Vitamin B and its role in Cancer Prevention

Vitamin B and cancer

Vitamin B is popularly known as energy boosters. They are one of the most common ingredients found in multivitamins. Vitamin B complex is composed of 8 vitamins, namely B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9, and vitamin B-12. Each of these vitamins contributes to different health benefits and should be consumed in small doses to stay healthy. According to recent studies, there has been evidence found that proves high doses of vitamin B (Vitamin B6 and B12 in particular) increases the risk of lung cancer symptoms in men, especially in smokers.

People are commonly diagnosed with lung cancer symptoms on a global scale (approximately 1.61 million diagnoses in 2008). This type of cancer is associated with the largest number of deaths as well (approximately 1.38 million).

Types of Cancer Treatment:

There are several types of cancer treatment, depending on how severe it is. The best treatments include:

 

  • Surgery- A surgery takes place where the surgeons cut out affected cancer tissue.
  • Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is a process where the patient is given special drugs or medicines to either shrink or kill cancer cells. The drugs include pills, or they can be injected into your veins.  
  • Radiation therapy- Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays that are used to kill the cancer cells. These rays are similar to X-rays.
  • Targeted Therapy– Targeted therapy uses drugs that help in blocking the growth of cancer cells and prevent it from spreading in the body. The drugs used can either be injected in your body or used as pills to kill the cancer cells in your body.

Composition of Vitamin B

Vitamin B includes thiamine, riboflavin, niacin/niacinamide, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. 

 

General benefits of Vitamin B: 

 

Vitamin B plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and helps prevent infections. It also promotes the following:

 

  • Growth of red blood cells 
  • Cell health
  • Proper nerve function 
  • Hormones and cholesterol production 
  • Cardiovascular health 
  • Muscle tone 
  • Good eyesight 
  • Healthy brain function 
  • Good digestion 

How to tell if you have a deficiency of Vitamin B:

The symptoms which may help you in knowing whether you have a deficiency or not include skin rashes, cracks around the mouth, scaly skin on the lips, swollen tongue, fatigue, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. 

Sources of Vitamin B6 are  Milk, Cheese, Eggs, Bananas, cereal grains, and Legumes. Sources of Vitamin B12 include dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, Poultry, and Shellfish. The vitamin B complex is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and can be  found in yeast, seeds, eggs, liver, meat, and vegetables.

Facts on Vitamin B:

The B-group of Vitamins is a collection of eight water-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are important for metabolic processes in the human body. These vitamins cannot be mostly stored in our bodies, and they will have to be consumed regularly as a part of our diet. Cooking can destroy all the health benefits that you were likely to gain from these supplements. Vitamin B is proved to be toxic if not consumed correctly and is associated with various cancer symptoms.

 

A recent case study between the relationship of Vitamin B and Cancer: 

 

  • There was a study that involved approximately 77,118 adults that participated in the Vitamins and Lifestyle study (also called VITAL).  
  • This case study was designed to evaluate the relationship of cancer with vitamin and mineral supplements.  
  • The participants who joined the study were aged between 50 to 80 years.  
  • They were questioned on the usage of Vitamin B supplements over the previous decade.  
  • After 6 years since their enrollment in the study, it was found that 808 men were diagnosed with cancer. 
  • This study was the first to examine the long-term effects of high doses of vitamin B-6 and B-12 on lung cancer. 
  • Several other factors were taken into consideration, such as smoking history, alcohol consumption, age, and so on.  
  • It was found that the risk seemed higher for the men who consumed these vitamins and smoked regularly. The dosage was as minimal as 20 milligrams of B6 and 55 micrograms of B12 daily for 10 years.  

 

The study did not prove that lung cancer was caused by B vitamins in particular. But it did show a relation between the supplements and diseases found in men. Thus, the best way to avoid having lung cancer is to reduce or quit smoking.  The supplements whereas, have been discovered to reduce the risks of cervical cancer, and mixed results were found in cases of breast cancer. 

 

Thereby, with the help of the case study, we can state that there are higher risks when you consume Vitamin B that can influence cancer. It is believed that these supplements when interacted with the one-carbon metabolism pathway, start behaving differently. The pathway is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the DNA and regulating the gene expression. Vitamin B supplements are widely available on a global scale, but they are regulated very minimally. If you need under specific conditions the supplements of Vitamin B then it is advised for you to have a  discussion with your doctor, and only then they will be provided on the basis of a prescription.