The objective of the present review is to highlight the relationship between low vitamin B6 status and CVD through its link with inflammation. While overt vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon in clinical practice, increasing evidence suggests that marginal vitamin B6 deficiency is rather frequent in a consistent proportion of the population and is related to an increased risk of inflammation-related diseases. Ample evidence substantiates the theory of atherosclerosis as an inflammatory disease, and low plasma vitamin B6 concentrations have been related to increased CVD risk. Several studies have also shown that low vitamin B6 status is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, both of which hold an underlying chronic inflammatory condition. Furthermore, the inverse association observed between inflammation markers and vitamin B6 supports the notion that inflammation may represent the common link between low vitamin B6 status and CVD risk. In addition to the epidemiological evidence, there are a number of cell culture and animal studies that have suggested several possible mechanisms relating impaired vitamin B6 status with chronic inflammation. A mild vitamin B6 deficiency characterises, in most cases, a subclinical at-risk condition in inflammatory-linked diseases which should be addressed by an appropriate individually tailored nutritional preventive or therapeutic strategy.
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