Clear Link Between Heavy Vitamin B Intake And Lung Cancer

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What was less surprising was that increased risks of lung cancer were found in current cigarette smokers. Men who took much more vitamin B than the recommended daily dose over a 10-year period had a higher occurrence of lung cancer than others that consumed a normal or lesser dose. And that's likely just because multivitamins generally don't contain high enough dosages of B6 and B12 to pose a risk. One study will examine associations in post-menopausal women in order to confirm the current finding of no elevated risk in women.

Researchers from Ohio State University and the National Taiwan University studied more than 77,000 people aged between 50 and 76 in the USA and found that men who took high dosages of vitamins B6 and B12 faced 30 percent to 40 percent increased risk of lung cancer.

What the research seems to suggest is that male smokers who take more than the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and B12 seem to have a higher risk for lung cancer, perhaps even considerably so. The results of this study indicate that men taking vitamin B supplements are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer.

For consumers, the key takeaway from this study is that smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer than non-smokers. Additional results found that male smokers using vitamin B supplements are much more likely to develop cancer in the lungs. "This is certainly a concern worthy of further evaluation". However, some people are at risk of B vitamin deficiency - such as those with Crohn's disease.

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Current smokers who reported 10-year use of vitamin B12 at doses greater than 55 µg per day appeared almost four times as likely to develop lung cancer as nonusers (HR = 3.71; 95% CI, 1.77-7.74). The participants were from the Vitamins And Lifestyle cohort, which was set up to evaluate vitamin and mineral supplements and their relationship with cancer over the longer-term.

Prior studies created to assess the association between lung cancer risk and B vitamin intake have yielded inconsistent results.

First, the topline numbers: The study was an observational one rather than a randomized control trial, the latter of which is considered to be the "gold standard" of clinical studies.

Researchers surveyed over 77,000 people ages 50 to 76 in Washington state.

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There were too few cases of lung cancer among nonsmokers to include them in the full analysis.

"I think it's hard to say" why these studies contradict each other, said Elizabeth Kantor, an epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who has studied dietary supplements and cancer risk.

B vitamins - B-6, B-9 (folate), and B-12 - are commonly thought to reduce cancer risk, among other benefits.

"If you look at B-vitamin supplement bottles. they are anywhere between 50-fold the U.S. recommended dietary allowance (to) upward of 2,100-fold", Brasky said. Combustible tobacco smoke is the main cause of lung cancer and indeed many cancers and chronic diseases. The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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