Higher Blood Levels of Vitamin B6 Reduces Lung Cancer Risk in Smokers and Nonsmokers

Having higher blood levels of vitamin B6 and the amino acid methionine both appear to reduce lung cancer risk in smokers and nonsmokers alike, according to a new study.

"We found that vitamin B6 and methionine are strongly associated with reducing lung cancer risk in people who never smoked, those who quit, and current smokers," researcher Paul Brennan, PhD, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, tells WebMD.

Whether the link is cause and effect, he says, is not known, WebMD reports.

According to Reuters, about 10 to 15 percent of smokers develop lung cancer -- although they often die of other smoking-related causes like heart disease, stroke or emphysema. Lung cancer is also known to kill people who never smoked or who gave up years ago.

The IARC study, which looked at around 900 people with lung cancer, found a link to low levels of vitamin B6 and an amino acid called methionine, found in protein like meat, fish and nuts. B6 is also found in meat, nuts, vegetables and bananas.

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