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For the treatment of cervical or any other form of cancer, it is important to keep a well-rounded diet, perhaps take herbal supplements, and certainly determine if any of the medications you are taking are creating deficiencies of key nutrients in your body.
Vitamin B 6 plays a major role in making proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry signals between nerve cells). Particular vitamin deficiencies most closely associated with cervical dysplasia include vitamin B6 as well as beta-carotene, vitamin C, selenium, and folate.5,6
However, there is little evidence that taking vitamin B 6 above nutritional needs offers benefits in the treatment of any particular illnesses, except, possibly, nausea of pregnancy (morning sickness).
Research Evidence on Vitamin B6
Specific research has not yet been done on Vitamin B6 and it's ability to help in the treatment of cervical cancer specifically, but keeping adequate levels of B6 is part of consuming a healthy diet that can keep your body in good shape for fighting cancer.
The safe upper levels for daily intake of vitamin B 6 1 are as follows:
- 1-3 years: 30 mg
- 4-8 years: 40 mg
- Males and Females
- 9-13 years: 60 mg
- 14-18 years: 80 mg
- 19 years and older: 100 mg
- Pregnant or Nursing Women
- 18 years old and younger: 80 mg
- 19 years and older: 100 mg
At higher dosages (especially above 2 g daily) there is a very real risk of nerve damage. Nerve-related symptoms have even been reported at doses as low as 200 mg.2 (This is a bit ironic, given that B6 deficiency also causes nerve problems.) In some cases, very high doses of vitamin B6 can cause or worsen acne symptoms.4
In addition, doses of vitamin B6 over 5 mg may interfere with the effects of the drug levodopa when it is taken alone.6, 7 However, vitamin B6 does not impair the effectiveness of drugs containing levodopa and carbidopa.
Maximum safe dosages for individuals with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
- Isoniazid (INH) , penicillamine , hydralazine , theophylline , or MAO inhibitors : You may need extra vitamin B 6 , but take only nutritional doses. Higher doses of B 6 might interfere with the action of the drug.
- Levodopa without carbidopa (for Parkinson's disease): Do not take more than 5 mg of vitamin B 6 daily, except on medical advice.
- Antipsychotic medications: B 6 might reduce side effects.
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline (1998). Available at www.nap.edu. Accessed October 4, 2001.
- Romney SL, Palan PR, Basu J, et al. Nutrient antioxidants in the pathogenesis and prevention of cervical dysplasias and cancer. J Cell Biochem Suppl. 1995;23:96-103.
- Butterworth CE Jr. Effect of folate on cervical cancer. Synergism among risk factors. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1992;669:293-299.
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