There has been extensive testing on the effectiveness on Vitamin B6 for morning sickness. Studies show that taking vitamin B6 tends to significantly reduce the feelings and duration of nausea and episodes of vomiting during pregnancy. While the effectiveness of this treatment is proven, the reason why it works is still unknown.
Dose of B6
In everyday non-pregnant life, the recommended dose of B6 is less than two milligrams daily to enhance the formation of antibodies, red blood cells and neurotransmitters. Vitamin B6 is contained in many foods, so reaching this daily requirement is fairly easy. In contrast, the recommended dose of Vitamin B6 in pregnant women is much higher. Extra vitamin B6 is also necessary in order to meet the requirements for the growth and development of the fetus.
Depending on the mother’s weight and severity of morning sickness symptoms, the amount of B6 can be adjusted and has been safely ingested at up to 500 mg daily while maintaining the health of the mother and developing baby. This being said, the 2007 Motherrisk NVP algorithm recommends keeping the dose below 200 mg of B6 per day. Taking 10 to 25 milligrams of B6 three times a day is normally enough to relieve many of the morning sickness symptoms.
Most people will need to take daily vitamin B6 supplements to achieve this dosing level. In case you are planning on trying this approach to reduce your symptoms of morning sickness, it is advised that you consult your physician first to determine the right dosage and the proper way of consuming the supplement.
Note: Sometimes it takes a few days before you experience the maximum relief potential from B6, so keep taking it. (It is a good idea to start taking it before your morning sickness peaks.)
There are both multivitamins and prenatal vitamins that also contain sufficient amount of vitamin B6 for this indication, however the amount and potency vary greatly amongst brands. It is highly recommended to consume supplements only from vitamin and nutritional supplement manufacturers that are GMP and NSF certified and have been inspected by the FDA, as low quality supplements may not effectively treat morning sickness. As stated above, there is an extremely wide variance in quality and potency amongst the different branded supplements.
Although Vitamin B6 is shown to be an effective remedy for morning sickness in the majority of patients, some patients do not respond to it. The good news is that B6 is not the only option. Other natural remedies are available, including ginger, which is known to be a powerful anti-nausea therapy.