B Vitamin Supplementation Not Associated With Decreased Cancer Risk

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Men who consumed over 20 mg/d of vitamin B6 over 10 years had an 82% increased risk of lung cancer.
Men who consumed over 20 mg/d of vitamin B6 over 10 years had an 82% increased risk of lung cancer.

HealthDay News — Men, and especially male smokers, appear to be more likely to develop lung cancer if they take high doses of vitamins B6 and B12, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The research included 77,118 adults, aged 50 to 76, in Washington state. The participants were recruited from 2000 to 2002, and answered questions about their vitamin use over the previous 10 years. The researchers found 808 of the study volunteers developed lung cancer over an average follow-up of 6 years.

"We found that men who took more than 20 mg per day of B6 averaged over 10 years had an 82% increased risk of lung cancer relative to men who did not take supplemental B vitamins from any source," lead author Theodore Brasky, PhD, a research assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, told HealthDay. "Men who took more than 55 micrograms per day of B12 had a 98% increased lung cancer risk relative to men who did not take B vitamins." Men who smoked at the beginning of the study period and consumed high levels of the B vitamins were three to four times more likely to develop lung cancer, he added.

"This sex- and source-specific association provides further evidence that vitamin B supplements not chemopreventive for lung cancer and may be harmful," the authors write.



Reference

Brasky TM, White E, Chen CL. Long-term, supplemental, one-carbon metabolism-related vitamin B use in relation to lung cancer risk in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort [published online August 22, 2017]. J Clin Oncol. 
doi:10.1200/JCO.2017.72.7735

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