Vitamin B linked to increased lung cancer risk

Vitamin B linked to increased lung cancer risk

"We urge consumers to resist the temptation to allow sensational headlines from this new study to alter their use of B vitamins, especially without further understanding of the nature of this study and a conversation with their health care practitioners", Duffy MacKay, senior vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs, said in a statement.

For men who were smokers, the risk was even higher, quadrupling over next in case of excessive intake of vitamin B12 and increasing three times when excessive doses of B6 was consumed. What was less surprising was that increased risks of lung cancer were found in current cigarette smokers.

In a study that followed more than 77,000 people for more than a decade, researchers noted a troubling trend when it comes to one of the most popular vitamin supplements on the market.

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The risk of lung cancer nearly doubled for men who took the highest doses of 10-year average daily dose of vitamin B6 ( 20 mg/day; hazard ratio [HR], 1.82; 95% CI, 1.25-2.65) and vitamin B12 ( 55 μg/day; HR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.32-2.97), compared to non-users. Male smokers taking B12 at such doses were approximately four times more likely to develop the disease compared to non-users.

Editors note: This article has been corrected to reflect that lung cancer risk almost tripled and quadrupled in men who were current smokers and taking B6 and B12 at the highest levels compared to male smokers who did not take B6 or B12 supplements.

A new study has shown that taking high-dose vitamin B supplements over a long period is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer among men.

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Although the conclusions are concerning, Dr. Brasky is quick to explain, "These are doses that can only be obtained from taking high-dose B vitamin supplements, and these supplements are many times the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance". 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. But high-dose supplements nowadays claim to boost energy, among other unproven benefits.

All participants were aged between 50 and 76 were recruited in the state of Washington between the years 2000 and 2002.

"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. These supplements have been broadly thought to reduce cancer risk. "This is certainly a concern worthy of further evaluation".

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More Americans are taking vitamin supplements to help protect against diseases like lung cancer. 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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