The Emerging Role of Vitamin B6 in Inflammation and Carcinogenesis

Adv Food Nutr Res. 2018:83:151-194. doi: 10.1016/bs.afnr.2017.11.004. Epub 2018 Feb 1.


Vitamin B6 serves as a coenzyme catalyzing more than 150 enzymes regulating metabolism and synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, heme, and important bioactive metabolites. For several years vitamin B6 and its vitamers (B6) were recognized as antioxidant and antiinflammatory and in modulating immunity and gene expression. During the last 10 years, there were growing reports implicating B6 in inflammation and inflammation-related chronic illnesses including cancer. It is unclear if the deficiency of B6 or additional intake of B6, above the current requirement, should be the focus. Whether the current recommended daily intake for B6 is adequate should be revisited, since B6 is important to human health beyond its role as a coenzyme and its status is affected by many factors including but not limited to age, obesity, and inflammation associated with chronic illnesses. A link between inflammation B6 status and carcinogenesis is not yet completely understood. B6-mediated synthesis of H2S, a gasotransmitter, and taurine in health and disease, especially in maintaining mitochondrial integrity and biogenesis and inflammation, remains an important area to be explored. Recent developments in the molecular role of B6 and its direct interaction with inflammasomes, and nuclear receptor corepressor and coactivator, receptor-interacting protein 140, provide a strong impetus to further explore the multifaceted role of B6 in carcinogenesis and human health.

Keywords: Carcinogenesis; Inflammation; Vitamin B6.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Vitamin B 6 / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin B 6 / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / pharmacology


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin B 6