B Vitamins and Lung Cancer Risk

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Picture of softgels and capsules spilling out of a bottle. Learn about B vitamins and lung cancer risk – Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements We received an inquiry regarding a study showing a relationship between B vitamins and lung cancer risk. The study, published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, generated headlines stating high doses of B vitamins increases lung cancer risk.

At Cooper Complete we are science and research based, and continuously review studies to see if research warrants formulation changes. In this case, questionnaires from the VITamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study were reviewed. The VITAL study followed 77,000 adults, aged 50- to 76 for an average of six years. During the time period, 477 women and 331 men developed primary lung cancer.

It’s important to understand this is an observational study and does not show cause and effect, they simply show associations. In this case, there was an association between vitamins, lung cancer, and current and former smokers. No association was found between consumption of B vitamins and lung cancer risk in nonsmokers.

B Vitamins and Lung Cancer Risk Study Details

  • The study’s statistics relied on a one-time questionnaire of diet and supplementation over the last 10 years.
  • Most of the data referenced in the study was only among former, recent, or current smokers.
  • Roughly sixty percent of the participants were overweight.

Theodore Brasky, PhD, the lead author in the study commented that:

“Use of combustible tobacco is a far more important factor in lung cancer development in both men and women.” Vitamins B-6 and B-12 may just “hasten or increase the likelihood of lung carcinogenesis among male smokers.”

Seemingly, the more pressing concern is that previous, current, or continued tobacco use dramatically increases lung cancer risk. Compare this to the title of the article paragraph where this quote was published claiming a removal of doubt in stating “Heavy vitamin B use raises lung cancer risk.”

Cooper Complete Approach to Research

At Cooper we rely on a more thorough approach to collecting patient data.  Our physician formulated products are a result of 47 years of experience from extensive preventative exams and using research that is conducted using a double-blind, placebo study, not relying on subject recall.

While we recommend vitamin B12 for people whose blood work shows a deficiency, Cooper Complete does not recommend supplementation of Vitamin B12 specifically for the prevention of lung cancer.

Reference: Long-Term, Supplemental, One-Carbon Metabolism–Related Vitamin B Use in Relation to Lung Cancer Risk in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort

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