A new study has found that men that take high doses of vitamin B long term could be at a higher risk of developing lung cancer, especially if they smoke.
The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, used data from a large study of over 77,000 people, which looked into potential links between taking vitamin and mineral supplements and long-term cancer risks.
Participants enrolled in the study between 2000 and 2002 – at which point they filled in a questionnaire about the amount of vitamin B they had taken in the prior 10 years – and were then monitored to see if they developed cancer in the following years.
After taking other risk factors into account, the researchers found that men that took high doses of vitamins B6 and B12 for long periods were between two and four times more likely to develop lung cancer. This risk was particularly high among men that smoked.
Taking B6 and B12 has been widely thought to bring the risk of cancer down. However, the researchers note that such “high” doses were well above those found in a daily multivitamin for 10 years, stating that they would be likely be from high-dose supplements that are several times the recommended daily amount.
Further research is now being carried out to see whether these findings are consistent.
Learn about the factors that can cause lung disease and the ways to reduce your contact with them.
Sign up to our free monthly newsletter to get the latest information and research news on lung conditions, plus views from experts and patients! You can unsubscribe at any time.