A recent study suggests that taking long-term high dosages of B6 and B12, supplements that are generally taken for a boost of energy and improved metabolism, may increase the possibility of lung cancer in men, according to an Ohio State news release.
Researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and National Taiwan University conducted the study by analyzing vitamin and mineral supplement usage in 77,000 patients between age 50 and 76. The subjects were recruited in the state of Washington from 2000 to 2002.
The study found that male smokers who took over 20 milligrams of B6 were three times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonusers, and male smokers who took 55 micrograms of B12 were four times more likely, Ohio State reported.
“Our data shows that taking high doses of B6 and B12 over a very long period of time could contribute to lung cancer incidence rates in male smokers," Theodore Brasky, a researcher in the OSUCCC – James study, said in the news release. "This is certainly a concern worthy of further evaluation.”
According to Brasky, the high dosages noted as potentially dangerous in this study are much higher than what someone would consume by taking a multivitamin every day.
“These are doses that can only be obtained from taking high-dose B vitamin supplements, and these supplements are many times the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance,” Brasky said.
Previously, B6 and B12 were considered supplements that could reduce the risk of cancer.