Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that is present in many foods. It is a cofactor involved in over 100 different enzymatic reactions in the body such as protein and amino acid metabolism. It plays a very important role in autism and cognitive development as a cofactor in the production of serotonin.
Vitamin B6 is also a cofactor in the GAD enzyme activity. It helps the GAD enzyme convert glutamate to GABA, which is a very important neurotransmitter in autism for mood, sensory processing, anxiety and nervousness, impulsivity, hyperactivity, depression and stress.
It is also a key cofactor in the CBS pathway which aids in detoxification. This enzyme is very important with heavy metal detoxification, histamine responses, glutathione production and sulfation. B6 and magnesium are needed to breakdown phenols which are elevated in autism due to alterations in microbiome resulting in higher levels of yeast. Rosemary Waring discovered that the majority of children diagnosed with autism had problems with phenols resulting in sleep disturbance, behavioural issues, laughing for no reason, red ears, hyperactivity and aggression. B6 in combination with magnesium supports the function of phenol enzymes like PST and SULT. Yeast depletes B6 which highlights the importance in dietary intervention in the treatment of autism.
As you can see, vitamin B6 plays a very important role in both general health but especially in the methylation genomics of autism. Please work with your biomedical practitioner to establish what form and dosage of Vitamin B6 is best suited for you. In a practice setting, we have identified a subgroup of children who do poorly with the activated form of B6, called P5P. Children diagnosed with autism who take B6 (in the appropriate form for their genetics) and magnesium in supplement form show improvements in behaviour, sleep, language, learning and social interaction.