A study conducted by Tufts University and published in the February 2010 edition of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;91(2):337-42) investigated whether low vitamin B6 levels increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The scientists measured the following markers of inflammation and oxidative stress: C-reactive protein (CRP), and an oxidative DNA damage marker, urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), in Puerto Rican adults who were living in Massachusetts (n = 1,205, aged 45 to 75 years). Plasma pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP), the active form of vitamin B6, was also measured.
Thirty years ago Kilmer McCully, M.D. discovered that cholesterol and clogged arteries were not the causes, but rather the symptoms of heart disease. McCully's pioneering 1969 theory that linked homocysteine—an amino acid that accumulates in the blood—and heart disease was not embraced by the medical community. In fact, he was banished from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital and denied a new position for more than two years because of his research.
In one of McCully's archived articles titled “Homocystein” he noted the following:
“Because the B vitamins folic acid, pyridoxine ( vitamin B6 ) and cobalamin ( vitamin B12 ) are all involved in normal metabolism to prevent excessive production of homocysteine, the homocysteine theory of arteriosclerosis implicated deficiencies of these vitamins in human arteriosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes and amputations from vascular disease.
Because the sensitive vitamins folic acid and pyridoxine are destroyed by traditional methods of food processing, such as milling of grains, canning, extraction of sugars and oils from whole foods, and addition of chemical additives to bleach or preserve foods, this theory helped to explain the large increase in vascular disease in the early and mid 20th century.
Similarly, the decline in mortality from cardiovascular disease beginning in the 1950s can be attributed to the addition of the synthetic B vitamins to the food supply by fortification of processed foods. Important support for the homocysteine theory was provided by the Framingham Heart Study, which showed that deficiencies of these B vitamins are widespread in older participants, leading to elevation of homocysteine levels and increased risk of plaques.
Many hundreds of studies by investigators worldwide have now proven that elevated homocysteine levels increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and reduce longevity in diverse populations. In 1998 the US Food and Drug Administration mandated the addition of folic acid to refined flour, rice and other grain foods, the first such action since niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and iron were mandated for addition to refined grain foods in 1941.”
In a Crusador interview conducted several years ago with Christopher Barr he stated the following about B6 and heart health:
“As for the pyridoxal group collectively referred to as B6 it is ‘more than a feeling’ to quote the old Boston song as to its ‘most important status’ among ‘all the B vitamins’. In fact, this is the single most important of all those nutrients classified as ‘vitamins’. It is the only one of the so called ‘vitamins’ for which I make significant recommendations and I refer to ‘pyridoxals’ rather than ‘Vitamin B6’ in the interest of greater accuracy.
Pyridoxals are necessary for more than 100 enzyme systems involved in protein metabolism alone as well as hormone activities, nervous and immune system functions, red blood cell metabolism and production of hemoglobin. There are none of the so called vitamins more involved in so many vital functions of the body. Couple its need in so many functions with the callous removal of it from the food supply by modern day food processing and it is easy to see why it is the single most important of all of those nutrients identified as vitamins – easy to see for those bothering to look which is sadly too, too very few.
In recent years the build-up of an amino acid metabolite called homocysteine has been recognized as an important risk factor for heart disease – finally. I first learned of this almost 30 years ago in the book, ‘Vitamin B6: The Doctor’s Report’ by Dr. John M. Ellis, M.D. published in 1973 by the mainstream giant Harper & Row publishing house.
Dr. Ellis wrote at length about the work from the 1960s of Dr. Kilmer McCully, M.D. at Harvard University regarding the substance of homocysteine. Dr. McCully noted that homocysteine contributed to heart disease and that it was created because of a deficiency of pyridoxal.
McCully continued his researches and promotion of this very basic truth through the 1970s until his job at Harvard was threatened if he didn’t stop pressing the matter. It was about another 10 years before the matter of homocysteine as a risk factor for heart disease began to receive notice again and only in recent years before receiving significant notice. Folate and B-12 are involved in helping with the homocysteine problem though theirs are significantly lesser roles.
Dr. McCully at Harvard had discovered the biochemistry of how pyridoxal deficiency contributes to heart disease in the late 1960s as he followed up on the work of others from 1951 who had determined that pyridoxal deficiency can indeed result in heart disease.
Dr. Ellis came upon the work of McCully as he expanded his own researches on pyridoxal that he had begun in 1961. His work was far more exhaustive with regard to pyridoxal and Ellis subsequently wrote the book on the subject – quite literally.”
What you should garner from this research is that high cholesterol is not the main culprit in heart disease even though cholesterol lowering drugs are some of the biggest selling pharmaceutical drugs on the market. The heart disease epidemic is just another extended problem our society suffers from consuming too many processed and refined foods that have been stripped of their vital vitamins and minerals for the sake of shelf life and the almighty dollar instead of concern for our health. Most diseases can be boiled down to two simple things – deficiencies and toxicities. The human body is assaulted with an overload of toxins from our food, air, and water, and severely deficient in necessary nutrition that the body’s cells are craving. No drug on planet earth addresses either of these two factors and in most cases add to the problem.
If you or your loved ones don’t want to become a victim of heart disease or die prematurely from a heart attack or stroke it would make excellent sense to start taking B6 in a whole food form as produced by Innate Response and sold through Crusador Enterprises. Dr. John Ellis claims to have never lost a patient to heart disease who followed through with his recommendation of taking 200 mgs. per day.
Vitamin B Complex