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Insidermedicine In Depth - June 15, 2010 - Lung Cancer Reduced With Vitamin B6

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Published on Jun 16, 2010

Having high levels of vitamin B6 and methionine, a substance required for some of the actions of B vitamins in the body, may be associated with a reduced risk for lung cancer, according to research published in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

High levels of B vitamins can be found in:

• Green leafy vegetables

• Meat

• Dairy products

Researchers representing the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, or EPIC, collected blood samples from over 500,000 individuals between 1992 and 2000. By 2006, 899 of these individuals had developed lung cancer. The researchers analyzed the level of B vitamins in their blood and compared the results with 1,770 individuals who did not have lung cancer but who were similar with respect to country, sex, date of birth, and date of blood collection.

After taking into account smoking status, high levels of vitamin B6 or methionine in the blood were each linked with about a 50% reduced risk for lung cancer. Among current and non-smokers, having high levels of folate, another B vitamin, in the blood was associated with a reduction in the risk of lung cancer of about one-third. Having levels of vitamin B6 and methionine in the blood that were above the midpoint of the whole group was also linked with a reduced risk for lung cancer.

Today's research links high levels of B vitamins with a lower risk of lung cancer, an association that has also been seen in colorectal cancer.

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