Study: B6 Found to Protect the Body’s Blueprint – Your DNA

General Health

peanutsVitamin B6 is one of the most well-researched vitamins in existence. It works to support a healthy nervous system, provides energy, and promotes the digestion of sugars and starches. But researchers in Japan have recently discovered it could even protect the very blueprint of your existence, your DNA.

“The present finding adds to evidence to support a protective role of vitamin B6 against oxidative DNA damage,” said the researchers. Oxidative stress has been associated with an array of health issues including, most prominently, cancer.

The researchers looked at 500 men and women, analyzing their B6 levels and their levels of oxidative stress. In the men, they found B6 was associated with lower levels of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker for oxidative stress. The same relationship, unfortunately, was not found in women.

“We are not aware of any study that showed sex difference in the association between vitamin B6 and oxidative stress marker,” they said. “Interestingly, a protective association of vitamin B6 intake with colorectal cancer was observed only in men but not in women in a Japanese cohort, a finding that appears to be consistent with that of our study.”

The study looked at 293 men and 207 women between the ages of 21 and 66. The association between B6 and less oxidative stress was not found in men who were smokers or moderate to heavy drinkers, however.

Both smoking and drinking heavily are associated with a host of health problems, including in the case of smoking, oxidative stress and increased risk of cancer.

“Further study is needed to determine whether or not smoking status or alcohol use status can modulate the relationships between vitamin B6 and oxidative DNA damage or carcinogenesis,” wrote the researchers.

Vitamin B6 is found naturally in a wide variety of foods including animal products like chicken, turkey, tuna, and venison. But it’s also found in potatoes, spinach, sunflower seeds, and bell peppers. While supplements exist, it’s always best to let whole, natural foods be your primary source for nutrition.

Considering a recent push by the FDA to seemingly ban all B6 supplements, it’s even more important to look for food sources rich in B6 and folate. Remember, buy local and organic whenever possible to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

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