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Vitamin B6 Has Strong Activity Against Cancer Including Pancreatic Cancer

May 14, 2003

Vitamin B6 stops pancreatic cancer growth

A study published in the May 2003 issue of the journal Nutrition Research provided evidence that vitamin B6 significantly inhibited the growth of pancreatic cancer in a human cell line. Researches from Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston tested a human pancreatic carcinoma cell line with six different concentrations of pyridoxine, the most well known form of vitamin B6, and six varying concentrations of pyridoxal, another form of the vitamin. Control groups of cells did not receive the vitamin. Each experiment was carried out three times.

At concentrations of 2.5 micromoles and greater, pyridoxine inhibited pancreatic cell growth in a dose dependent manner. Lower concentrations of pyridoxine did not product this effect. From the second day of treatment, pyridoxal inhibited cancer growth at concentrations of 0.5 micromoles and greater but not at 0.1 micromoles.

The authors note that similar findings have been obtained with melanoma and liver cancer cells. They also noted that vitamin B6 added to the diet of mice suppressed tumors, and that the vitamin may inhibit colon cancer in some models of the disease. Additionally, supplementation with a multivitamin that included 100 milligrams pyridoxine per day reduced the risk of bladder cancer in one double-blind clinical trial.

The relatively high amounts of vitamin B6 needed in this study to inhibit cancer cell growth may raise some questions concerning safety, however, the authors cite a study in which 400 milligrams vitamin B6 per day was given to physically active men for twelve weeks during which no side effects were reported. Further studies are needed to determine the effect of megadose vitamin B6 treatment for cancer of the pancreas in human subjects.

—D Dye

conceptualclarity conceptualclarity 51-55, M Dec 7, 2011

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