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Nutrients 2014, 6(9), 3353-3362;

Supplementation with Vitamin B6 Reduces Side Effects in Cambodian Women Using Oral Contraception

Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia, No. 14, St. 335, Phnom Penh 12151, Cambodia
National Center for Maternal Child Health, Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Cambodia, No. 31A, St.47, Phnom Penh 12151, Cambodia
Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 1440 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2014 / Revised: 12 August 2014 / Accepted: 13 August 2014 / Published: 26 August 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [225 KB, uploaded 26 August 2014]   |  


Hormonal contraceptives may produce side effects that deter women from their use as a method of family planning. In nutritionally vulnerable populations these effects may be more pronounced due to micronutrient deficiencies and health status. Previous studies have been unable to resolve whether micronutrient supplementation may reduce such side effects. Aim: In a longitudinal study, 1011 women obtaining oral contraception through the public health system in rural Cambodia were allocated to either intervention or control groups, receiving either daily Vitamin B6 supplement or care as usual (without placebo). Results: The intervention participants (n = 577) reported fewer side effects in three categories: nausea/no appetite, headache, and depression compared with control group participants (n = 434). Conclusion: Women taking Vitamin B6 supplement were less likely to report side effects in a nutritionally vulnerable population. Underlying nutrition status should be considered by clinicians and reproductive health policy makers in the context of providing contraceptive services. Further investigation into micronutrient supplementation, particularly with B6, in reproductive-aged women using hormonal contraception should be conducted in other settings to determine the potential for widespread adoption. View Full-Text
Keywords: pyridoxine; Vitamin B6; combined oral contraceptive; side effects; family planning pyridoxine; Vitamin B6; combined oral contraceptive; side effects; family planning

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Var, C.; Keller, S.; Tung, R.; Freeland, D.; Bazzano, A.N. Supplementation with Vitamin B6 Reduces Side Effects in Cambodian Women Using Oral Contraception. Nutrients 2014, 6, 3353-3362.

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