At a glance: Vitamin B6 and magnesium
Type of therapy
The claim
Cures autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Suitable for
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Research rating

Find out more about this rating system in our FAQs.

Not enough research available.
Warning   There have been reports of significant side effects in some people. As a result, there is a caution against the use of large doses of vitamins.

Estimate of the total time for family in hours per week and duration

Treatment is ongoing, but it takes only a little time to administer the vitamins.

Estimate of cost to family per session/item or week

The cost varies depending on the dose and how often the vitamins need to be taken.

What is vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy?

Vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy involves giving a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) large doses of vitamin B6 with magnesium.

Who is vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy for?

This therapy is for any child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

What is vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy used for?

This approach aims to improve communication, social interaction and behaviour.

Where does vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy come from?

This approach is based on a 1960s theory that suggests that some psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Initially, vitamin B6 was used as a treatment for schizophrenia and was later used with children with ‘autistic syndrome’.

What is the idea behind vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy?

Supporters of this therapy believe that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might have a vitamin B6 deficiency, and that this is a cause of ASD. They claim that taking large doses of vitamin B6 will fix the deficiency, thus curing the ASD.

What does vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy involve?

There are no established practice guidelines for this approach. Generally, it’s suggested that people take large doses of vitamin B6 (usually in tablet form) along with magnesium. Magnesium is supposed to help the body absorb the vitamin B6 and reduce any side effects.

Cost considerations?

The cost of this therapy depends on the vitamin brand used, the dose, and how often the vitamins are taken.

Does vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy work?

There have been very few high-quality studies, and more research is needed to say whether this therapy works.

Possible side-effects of giving large doses of vitamin B6 include sensory neuropathy (inflammation or wasting away of the sensory nerves), headache, depression, vomiting and sensitivity to light.

Who practises vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy?

Although vitamins and minerals are available in many health food stores and pharmacies, it’s always best to speak to a GP, paediatrician or dietitian before giving large doses of vitamins and minerals to your child.

You also need a doctor or other medical practitioner to test your child’s current levels of these vitamins and minerals.

Parent education, training, support and involvement

If your child is using vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy, you need to ensure your child takes the supplement before each meal for the duration of the therapy. You might also need to take your child for tests.

Where can you find a practitioner?

If you’re interested in vitamin B6 and magnesium therapy, you should discuss its risks and benefits with your GP or a paediatrician or dietitian.

You could also talk with your NDIA planner, NDIS early childhood partner or NDIS local area coordination partner, if you have one.

There are many treatments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They range from those based on behaviour and development to those based on medicine or alternative therapy. Our article on types of interventions for children with ASD takes you through the main treatments, so you can better understand your child’s options.

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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