What is the difference between Vitamin B6 and B50?

Vitamin B6 and vitamin B50 differ in one important way: Vitamin B6 is a single vitamin that's also known as pyridoxine, while vitamin B50 is a name given to supplements containing all the Bs. Also known as B-complex, B50 includes B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B12 and folic acid. The "50" generally indicates that each pill contains 50 milligrams (mg) of each of the B vitamins -- many times more than the recommended daily amount for most people. Vitamin B50 also contains 400 mg of folic acid.

Vitamin B50 harnesses the benefits of B6 along with other B vitamins that promote healthy cell growth and hormone production. (On its own, vitamin B6 can help treat anemia and lower blood levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease. It may also help with premenstrual syndrome and nausea in pregnancy.)
Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT
Vitamin B-50 is a complex of supplements, including B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, biotin and folic acid and therefore, in this case, vitamin B6 is contained in the B-50 formula. You can get vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine, which is the active form found in supplements), by itself in a separate formula if needed or recommended by your doctor. Otherwise you are better off simply getting B-6 from food and your daily multivitamin and mineral formula (MVM) because it would also contain the extra B-vitamins you may need but in proper/safer amounts. When taking a separate supplement containing high levels of all the B-vitamins (unless recommended/monitored by a qualified physician) you need to be careful you don’t get too much (above the “Upper Tolerable Limits”) especially if your diet and/or other supplements also contain some of the B-vitamins. If you are using a B-50 complex you need to be careful about the levels of all the B-vitamins, and especially folic acid because of food fortification, which is why we only recommend a daily MVM for getting what your diet might be missing when it comes to B-vitamins.

About B-6: although B-6 is absolutely necessary for some metabolic processes (amino acid, glucose and lipid metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, histamine synthesis, hemoglobin synthesis and function, gene expression) adverse effects have only been documented from vitamin B-6 supplements but never from food sources. Doses of B-6/pyridoxine in excess of the RDI over long periods of time can result in painful and ultimately irreversible neurological problems. The US has set the Upper Tolerable Limit (UL) of B-6 at 100 mg/day while other countries have it set as low as 10-15mg/day. The adult RDA is between 1.3-2 mg/day. We recommend no more than 15 mg a day from supplements.
Vitamin B6 is a specific B vitamin. B50 tends to refer to a B-complex vitamin, which usually contains several B vitamins together in one pill.      

Continue Learning about Vitamin B6

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.