Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ANH Alert: Protect Your Right to Natural and Bio-available Vitamin B-6

Alert: Protect Your Right to Natural and Bio-available Vitamin B-6

The Alliance for Natural Health has posted an alert about a potential ban on vitamin B6. As reported on their website, the pharmaceutical company BioStratum wants sole use of pyridoxamine, a natural form of the vitamin, in a drug. "The company filed a so-called citizens petition," according to ANH-USA, "and the FDA agreed. [...] You might ask: how can Pharma take a supplement off the market and claim exclusive use of it as a prescription drug? The FDA does not presently feel obligated to answer the question."

Vitamin B6 is water-soluble and part of the vitamin B complex. Pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) is the active form and is essential for many in the human body. PLP plays a part in amino acid metabolism, gluconeogenesis, lipid metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, histamine synthesis, hemoglobin synthesis and function, and gene expression. Vitamin B6 is also important "for the prevention of cancer and the prevention and treatment of seizures, anemia, mental disorders including schizophrenia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other conditions."[1]

A B6 deficiency can manifest in symptoms like seborrhoeic dermatitis-like eruption, atrophic glossitis with ulceration, angular cheilitis, conjunctivitis, intertrigo, and neurologic symptoms of somnolence, confusion, and neuropathy. [2]

"Unfortunately," ANH-USA says, "this isn’t all the bad news about vitamin B6. All forms of B-6, natural or synthetic, must be converted to P5P, another natural form, for the body to use it. Another drug company, Medicure Pharma, wants sole use of P5P and so has petitioned the FDA to ban its use as a supplement as well.

"Medicure has yet to market a drug made from P5P, but wants the ban to take place now. And never mind that any individual unable to convert synthetic B6 to P5P would have to rely solely on Medicure’s product to stay alive."

If you have yet to send a message to the FDA, you can send one here.

Read more about the potential FDA ban on the Alliance for Natural Health website here.

[2] Andrews' Diseases of the Skin, 10th Edition, Elsevier.

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