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B-Vitamin Can Reduce Risk Of Lung Cancer

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B-Vitamin Can Reduce Risk Of Lung Cancer

Smokers with high levels of Vitamin B6 and methionine have a reduced risk of developing lung cancer…

Good news for smokers who balance their daily vitamins – a new study suggests that smokers with plenty of Vitamin B6 in their blood have a considerably lower risk of developing lung cancer.

The results showed that those with high levels of Vitamin B6 and the amino acid methionine had a 50% reduced risk of getting lung cancer.

Scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said that the findings may help to explain why some smokers never get lung cancer.

vitamin b6 reduced risk of lung cancer 550x397 B Vitamin Can Reduce Risk Of Lung Cancer

Vitamin B6 Decreases Risk Of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common form of the disease in the world and 90 per cent of all cases are caused by cigarette smoking. It kills 1.2 million people a year.

Around one in 10 smokers develop lung cancer – although they often die of other smoking-related causes like heart disease, stroke or emphysema. Lung cancer is also known to kill people who never smoked or who gave up years ago.

The IARC study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It looked at around 900 people with lung cancer and found a link to low levels of vitamin B6 and an amino acid called methionine, which occur naturally in nuts, fish and meat. Study author Paul Brennan said:

‘What we have found is that these two things are strong markers of lung cancer risk, but we have not shown they are causing that rise in risk…

‘This indicates that diet may have an important role in lung cancer development, but it’s still a little premature to say simply that if you change your diet and eat more foods with these vitamins then you’ll change your future lung cancer risk.’

Most of the patients were smokers but there were also 100 who never smoked and 260 who had quit.

Dr Brennan said the change in risk of lung cancer linked to B6 and methionine levels was the same for all three groups, although the overall risk of getting the disease was much higher in the smokers to start with:

‘For the two nutrients together, the risk reduction was about 60 percent…

‘Obviously if you had a very high risk because you smoke, then a 60 percent reduction of that is quite important, although not as important as quitting smoking.’

The latest findings reinforce previous research which suggested deficiencies in B vitamins may increase the probability of DNA damage and subsequent gene mutations.

A Swedish study in 2005 found that women with high levels of vitamin B6 had a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. Dr. Brennan said:

‘Basically, these B vitamins and nutrients are all involved in the pathway which is responsible for the creation and maintenance of DNA…

‘So obviously you would want that pathway to work as well as possible.’


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