Vitamin B6 and Colorectal Cancer?

For women who are concerned about their familial risk of colorectal cancer, taking a daily supplement of Vitamin B6 may be helpful.

Studies suggest that 40% of women and 20% of men don’t obtain enough vitamin B6 in their diets.

A sentinel study published by Wei et al, 2005 suggests that vitamin b6 intake may be inversely associated with the risk of developing colorectal cancer in women.

Study Conclusions:

“CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that vitamin B6 may be inversely associated with risk of colorectal neoplasia” ( Wei et al, 2005).

However, newer research suggests that the importance of adequate vitamin B6 intake in reducing your risk of developing colorectal cancer isn’t limited to women alone.  A newer study published in the Journal of American Medicine found a dose-response relationship between vitamin B6 levels and colorectal cancer risk in both men and women (Larsson et al 2010).

Study Conclusions:

“The findings from this meta-analysis of prospective studies indicate that increased blood PLP levels are associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.  Overall, the risk of colorectal cancer decreased by 49% for every 100-pmol/mL increase in blood PLP level, corresponding to approximately 2 SDs in the majority of the studied population.”

* Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), the principal active coenzyme form of vitamin B6


  1. Wei EK, Giovannucci E, Selhub J, Fuchs CS, Hankinson SE, Ma J. Plasma vitamin B6 and the risk of colorectal cancer and adenoma in women. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 May 4;97(9):684-92.
  2. Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A.  Vitamin B6 and risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies.  JAMA. 2010 Mar 17;303(11):1077-83.

Written by 

Dr. Jarret Morrow, MD CCFP, is a licensed family physician currently practising in Edmonton, AB. He has a declared special interest in cosmetic dermatology.

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