I have been reading a lot of studies about how taking sufficient vitamin B6 helps men with earlier-stage of prostate cancer. Studies from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that prostate cancer patients have better survival rate if they take a little more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin B6.
I know you are asking: well, what makes vitamin B6 different from the other B vitamins?
The Vitamin B Family
The B vitamin family are eight water-soluble vitamins, each vital to the body’s cell metabolism. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. Each of these has their own distinct functions that are important for different metabolic processes in the body.
These eight B vitamins work together to assist in turning food intake into the production of cellular energy and DNA repairs. Cellular energy is needed to interact with other body processes, especially in the body’s metabolism. For instance, Vitamins B1, B6 and B12 help in breaking down amino acids and glucose. Biotin or Vitamin B7 assists in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Vitamin B3 helps in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy. While Vitamin B9 or folic acid is crucial for the proper development of the nervous system.
Unprocessed foods have a better concentration of vitamin Bs. These B vitamins are generally found in eggs, meat, nuts, poultry, fish, legumes, some fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin B6 – What’s In It?
Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine and Pyridoxic Acid are the common names of Vitamin B6. It is responsible for over 100 cellular reactions in the body and is vital in maintaining bodily functions fully operational. It is crucial in red blood cell production and for the nervous system to normally function.
Vitamin B6 is probably one of the most important vitamins in the B vitamin family. It helps the body to make antibodies that fight against various diseases. It metabolizes glucose and keeps the blood sugar in a normal range. Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 works with biotin to help in protein metabolism. Vitamin B6 also makes the hemoglobin that brings oxygen to the red blood cells to prevent anemia.
It is therefore important that you take enough vitamin B6 to keep you healthy and functional. Adequate intakes of Vitamin B6 vary with gender and age. Generally, however, it ranges between 1.3mg/day – 1.5mg/day for anyone over 14.
How Vitamin B6 Affects Men’s Prostate Health
Clinical research and studies have shown that vitamin B6 can affect one’s health.
All forms of cancers begin with cell damage due to free radicals. And needless to say, a high consumption of antioxidants is necessary to suppress these radicals. It prevents them from making further damage. While Vitamin B6 has lesser antioxidant properties, it is still considered a “universal catalyst” that enhances how all other nutrients in the bodywork. Hence, it can assist in the process of cell damage repairs. It also inhibits free radicals from causing more damage.
Vitamin B6 minimizes prolactin levels. Prolactin levels slow down the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is an active form of testosterone that promotes sex drive but at the same time, it contributes to prostate enlargement. This means that high levels of prolactin will decrease one’s libido. Also, if not properly controlled, it could result in prostate problems.
A recent study has revealed that there is a connection between vitamin B6 intake and prostate cancer. Results proved that men in the early stages of prostate cancer taking vitamin B6 supplements had a much longer survival rate than those who didn’t.
Harvard School of Public Health & Sweden’s Karolinska Institute
In a study of the dietary habits of 525 men with prostate cancer, taken over the course of 20 years, the men with the highest intake – between 2.2 – 2.9 mg/day of Vitamin B6 – had the best survival results. It is important to note that men who had the highest survival rate were in the early stages of prostate cancer.
Despite positive results, more research and studies are still needed before it can be thoroughly correlated to the inhibition of prostate cancer development. But since cancer generally arises from uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, and B vitamins work together in cell energy production, as well as cell repairs, scientists are optimistic that B vitamins can have a positive effect on prostate health.
In conclusion, we need to keep in mind that Vitamin B6 works best when combined with other B vitamins. B vitamins are more effective when taken together as B-complex. They are all necessary for the proper function of the nervous and immune systems, cellular energy production, DNA synthesis and repairs, cell metabolisms in the body, and red blood cell formation. Poultry, fish, red meat, bananas, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and green leafy vegetables are all rich sources of B vitamins. There are also supplements you can take to take clinically high dosages. Together with a well-balanced, proper diet, you can never go wrong with a vitamin B-complex.
Wishing you good health,
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