, Volume 109, Issue 4, pp 489–496 | Cite as

Vitamin B-6 supplementation in elderly men: effects on mood, memory, performance and mental effort

  • J. B. Deijen
  • E. J. van der Beek
  • J. F. Orlebeke
  • H. van den Berg
Original Investigations


This study evaluates the effects of vitamin B-6 supplementation (20 mg pyridoxine HCL daily for 3 months) on mood and performance in 38 self-supporting healthy men, aged between 70–79 years. Effects were compared with 38 controls who received placebo and were matched for age, plasma pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP) concentration and intelligence score. Before and after drug intervention vitamin B-6 status was determined, and mood and performance were measured by means of a computerized testing system. In addition, the phasic pupil response was measured in order to assess mental effort. Positive effects of vitamin B-6 supplementation were only found with respect to memory, especially concerning long-term memory. In view of the finding that mental performance improvement and Δ PLP values were most strongly correlated within an intermediate range of Δ PLP, it is suggested that cognitive effects are primarily associated with a certain range of vitamin B-6 status increment. The general conclusion is that vitamin B-6 supplementation improves storage of information modestly but significantly.

Key words

Vitamin B-6 Aging Mood Memory Performance Pupil size Mental effort 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. B. Deijen
    • 1
  • E. J. van der Beek
    • 2
  • J. F. Orlebeke
    • 1
  • H. van den Berg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Psychophysiology DivisionVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Human NutritionTNO Toxicology and Nutrition InstituteZeistThe Netherlands

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