- Vitamin supplements are used to
increase energy and improve metabolism. However, high doses of supplements
can cause side effects
- Men who took high doses of vitamin
B6 and B12 for ten years were at a higher risk of cancer
- Lung cancer risk was three times
higher among male smokers who also took vitamin B supplement.
supplementation of high doses vitamin B6 and B12 can
increase the risk of lung cancer in men, finds a new research. The risk of lung
cancer was even higher among smokers.
Vitamin B and Lung Cancer
The study was
conducted by epidemiologists from The Ohio State University Comprehensive
Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research
Institute (OSUCCC - James), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and National
‘High dose B6/B12 vitamin supplements can triple the risk of lung cancer in male smokers.’
supplements have been thought to reduce cancer risk. The current study was the
first to look at the long-term consumption of high dose vitamin B6, B12 and
team led by Theodore Brasky, Ph.D., of the OSUCCC - James, analyzed data from
more than 77,000 patients participants in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL)
cohort study. VITAL, is a long-term prospective
observational study designed to evaluate vitamin and other supplements
associated with cancer risk.
participants aged between 50 and 76 years were recruited in the state of
Washington between the years 2000 and 2002. The participants history forB-vitamin usage over the past ten years was recorded at the
beginning of the study, Information of
the dosage of the vitamin supplements was also obtained.
To analyze the
link between B vitamins and lung cancer
the research team used statistical techniques to adjust for
factors including personal smoking history, age, race, education, body size,
alcohol consumption, history of cancer, chronic
family history of lung cancer and use of
The study found
that the lung cancer risk was higher among male smokers who took more than
20mg of vitamin B6 and 55mg of vitamin
B12 a day for ten years.
Male smokers who
took higher doses of vitamin B6 were three times more likely to develop lung
Male smokers who
took higher doses of vitamin B12 were four times more likely to develop lung
cancer compared to the non-users.
all of these other influencing factors as equal, so we are left with a less
confounding effect of long-term B6 and B12 super-supplementation. Our data
shows that taking high doses of B6 and B12 over a very long period of time
could contribute to lung cancer incidence rates in male smokers. This is
certainly a concern worthy of further evaluation," said Brasky.
The findings of
the study relate to doses among those taking multivitamins every day for ten
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," added Brasky.
The findings of
the study are published in the Journal of Clinical
additional studies will be conducted to further evaluate the high dose of
long-term vitamin B6 and B12 supplementation and lung cancer risk. The first
study will examine the associations in post-menopausal women to confirm the
current finding of no elevated risk in women. The second study will examine
long-term supplementation of vitamin B6 and B12 in a second large prospective
study of men to determine whether the lung cancer risk in the current study can
Vitamins B6 and
B12 are vital micro nutrients that keep the red blood cells healthy and also
helps to process carbohydrate, protein, and fat. B vitamins are naturally found
in meat, fish, cheese, eggs, and milk. Breakfast cereals have also been
fortified with vitamin B.
supplements are prescribed to boost energy and metabolism. The recommended dose
of vitamin B6 is around 1.4mg a day for men and 1.2mg a day for women, while
for B12 it is 1.5mcg a day for adults.
- Long-Term, Supplemental, One-Carbon Metabolism-Related Vitamin B Use in Relation to Lung Cancer Risk in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort - (http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2017.72.7735)
- Theodore M. Brasky, Emily White, Chi-Ling Chen. Long-Term, Supplemental, One-Carbon Metabolism-Related Vitamin B Use in Relation to Lung Cancer Risk in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort. Journal of Clinical Oncology (2017). DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.72.7735