New research found that men who take vitamins B6 or B12 have higher chances of suffering from lung cancer. The study found that the vitamins can double the risk in any men, but it can triple it in the ones who smoke.
Usually, people take vitamins B6 and B12 as a supplement to get more energy, especially those who maintain special training and senior adults. However, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, it’s almost impossible for a man who takes high doses of vitamin B not to develop lung cancer if he already has lung cells beginning to mutate.
The study was not carried to verify if the vitamins affected the human body in any manner, but it showed a critical association between them and men who smoke. The reason why this only affects men, especially those who smoke, is still unknown.
Consuming B6 and B12 duplicate the chances of lung cancer in men
According to researchers Theodore M. Brasky, Emily White, and Chi-Ling Chen, it was found a link between one-carbon metabolism–related B vitamins and lung cancer risk. However, the “inconsistent findings” just linked men, and not women, who used high doses of vitamin B supplements.
Researchers recruited between October 2000 and December 2002 a total of 77,118 participants between the ages of 50 to 76 who were consuming vitamin B – 20 milligrams or more of B6, and 55 micrograms or more of B12 per day. Doctors studied those men for ten years and found a relation between the intake of vitamin supplements and lung cancer. The non-smoker men duplicated the risk of developing cancer, but those who smoke triplicated them.
Smoke is an activity that already damages the lungs and kills around six million people per year. This would mean an increase in lung cancer risk by fifteen to thirty-four, not mentioning other kinds of cancer and several diseases.
However, doctors didn’t find any relation between the intake of vitamin B supplements and women who also smoke.
Although doctors found vitamin B linked to lung cancer, the epidemiologist, and researcher at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Theodore Brasky, is not entirely sure these supplements are the reason why lung cancer developed in men. He found the vitamins as catalysts, assuming the mutated lung cells were already starting to form.
“Regardless of how much a person smokes, if a man is taking a high dose of these vitamins, they’re the ones who are at the most risk,” said Brasky. “If they’re concerned, they should cut back to something like a multivitamin or simply just get their nutrient from diet like they’re probably already doing.”
Vitamin B is found not only in supplements, but in food
Food that’s usually consumed contains these two kinds of vitamin B linked to lung cancer. B12 can be found in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, while B6 is found in fish, potatoes, non-citrus fruits, and organ meats. It is not recommendable for a pregnant woman to consume more than 1.3 milligrams of B6, and 2.4 micrograms of B12. According to Brasky, energy boosters contain megadoses of B6 and B12.
“If you look at these supplement bottles, they’re being sold in pill form at up to 5,000 micrograms per dose, which is much, much higher than the daily recommended amount,” said in a statement about his research.
Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology