Risk of lung cancer in men due to vitamin B supplements


A new study evaluates the effects of prolonged consumption of high doses of vitamin B6 and B12 supplements in men, confirming the increased risk of lung cancer in men. The results also reveal that the risk is three to four higher in smokers.

Prolonged consumption of high doses of vitamin B increases the risk of lung cancer in men, triple or quadruple in smokers, according to a study published in the scientific journal, Journal of Clinical Oncology.

This research was conducted by epidemiologists from cancer centers in the United States and Taiwan (Taiwan). They analyzed data from more than 77,000 patients who participated in this long-term study to assess the relationship between cancer risk and intake of vitamins and other supplements.

The now published study is the first to investigate the risks of lung cancer and the effects of prolonged consumption of high doses of vitamin B6 and B12 supplements.
These are compounds presented by the industry as products that increase energy levels and improve metabolism, and previously, vitamin B intake has also been associated with a decreased risk of cancer.

The team of epidemiologists has drawn on detailed information on vitamin B intakes reported in the last 10 years by people between the ages of 50 and 76 recruited in the US state of Washington.

Several variables, such as personal history of smokers, cancer or chronic lung disease, family history of lung cancer, age, race, education, body size, consumption of alcoholic beverages and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

“Our data show that taking high doses of B6 and B12 over a long period of time may contribute to the incidence of lung cancer in smokers”, said one of the epidemiologists, Theodore Brasky, quoted in a statement by the study center of cancer at the University of Ohio in the United States.

The authors of the article then concluded that the risk of lung cancer is two to four times higher in men who ingest large amounts of vitamin B supplements.

The risk is threefold for smokers who have taken more than 20 milligrams of B6 per day for ten years and quadruple those who consumed 55 micrograms of B12.