For some time, there have been suspicions that taking high doses of vitamins B6 and B12 for a long time, might increase the risk of getting lung cancer, especially in smokers.
Eminent researchers have been analyzing data from 77,118 adults who participated in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) study, about the connection between taking vitamin and mineral supplements and risk of cancer.
The participants were between 50 and 76 years old taking a high dose of Vitamin B for some time. In the next 6 years of registration, 808 of them developed lung cancer.
Although pharmacy advertisers claim that taking vitamins increases energy and improves metabolism, the research came to a different notion.
Considering many cancer risk factors as smoking history, age, drinking alcohol, personal history of cancer or chronic lung disease or a family history of lung cancer the conclusion was unexpected.
Long-term of using high doses of Vitamins B6 and B12 may 2 to 4 times increase the risk of lung cancer compared to the people who did not take Vitamins. The risk of cancer is 4 times higher for smokers who’ve been taking around 20 milligrams (mg) of B6 or 55micrograms (mcg) of B12 daily for the past ten years. The risk was seen only at male population.
This study shows only the connection between high doses of Vitamins B6 and B12 and lung cancer risk and doesn’t give any more answers.
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But, according to the study leader Theodore Brasky of Ohio State University, there might be some unknown influence on male hormones. But, only when vitamins were taken as supplements.
The EPIC (European Prospective Investigations into Cancer and Nutrition) study published in JAMA in 2010 showed that taking Vitamins B6 and B12 from natural sources in a matter of fact lowers risk of lung cancer.
So, we should provide our body with vitamins given by nature.
For Vitamin B6 best choices of food are brewer’s yeast, cereal grains, bananas, and legumes, some vegetables as carrots, spinach and peas. It is recommended 50 mg/day of B6.
For Vitamin B12 take eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and shellfish. The daily recommendation is 50 mcg.
Both B6 and B12 should be included as part of a B-complex supplement that also contains a full spectrum of B vitamins, including biotin, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin.
However, the best prevention of lung cancer is not smoking.