Many people take vitamin supplements at some point in their lives. While many believe that vitamin intake is harmless and even essential for the body, a new study reveals otherwise. New research suggests that excessive intake of some vitamins may cause more harm to the body than benefits.

What was the research about?

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology looked to establish a connection between excessive intake of Vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 with that of a higher risk of contracting lung cancer.

The research looked at around 70,000 adults in Washington who were between the ages of 50 and 76. This also included 139 lung cancer cases and also 3,200 males who were smokers. The researchers also focused on the white population and only around 7 percent of the participants belonged to other races.

The study was conducted between 2000 and 2002 and all of the participants were asked to report their vitamin B6 and B12 consumption rates from the previous 10 years. This information also included the data about the dosage that they had taken in that time.

The researchers then followed up with participants to determine whether they showed any changes in their health and if they showed any signs of cancer.

What did the results reveal?

The results showed a 30 to 40 percent increase in chances of affliction with Lung Cancer in men, who took the vitamins as supplements and not naturally through their diets. Male smokers who also took vitamin B6 supplements had triple the chances of suffering from lung cancer, compared to those smokers who did not take the supplements.

The researchers suggest that the results indicate a possible link between vitamin B intake, smoking, and lung cancer.

In case of vitamin B12 supplement intake in current smokers, the risk of lung cancer almost quadrupled. The level of vitamin B6 present in supplements is almost 11 times that of the recommended level of intake, while vitamin B12 supplements provide the body with 23 times more than the recommended level.

Scientists warn that moderate amounts of these vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of the body, but excessive intake does not provide any beneficial effects whatsoever. Even though the supplement marketing may advertise greater energy levels and other similar benefits, these are just ways of selling the product and not based on science.

According to a CNN report, previous studies were inconclusive when it comes to the connection between vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 and cancer. The CNN report says that one particular study determined that vitamin B6 and B12 actually decreased the chances of lung cancer, while another similar study indicated that there is no effect on cancer affliction from vitamin B6 or B12.

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