A new study ties high doses of vitamin B to incidences of lung cancer in patients, a major finding that could change how we approach the disease.
A groundbreaking new study found that men who took high doses of vitamin B6 and B12 supplements showed a much bigger risk of lung cancer, and the correlation was especially high in those who smoked regularly. Scientists found that there was a 30 to 40 percent increased risk of lung cancer among those who took the vitamins via individual supplements, as opposed to getting them from their diet, or from multivitamins.
Current smokers who went above and beyond recommended daily amounts of B6 and B12 vitamins seemed to be driving this correlation, scientists found. Men who took the highest levels of vitamin B6 had triple the risk of lung cancer over a six-year period. It was four times the risk for B12. The findings were based on levels of more than 11 times the daily recommended amount for B6, and 23 times for B12.
The vitamins are important ones for the body, helping with DNA replication for one thing. But they have often been marketed as a way to boost energy by taking high doses, although medical experts regard the claims as dubious and without any evidence.
“New research suggests long-term, high-dose supplementation with vitamins B6 and B12 — long touted by the vitamin industry for increasing energy and improving metabolism — is associated with a two- to four-fold increased lung cancer risk in men relative to non-users,” the statement from Ohio State University reads. “Risk was further elevated in male smokers taking more than 20 mg of B6 or 55 micrograms of B12 a day for 10 years. Male smokers taking B6 at this dose were three times more likely to develop lung cancer. Male smokers taking B12 at such doses were approximately four times more likely to develop the disease compared to non-users.”