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Vitamin B (B6, B9, B12)

B vitamins help your body perform a variety of functions, including energy metabolism, creating blood cells, and maintaining brain function. Those at risk for not getting enough B vitamins in their diet include the elderly who have a poor diet, alcoholics, those with digestive disorders that prevent nutrient absorption, and pregnant women. 

Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, helps digest nutrients, create blood cells, and produce signals to allow our brains to function properly. Low levels of vitamin B6 may lead to confusion or depression, a weakened immune system, and anemia. Taking pyridoxine supplements may help address nausea and vomiting in pregnant women¹.

Vitamin B9, also called folate and folic acid, contributes to cell growth and the production of DNA and red blood cells. Lack of folate may cause anemia and fatigue and is especially important for healthy fetal development.

Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, helps create new red blood cells, breaks down fats and proteins to be used for energy, and maintains brain function. Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause confusion or depression. A long-term deficiency may result in permanent nerve and brain damage.

To address a deficiency of any of the above B vitamins, healthcare professionals may suggest supplements, taken orally or as an injection.


  1. Sahakian V, Rouse D, Sipes S, et al. Vitamin B6 is effective therapy for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Obstet Gynecol 1991;78(1):33–36.
Last updated:
August 6, 2021

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