Vitamin B Increases Risk Of Lung Cancer, Especially Among Men

Vitamin bottle

If they also smoked, their risk of cancer was up to four times higher.

In all, data from 77,118 people were reviewed.

Patients were aged 50 to 76 and recruited in Washington State from 200 to 2002. Upon enrolling in the study, participants reported information to researchers about B-vitamin usage over the past 10 years.

If you look at B-vitamin supplement bottles...they are anywhere between 50-fold the United States recommended dietary allowance (to) upward of 2,100-fold. 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.

The team sought to account for as many factors as possible that could skew the results, including smoking history, age, race, education, body size, alcohol consumption, personal history of cancer or chronic lung disease, family history of lung cancer and use of anti-inflammatory drugs.




"But if you look at these supplement bottles, they're being sold in pill form at up to 5, 000 micrograms per dose, which is much, much higher than the daily recommended amount", said Brasky.

However, the differences in lung cancer risk between the highest and lowest categories of supplementation use appeared considerably greater among current smokers than recent smokers - defined as those who quit less than 10 years prior - or former smokers, defined as those who quit 10 or more years prior. "U$3 se of vitamin B6 and B12 from individual supplement sources, but not from multivitamins, was associated with a 30% to 40% increase in lung cancer risk among men", wrote the researchers. He responded, "I don't think we were surprised by the direction of the association both because of the context of prior literature as well as the general idea that there are often U-shaped associations between nutrition and disease". "This is certainly a concern worthy of further evaluation". And even among men, there was one specific group who really drove the trend: Smokers.

Researchers at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute said it is easy to get plenty of B vitamins from diet - foods like cereals are fortified with them, and some energy drinks have 8,000 percent of the recommended daily allowance of B12. Vitamins B-6 and B-12 may just "hasten or increase the likelihood of lung carcinogenesis among male smokers". This pathway is important for maintaining DNA integrity and regulating gene expression.

Until more research is completed, there is no conclusive link between high doses of vitamin B and lung cancer.

The results are likely to spark further studies looking at similar interactions. He pointed out, "When we're talking about what to be concerned about most: If you're a male smoker and you want to take B vitamins, you can stop smoking".

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