In a study described online on May 23, 2012 in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers at Tufts University in Boston report a relationship between low levels of plasma pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP), which indicate reduced levels of vitamin B6, with an increase in markers of inflammation.
"Low vitamin B6 status, based on plasma concentrations of pyridoxal-5-phosphate, has been identified in inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes," write Lydia Sakakeeny of Tufts Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center and her colleagues. "Our objective was to examine the association between plasma PLP and multiple markers of inflammation in a community based cohort."
The current study included 2229 men and women enrolled in the Framingham Offspring study, who were recruited in 1971 and have undergone periodic examinations thereafter. Blood drawn between 1998 and 2001 was analyzed for plasma PLP and 13 markers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and other factors.
The researchers created inflammation scores based on the values of each inflammatory marker. An inverse relationship was observed between high inflammation scores and low levels of PLP. The authors note that decreased plasma PLP levels may reflect mobilization of PLP into inflammatory sites and that a causative relationship between reduced vitamin B6 levels and inflammation cannot be determined. However, they conclude that "This study in combination with past findings further supports our hypothesis that inflammation is associated with a functional deficiency of vitamin B6."
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