One will try to see whether there are similar effects in post-menopausal women. Plus, the study relies on people's recall over 10 years to remember their supplement consumption, which may not be accurate, they say. CNN reports the participants with the highest risk of lung cancer were smokers who use vitamin B supplementation.
Regular taking of vitamins B6 and B12 in high doses were found to be most affecting smokers, who were found to 3-4 times higher risk of getting lung cancer.
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The study found a 30% to 40% increased risk of lung cancer among men taking these vitamins from individual supplements - not from multivitamins or diet alone.
"What we found was that men who had used dietary supplements, in particular B6 and also vitamin B12 were at significant increased risk of developing lung cancer", said Dr. Theodore Brasky of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
For the study, epidemiologists Theodore Brasky (The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia) and colleagues analysed data from the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study, which was created to assess the use of vitamin and mineral supplements in relation to cancer risk.
The results showed that among women, there was no correlation between supplemental B6, B9, and B12 and lung cancer risk.
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"But 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", Brasky said.
The participants (aged 50 to 76), who were recruited between 2000 and 2002, provided information on their use of vitamin B over the previous ten years, including details about dosage.
The link between B vitamins and lung cancer was only evident in those taken from individual supplementation, not those which were included as part of a multivitamin.
The alarming findings of the new study appeared in the most recent edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This is the first study to prospectively examine the effects of extended, high-dose B6/B12 supplement use and lung cancer risk. Notably, smoking seemed to increase the chances of developing the disease significantly more when coupled with vitamin B supplements.
"As far as the magnitude of the association, I think you could characterize our reaction as concerned; especially if you consider how common these supplements are".
More Americans are taking vitamin supplements to help protect against diseases like lung cancer.
Important note: Because this was an observational study, it can't prove for sure that these vitamin B supplements actually caused lung cancer.