
the crystaline hydrochloride, which puts a hydrogen on the nitrogen,
too.  (there is a chloride associated in the crystal, then, but not
actually bonded to any place special in the molecule-- it's a free

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: The toxicity of pyridoxine and its mechanism of action in therapy
Date: 25 Aug 1998 21:05:37 GMT

In <6rv6tm$> B.
Harris) writes:

[Occurs to me this should go under a better heading.  Also please note
that the stuff below is my own private and original hypothesis.  If the
mechanism of therapeutic action of pyridoxine and its toxicty are
basically the same process, I'm the first person to realize it.  And if
not, I've been wrong about my hypotheses MANY times before in science.
And will be again-- SBH.]

>   No, I think that B2, if it works [on migraines at 400 mg a day],
>works by entirely different means than its vitamin function.  Much
>like nicotinic acid and its effect on cholesterol, which isn't seen
>with niacinamide. Vitamins in high doses act like pharmaceuticals,
>and sometimes have effects not related to nutrition at all.
>  In the case of B6, FYI, I very much am beginning to suspect that
>the anti-inflammatory action of very high doses of pyridoxine (never
>pyridoxal or pyridoxal 5-phosphate in the literature) is due to its
>well known *anti-vitamin* activity.  Animals made short of B6 don't
>mount as good an immune or inflammatory response, and also have very
>different estrogen metabolism. And that's WHY the therapeutic doses of
>pyridoxine for inflammation, vomiting of pregancy, premenstrual
>syndrome, etc, are very close to the toxic doses.  It's not a
>   But the orthomolecular people would probably go nuts if they
>realized that what they're actually doing is deliberately inducing
>mild vitamin malnutrition when they use megadose pyridoxine.
>                                          Steve Harris, M.D.

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