We’ve issued a press release today about a study we funded, which found that people with high levels of B-vitamins in their blood may be at reduced risk of lung cancer .
The story was covered by the BBC website, as well as a several other websites.
The study found that people with above average levels of Vitamin B6 and methionine –a related nutrient – are half as likely to develop the disease. The results were similar for smokers, non-smokers and ex-smokers. However, more research is needed before scientists can be confident that increasing levels of B-vitamins in the diet can reduce risk of lung cancer and also to understand how this works.
Smoking is by far the biggest risk factors for lung cancer, so the best way to reduce the risk of lung cancer is not to smoke. However, a significant number of lung cancer cases occur among people who have never smoked or who have stopped smoking. This means that for ex-smokers and people who have never smoked, the findings of this study could mean that these people can do something positive to reduce their risk of lung cancer. Food sources of vitamin B6 and methionine include beans, grains, meat, poultry, some nuts and some fruits and vegetables.
It is also important to emphasise that this study does not show that taking B vitamins in supplements will be effective. WCRF recommends not using supplements to protect against cancer .