Plasma vitamins B2, B6, and B12, and related genetic variants as predictors of colorectal cancer risk

Simone J P M Eussen, Stein Emil Vollset, Steinar Hustad, Øivind Midttun, Klaus Meyer, Åse Fredriksen, Per Magne Ueland, Mazda Jenab, Nadia Slimani, Paolo Boffetta, Kim Overvad, Ole Thorlacius-Ussing, Anne Tjønneland, Anja Olsen, Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault, Sophie Morois, Cornelia Weikert, Tobias Pischon, Jakob LinseisenRudolf Kaaks, Antonia Trichopoulou, Demosthenes Zilis, Michael Katsoulis, Domenico Palli, Valeria Pala, Paolo Vineis, Rosario Tumino, Salvatore Panico, Petra H M Peeters, H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Fränzel J B Van Duijnhoven, Guri Skeie, Xavier Muñoz, Carmen Martínez, Miren Dorronsoro, Eva Ardanaz, Carmen Navarro, Laudina Rodríguez, Bethany VanGuelpen, Richard Palmqvist, Jonas Manjer, Ulrika Ericson, Sheila Bingham, Kay Tee Khaw, Teresa Norat, Elio Riboli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: B-vitamins are essential for one-carbon metabolism and have been linked to colorectal cancer. Although associations with folate have frequently been studied, studies on other plasma vitamins B2, B6, and B12 and colorectal cancer are scarce or inconclusive. Methods: We carried out a nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, including 1,365 incident colorectal cancer cases and 2,319 controls matched for study center, age, and sex.We measured the sum of B2 species riboflavin and flavin mononucleotide, and the sum of B6 species pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, pyridoxal, and 4-pyridoxic acid as indicators for vitamin B2 and B6 status, as well as vitamin B12 in plasma samples collected at baseline. In addition, we determined eight polymorphisms related to one-carbon metabolism. Relative risks for colorectal cancer were estimated using conditional logistic regression, adjusted for smoking, education, physical activity, body mass index, alcohol consumption, and intakes of fiber and red and processed meat. Results: The relative risks comparing highest to lowest quintile were 0.71 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.56-0.91; Ptrend = 0.02] for vitamin B2, 0.68 (95% CI, 0.53-0.87; Ptrend (0.001) for vitamin B6, and 1.02 (95% CI, 0.80-1.29; Ptrend = 0.19) for vitamin B12. The associations for vitamin B6 were stronger in males who consumed ≥30 g alcohol/day. The polymorphisms were not associated with colorectal cancer. Conclusions: Higher plasma concentrations of vitamins B2 and B6 are associated with a lower colorectal cancer risk. Impact: This European population-based study is the first to indicate that vitamin B2 is inversely associated with colorectal cancer, and is in agreement with previously suggested inverse associations of vitamin B6 with colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2549-2561
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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