Lower Risk for Lung Cancer Associated With Higher Levels of Vitamin B6 and Common Amino Acid

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Researchers publishing in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that those with higher levels of vitamin B6 and the essential amino acid methionine that is found in most protein had a lower risk of lung cancer including current or former smokers. The study analyzed blood samples from 385,747 participants between 1992 and 2000 and by 2006, 899 lung cancer cases were identified. These were matched by country, sex, date of birth, and date of blood collection with 1,770 control participants.
After analyzing the incidence rate of lung cancer within the total cohort, the researchers found a lower risk of lung cancer among those with higher levels of vitamin B6 (comparing the fourth vs first quartile of B6 levels) and also with higher levels of methionine. These same results were seen in those who were never, former or current smokers. The researchers concluded “results suggest that above median serum measures of both B6 and methionine, assessed on average 5 years prior to disease onset, are associated with a reduction of at least 50 percent on the risk of developing lung cancer. An additional association for serum levels of folate was present that when combined with B6 and methionine, was associated with a two-thirds lower risk of lung cancer.”

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