Life Extension Update
Friday, September 21, 2012. An article published online on August 9, 2012 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reports the finding of researchers at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center of an association between higher levels of the active form of vitamin B6 known as pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) and a lower risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
The study included 1,412 women enrolled in the Multiethnic Cohort in Hawaii and Southern California prospective study. Seven hundred six invasive breast cancer patients were matched for age, ethnicity, menopausal hormone use and other characteristics with an equal number of women without the disease.
Lower plasma PLP levels were observed among obese and overweight women, and smokers. Women whose plasma PLP levels were among the top 25 percent of participants were found to have a 30 percent lower risk of invasive breast cancer in comparison with those whose levels were among the lowest fourth. When the risk was evaluated according to breast cancer type, a significant association was observed between higher PLP levels and estrogen receptor-positive, progesterone receptor-positive, and estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-positive tumors.
Studies with cell cultures have revealed that high doses of vitamin B6 decreased the growth of tumor cells (including mammary tumor cells), which has been attributed to the modulation of steroid hormone receptor-mediated gene expression. The vitamin also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could reduce cancer risk. "This nested case-control study provides new evidence that circulating levels of vitamin B6 may be inversely related to the risk of invasive postmenopausal breast cancer," the authors conclude. "Although the exact mechanism by which vitamin B6 may reduce the risk of breast cancer is presently unknown, laboratory data are overwhelming that this compound is critical to multiple pathways that might inhibit breast carcinogenesis. In conclusion, these results, in combination with information from two other prospective studies, suggest a role for vitamin B6 in the prevention of postmenopausal breast cancer."
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