Can Vitamin B Protect you From Cancer?

November 12, 2012

Can Vitamin B Protect you From Cancer?

Preliminary studies on Vitamin B as an anti-carcinogen is still uncertain.

No matter what research articles you read about B vitamins and cancer, it all seems to be contradictory. We all know that proper nutrition is your first line of defense in maintaining your health but of course what exactly is proper nutrition. With all our processed foods, eating properly can be difficult even when we supplement. And, that’s another story. What supplements are the best and how much should you take. B vitamins come in many forms and some are more adsorbable and bioavailable than others.

A recent study took a look at patients who had a history of heart disease who were taking b vitamins along with omega-3 fatty acids to prevent cancer. B vitamins are important for many chemical reactions in the body and omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining cell membranes. According to this study, the take home message is that these supplements did not appear to prevent cancer as a number of these patients developed cancer.

Another study done in Paris, France was conducted with patients taking Folate (B9), vitamin B6 and/or omega-3 fatty acids. This study was carried out from 2003 to 2009 by V. A. Andreeva Ph.D. There were over 2,500 patients of which 1/5 were females and 4/5 were males with ages that ranged from 45 years of age to 80. These patients had histories of angina and stroke or heart attack in the last 12 months. These trial were randomized. They found that over 2 percent of these patients died from cancer. Seven percent of these patients demonstrated early cancer signs. They report that there was no link between B vitamin supplementation and the onset of cancer. These researchers concluded that this clinical trial did not provide evidence for the prevention of cancer with b vitamins and/or omega-3 fatty acids with patients with a history of heart disease. However, you have to consider that the patients were taking low doses of B vitamins for over a five year period. Also, the required daily amount you should take is not well specified at this time and given that these patients had initial health issues would suggest that much higher doses would be required if one is to see an effect.

Furthermore, these researchers reported that over 83 percent of patients who developed cancer and 81 percent that died of cancer were males. The male population accounted for around 80 percent of the patients tested. From their data they stated that both forms of supplementation in women was more likely to increase the risk of cancer. And, in this study 83 percent of the women were menopausal. This group of researchers suggest that this study should be interpreted as preliminary.

Overly, these researchers concluded that dietary administration of B vitamins and/or omega-3 fatty acids for cancer prevention is not supported. Also, given that women had a greater chance of developing cancer on this regimen of supplements requires further study.

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