Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, PA found that B vitamins cut pancreatic cancer. The investigators took data from the Chinese Health database. 63,257 men and women were enrolled between the years of 1993 and 1998. Dietary questionnaires were available that the investigators could utilize.
Why B vitamins cut pancreatic cancer
They were interested in the vitamins that are part of the one-carbon metabolism. This is also known as methylation pathways. The vitamins involved are betaine, choline, folate, vitamins B2, B6, and B12. During the 16.3 years of follow-up 271 pancreatic cancers were diagnosed. Only vitamin B6 and choline were found to be protective against pancreatic cancer. The highest quartile (25%) of vitamin B2 intake and choline intake was compared to the lowest comparable quartile. Doing this significant reductions of pancreatic cancer were noted. Vitamin B6 lowered pancreatic cancer by 48% and choline by 33% after 16.3 years of follow-up. The other vitamins, betaine, folate, vitamins B2 and B12 did not have any effect on pancreatic cancer rates. The authors concluded that vitamin B6 was a key player. It is known to be a co-factor involved in the DNA synthesis and in the methylation pathways. Vitamin B6 is also protecting DNA from oxidative damage. Choline is a methyl donor and protects against pancreatic carcinogenesis. This very likely would have explained the pancreatic cancer preventative effect.
Other research showing B vitamins cut pancreatic cancer
Other researchers have found also found that vitamins like choline and vitamin B6 are important. They can function as modulatory factors in gene-diet interactions. They are considered to be epigenetic factors. Choline, vitamin B6 and other nutrients are involved in the one-carbon metabolism. This involves DNA methylation by regulating levels of the universal methyl donor. Other food components are also modulating epigenetic patterns. Among these are retinoic acid, resveratrol, curcumin and tea polyphenols. Aberrations in epigenetic patterns have been identified. They are responsible for many age-related diseases including cancer.
Vitamin B6 and choline have been identified as important supplements. They can help reduce pancreatic cancer by 48% (vitamin B6) and 33% (choline). This is an important finding. Add to this the effect of the supplements resveratrol, curcumin and polyphenols. Together they can significantly stabilize the DNA in body cells and help prevent aging, age-related diseases and cancer.