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Lack of B6


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I just read that smokers (& former smokers) are lacking in Vitamin B6. This results in DNA damage and is what leads to lung, colon, and prostate cancers. There was a study conducted and current smokers who took a vitamin B6 supplement had significantly less DNA damage than those who did not.

It is an anti-oxydent and those are supposed to help right? Thought ya'll would want to know! (P.S. No anti-oxydents with chemo...be mindful of what your doctors have told you! and ask your doctor about this new B6 info!)

I don't smoke anymore and am not on chemo, so I am going to start taking these.

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I asked my oncologist about B-6 because I have nueropathy in fingers and feet. It is supposed to help with that. I didn't know B-6 was an anti-oxident. I thought it was for nerve damage. I could be wrong, someone correct me if I am wrong. Anyway, my onc. said it was OK to take

B-6, B-12 and Folic Acid. Has anyone heard anything different?

Thank You

God Bless and praying for a "Cure" for all of us...


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Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) plays a role as cofactor in most enzymes that support amino acid metabolism. It controls the absorption, metabolism and conversion of amino acids into neurotransmitters, antibodies, digestive enzymes, muscles and tissues in the body.

Vitamin B-6 is a coenzyme for several enzyme systems. It is vital in the metabolism of amino acids in the intestines. It allows the amino acids to be synthesized, broken down and absorbed. The forming of histamine, serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline are dependent on Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine).

The liver requires a lot of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) to function.

The total dopamine content in the brain is formed by Vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) breaks down in the body to pyridoxic acid, which is excreted in the urine. This acid tends to remove calcium oxalate gravel in the urinary tract.

WARNING: Never use more than 100 milligrams of Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) daily for long periods of time because it can cause nerve damage, headaches and loss of balance.

What Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) does in the body:

Needed to create the brain chemicals, epinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.

Vital in fat metabolism.

Changes linoleic and linolenic acid into archidonic acid.

Helps the body use nutrients from fats and proteins.

Strengthens the adrenal gland.

Works in the blood to carry oxygen to the cells and tissues.

Helps the nerves transmit properly.

Aids in the breakdown of glycogen

Helps decrease anxiety by increasing the body’s ratio of pyruvate to lactate.

Maintains sodium and potassium balance.

Builds the amino acids that create brain chemicals: adrenaline, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), histamine, norepinephrine, phenylethylamine and serotonin (all of which influence moods and emotions).

Increases the function of the energy cycle

Necessary in the production of hydrochloric acid.

Works as a mild diuretic

Involved in histamine production

Necessary for nervous system function.

Amino acid and fatty metabolism.

Essential for protein metabolism

Helps control blood sugar.

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Terence L. Day -- 509/335-2806 (Work)

terence@wsu.edu -- 509/334-1619 (Home)

More Vitamin B-6 May Protect Against Cancer

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Research at Washington State University suggests that eating more Vitamin B-6 will protect Americans from a variety of cancers. Increasing Vitamin B-6 consumption may be especially important for smokers.

Terry Shultz, a human nutrition scientist, recently reported his four- month dietary study to the recent Experimental Biology 2003 meeting in San Diego. Shultz said the Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin B- 6 may be too low to adequately protect people, especially smokers, from cancer.

In several large population studies, people with a higher intake of Vitamin B-6 were found to have a lower risk of colon, prostate, lung, gastric and pancreatic cancers.

Shultz says Vitamin B-6 converts the vitamin folate to a form that the body can use to produce thymine, a component of DNA. "If the body doesn't have enough Vitamin B-6, it doesn't make enough thymine and it tries to make do by substituting uracil. Uracil is not a normal component of DNA, and its presence stresses normal DNA repair mechanisms in the cell. This inefficiency in the normal repair mechanisms leads to breaks in DNA strands and instability of chromosomes -- a possible first step in the development of cancerous cells."

The American diet may not include adequate Vitamin B-6, and the WSU study suggests smokers would benefit from even higher levels of the vitamin than the rest of the population.

"The good news from the WSU study, Shultz says, "is that adding Vitamin B-6 to the diet rapidly improved both smokers' and non-smokers' Vitamin B-6 status and, equally rapidly, decreased the number of DNA strand breaks in both groups."

Shultz says baseline data taken from six healthy, moderate smokers on the first day of his study, showed that four subjects had unacceptably low blood levels of Vitamin B-6. Moderate smokers was defined as less than a pack a day.

Only one of the otherwise comparable non-smokers had unacceptable Vitamin B-6 status.

In the first 28 days, six smokers and six non-smokers were given a carefully controlled depletion diet containing only marginal amounts of Vitamin B-6.

The diet was composed of commonly consumed foods and was adequate in all nutrients except Vitamin B-6.

At the end of this depletion period, the researchers found that all subjects had lower Vitamin B-6 levels and higher numbers of DNA strand breaks. Smokers who began the study with low Vitamin B-6 levels had fallen even lower; but the two groups appeared similar in the number of DNA strand breaks.

Shultz postulates this may be because the researchers measured the total lymphocyte profile rather than looking at subsets, which may have been affected differently.

During the study's second month, subjects ate a diet that included 1.4 mg of Vitamin B-6, which approximates the RDA.

Subjects continued to eat only what the researchers gave them during the third month, but Vitamin B-6 intake was raised to 2.2 mg per day.

During the fourth and final month, subjects were allowed to eat whatever they wanted, but their diet was supplemented with 10.3 mg of Vitamin B-6 per day, more than seven times the RDA.

As the amount of Vitamin B-6 in the diet increased, body levels of Vitamin B-6 went up and DNA strand breaks went down, beginning as early as the first month of Vitamin B-6 supplementation.

After three months of consuming increasingly high levels of dietary and supplemental Vitamin B-6, the smokers eventually reached acceptable status levels. But they never caught up with their non-smoking counterparts.

"Considering Vitamin B-6's role in DNA synthesis and repair, these results suggest that the current RDA for this critical vitamin is too low for even moderate smokers and even could be too low for the population as a whole," Schultz said.

Foods high in Vitamin B-6 include fortified cereals, beef, chicken, fish, legumes, soy products and bananas.

- 30 -

SOURCE CONTACT: Terry Shultz, 509/335-4424

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