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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


vitamin B6  listen  (VY-tuh-min…)

  A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Vitamin B6 helps keep nerves and skin healthy, fight infections, keep blood sugar levels normal, produce red blood cells, and some enzymes work properly. Vitamin B6 is a group of related compounds (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine) found in cereals, beans, peas, nuts, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and bananas. It is water-soluble (can dissolve in water). Not enough vitamin B6 can cause mouth and tongue sores and nervous disorders. Vitamin B6 is being studied in the prevention of hand-foot syndrome (a disorder caused by certain anticancer drugs and marked by pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet). Also called pyridoxine.