Vitamin B6 might reduce the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

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Not all vitamins are created equal. While vitamins such as vitamins C has not been shown to prevent cancer, a meta-analysis published in the March 17, 2010 issue of JAMA indicated that intake of vitamin B6 might be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

The analysis was a combination of the results of 14 previous clinical studies that evaluated the relationship between the intake of vitamin B6 or blood levels of pyridoxal 6’-phosphate (PLP; the active form of vitamin b6) and the risk of colorectal cancer.

Overall, patients who take vitamin B6 have a 20% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer. This translates to a 49% reduction in colorectal cancer for every 100-pmol/mL increase in blood PDP levels.

Vitamin B6 may suppress colorectal carcinogenesis by reducing cell proliferation, angiogenesis, oxidative stress, inflammation, and nitric oxide synthesis. 

Major food sources of vitamin B6 include fortified cereals, meat, fish, poultry, starchy vegetables, and some fruits (eg. Bananas and avocado).

In the United States, the prevalence of inadequate vitamin B6 intake for adults older than 50 years is about 20% for men and 40% for women.

JAMA 2010; 303(11):1077-1083

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