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  • 2009

Vitamin B6 may slash colorectal cancer risk

Published on

21 May 2009

Increased intake of vitamin B6 from diet and supplements may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by over 50%.

Almost 15,000 people took part in the study, which reported that increased blood levels of the vitamin’s active form, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), were significantly associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (1). Vitamin B6 levels were positively correlated with blood levels of vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin B12. Higher PLP levels were also slightly correlated with lower blood levels of homocysteine.

There are 363,000 new cases of colorectal cancer every year in Europe, with an estimated 945,000 globally. There are about 492,000 deaths from the cancer each year. Only about 5% of colorectal adenomas are thought to become malignant, and this process could take between five and ten years.

The study follows similar findings published in 2008, suggesting that increased intakes of vitamin B6 from dietary and supplements may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by over 20% (2).


  1. Lee. J. E. et al. Prospective Study of Plasma Vitamin B6 and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev., 2009; 18:1197–1202.
  2. Theodoratou E. et al. Dietary Vitamin B6 Intake and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev., 2008; 17:171–182.

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