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B vitamins may help prevent cancer

B vitamins like B2, B6 may also be important in preventing colorectal cancer, according to Eussen S.J. and colleagues from Department of Internal Medicine University of Berge.

The researchers reported in the Sept 2 2010 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention that highest serum levels of vitamin B2 and vitamin B6 were associated with 29 percent and 32 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer while vitamin B12 did not seem to have an affect on the malignancy.

Another study led by Gallo V. and colleagues from in the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France showed that serum levels of vitamin b6 and an amino acid called methionine were inversely associated with risk of lung cancer.

The researchers who published their findings in the June 16, 2010 issue of Journal of American Medical Association found the association after they looked at data from 520,00 women and women in 10 countries, who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition between 1992 and 2000.

Specifically, they found highest serum levels of folate were linked with 56 percent reduced risk of lung cancer compared to those who had lowest levels.

But when it comes to vitamins, high doses do not mean better outcome.  Folate has been linked with increased cancer risk in other studies.  It is generally safe to use foods as sources of b vitamins.

Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in men and women in the United States. Lung cancer is another serious disease that is hard to treat.

By David Liu