A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that an increased intake of foods rich in vitamin B-6 or riboflavin (B2) could substantially reduce the risk of colorectal cancer among postmenopausal women.
The study, led by Stefanie Zschäbitz from the National Centre for Tumor Diseases in Germany, Ting-Yuan David Cheng from the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Centre in Seattle and colleagues, found that consuming foods high in B-6 or riboflavin could result in a 20% decrease in the risk of this type of cancer among post-menopausal women.
Meanwhile, folate intakes during the early folic acid fortification period could lead to more women diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
The results are based on data from 88,045 postmenopausal women who took part in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, which aimed to find a link between B vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and the risk of developing colorectal cancer. During the study, as many as 1,003 incident colorectal cancer cases were identified.
The researchers established that B vitamin intake amongst women who had less than one drink a week, or 13 grams of alcohol, was inversely correlated with the risk of having colorectal cancer, whilst women who were found to have experienced the initiation of folate fortification for between three and nine years were more prone to the disease. The experts found no link between colorectal cancer risk and vitamin B12 intake.