Warning to Men Who Take Excessive Vitamin B

Vegan nutritional yeast on spaghetti

The results showed that among women, there was no correlation between supplemental B6, B9, and B12 and lung cancer risk.

In men who smoked, the risk was three to four times greater, depending on which of the two B vitamins they were taking.

The researchers, from OSU and the National Taiwan University, found that those who took vitamin B supplements in recommended daily doses over a period of ten years faced 30 to 40 per cent higher risk of lung cancer. And that's likely just because multivitamins generally don't contain high enough dosages of B6 and B12 to pose a risk.

Enjoy that nice tall glass of OJ with your breakfast this morning, because increasing your vitamin C intake may be a way to reduce blood cancer risk.

The risk almost tripled (HR, 2.93; 95% CI, 1.50-5.72; P =.04) and quadrupled (HR, 3.71; 95% CI, 1.77-7.74; P .01) in men who were current smokers who took vitamin B6 and B12 at the highest levels, respectively (P .01), compared to male smokers who did not take B6 or B12 supplements.

Men, and especially male smokers, appear to be more likely to develop lung cancer if they take high doses of vitamins B6 and B12, new research suggests.

The researchers stressed that that most people in the USA already received enough vitamin B from their diets and thus didn't need to take more.

The participants were recruited from the state of Washington between 2000 and 2002 and were made to answer questions about their vitamin use over the previous 10 years.

Researchers had generally thought the B vitamins had anti-cancer properties. The participants were from the Vitamins And Lifestyle cohort, which was set up to evaluate vitamin and mineral supplements and their relationship with cancer over the longer-term.

"That's marketing. That's not science", he said.

It's also possible that this action from the B vitamins simply hastens the development of an underlying lung tumor already caused by smoking, Brasky says.

"I don't think there's a clear, scientific backing for a healthful need for these supplements at those doses", Brasky said.

"If anything", Brennan said, "we found a small protective effect that was more apparent among men".

Until more research is completed, there is no conclusive link between high doses of vitamin B and lung cancer. "As in much of nutrition, the story is more complicated than that", Bernicker said. The authors of the new study said that the discrepancy could be because some of these studies measure B vitamins in the blood and not through dietary surveys, like they did.

While the supplements might help those with anemia or celiac disease and prevent them from feeling exhausted, large doses may prove to be very useful for an average healthy person.

In addition, McKay said, the study has limitations. The team report their findings in Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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