Background: Low dietary intake and low serum concentrations of vitamin B6 and/or folate are associated with increased risk of vascular events, possibly because of their association with inflammation, which plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases.
Methods: Using data from 1320 participants in the population-based InCHIANTI study (586 men and 734 women; median age, 69 years; range, 21-102 years) for whom complete data on folate, vitamin B6, inflammatory markers, 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T sequence variant, and important covariates were available, we evaluated the association of inflammatory markers with circulating concentrations of vitamin B6 and folate, independently of dietary vitamin intake, circulating vitamin concentrations, and MTHFR C677T sequence variant.
Results: According to multiple linear regression analysis, C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 receptor were strongly and negatively associated with circulating vitamin B6 but not with folate concentrations, independent of age, sex, serum creatinine, serum albumin, total energy intake, smoking history, dietary nutrient intake, and circulating homocysteine and vitamin concentrations. Serum folate concentrations were related to MTHFR 677 TT genotype in persons with folate intake in the lowest tertile (< 221.2 microg/day). Vitamin C and retinol intakes were strongly and positively associated with serum folate concentrations independent of age, sex, serum creatinine, serum albumin, total energy intake, smoking history, homocysteine plasma concentrations, dietary nutrient intakes, serum vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 concentrations, and MTHFR C677T sequence variant.
Conclusions: Low serum vitamin B6, but not serum folate, concentrations are independent correlates of the proinflammatory state, and both are influenced by antioxidant reserves.