How’s this for a scary statistic: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, despite being one of the most preventable cancers. But, fair members, there’s very good news to share as well, because along with regular screenings and exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight, new research points to dietary vitamin B6 as another way to keep colon cancer at bay.
One big B6 study
Researchers used a process called meta-analysis to combine and analyze data from 13 previous studies on vitamin B6 and colorectal cancer risk. The advantage of this approach is that it allows for large numbers of people to be studied together. Larger numbers of study subjects increases the likelihood that relationships between causes and effects will be discovered, if they exist. The study revealed that:
- People with the highest blood levels of vitamin B6 had 48% lower risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer compared with those with the lowest blood levels.
- People eating the most vitamin B6 had 20% lower risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer compared with those getting the least amount.
Beefing up your B6 intake
Researchers note that though the study didn’t conclusively prove that more vitamin B6 leads to lower colorectal cancer risk, the study does point to potential benefits of getting plenty of B6. With that in mind, this kat will be trying to get my humans to include the following vitamin B6-rich foods in their diet on a regular basis (and naturally you may want to consider doing the same):
- Beans and peas, especially chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Fish, especially tuna, halibut, and haddock
- Fortified grain products
- Whole grain cereals and breads
- Lean meats, such as turkey, chicken and lean cuts of beef or pork
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes with the skin
- Nuts and seeds, especially chestnuts
- Plums, prunes, and prune juice
- Prepared tomato sauce
- Bananas and other fruit
- Carrot juice and carrots
- Brown and white rice