Vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and methionine and risk of pancreatic cancer: a meta-analysis

Nutr J. 2020 Oct 4;19(1):111. doi: 10.1186/s12937-020-00628-7.


Background: Nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism may play a key role in pancreatic carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to examine the association between pancreatic cancer risk and intake or blood levels of vitamins B6, B12 and methionine via meta-analysis.

Methods: A systematic search was performed in PubMed, Web of Knowledge and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) up to April 2020 to identify relevant studies. Risk estimates and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were retrieved from the studies and combined by a random-effect model.

Results: A total of 18 studies were included in this meta-analysis on the association of vitamin B6, B12 and methionine with pancreatic cancer risk. The combined risk estimate (95% CI) of pancreatic cancer for the highest vs lowest category of vitamin B6 intake and blood pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP, active form of vitamin B6) levels was 0.63 (0.48-0.79) and 0.65 (0.52-0.79), respectively. The results indicated a non-linear dose-response relationship between vitamin B6 intake and pancreatic risk. Linear dose-response relationship was found, and the risk of pancreatic cancer decreased by 9% for every 10 nmol/L increment in blood PLP levels. No significant association were found between pancreatic cancer risk and vitamin B12 intake, blood vitamin B12 levels, methionine intake and blood methionine levels.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that high intake of vitamin B6 and high concentration of blood PLP levels may be protective against the development of pancreatic cancer. Further research are warranted to confirm the results.

Keywords: Meta-analysis; Methionine; Pancreatic cancer; Vitamin B12; Vitamin B6.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Folic Acid
  • Humans
  • Methionine
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Vitamin B 6*


  • Vitamin B 6
  • Folic Acid
  • Methionine
  • Vitamin B 12