Vitamin B6 May Reduce Risk of Colorectal Tumors
May 4, 2005 - 5:25:38 PM

Vitamin B6 intake may be associated with lower future risk of colorectal tumors in women, according to a new study.

Several nutrients, including vitamin B6, play important roles in biochemical pathways related to DNA synthesis and DNA methylation, which are involved in carcinogenesis. Esther K. Wei, Sc.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues studied whether vitamin B6 measured as dietary intake and as the main active circulating form, known as pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, or PLP, is associated with the risk of colorectal cancer and colorectal adenoma in women by performing a nested caseĀ–control study of 32,826 women in the Nurses' Health Study who provided blood specimens between 1989 and 1990.

During the study period, 194 colorectal cancer cases and 410 colorectal adenoma cases were identified. The authors observed that women in the highest quartile of plasma PLP concentration, compared with women in the lowest quartile, had a reduced future risk of colorectal cancer and colon cancer, after adjusting for important risk factors associated with colorectal cancer as well as dietary folate and methionine intake, and multivitamin use. Total vitamin B6 intake was also inversely associated with future risk of colorectal tumors among these women. "Additional animal, epidemiologic, and intervention studies are required to clarify the association between dietary and plasma vitamin B6 and colorectal neoplasia," the authors write.

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